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Avatar universal

7.5 month old Shih Tzu: lack of appetite, occasional vomiting

Hello, My 7 & 1/2 month old Shih Tzu started having lack of appetite a couple weeks ago, but it's only been the past 6 or 7 days that it's gotten worse and she's not wanted to eat an entire meals.

She has on occasion thrown up the white/yellowish frothy/foamy stuff in the wee hrs of the night or early morning.  Only then, only when her tummy is empty.  It's happened every since we first bought her as a tiny pup.  But seems like it's happening more often now, esp since the lack of appetite started.

The morning is the worst, its breakfast that she has started refusing, but sometimes even the lunch she'll pick at or eat slowly, dinner meal has been the best as far as how hungry she seems & she will usually finish w/o any prodding on my part.

This is coming from a dog that used to devour, almost inhale her food & eating was her most favorite part of the day, when she started teething was when she finally started slowing down and eating at a normal pace, but her love of eating didn't change until this.

So far even w/ the lack of appetite, she has remained playful and normal in activity.

Took her to the Vet this past Friday.  Teeth are fine, said temp was slightly over 103 but that the Vet thought it was just due to excitement/nervousness at being there at the vet, she had to be held pretty tight to get that temp reading.  She had gained 4 pounds! since her spaying surgery on Feb. 19.

So w/ all this in mind the Vet wasn't too concerned (unlike me) and said it's probably just a mild case of bilious vomiting syndrome, so she prescribed Zantac (which had to be called into my pharmacy $33), and a probiotic that was called Proviable DC, 10 capsules that was $10.  Also said to try to space out her feedings so that the last one is at bedtime.

She eats 1 cup a day, divided into 3 feedings.  It's Puppy Chow mixed w/ Eukanuba Puppy Growth.  I know, I know... everyone hates Puppy Chow.  I just so wanted to try to not get stuck on a very expensive dog food like we did w/ our Pomeranian who was on Science Diet all her life and died at the age of 13 from cancer.

I've not adjusted that last feeding to bedtime yet, but I have made it much later than it was.  She was eating at 8am, 12 noon & 5 PM.  Since the Vet visit on Fri, she's ate at 8am, 1:30 PM & 7PM.  So far there hasn't been much change.  This morning she hasn't had any of her breakfast.  She's also not a big drinker of water in the mornings, so she's had very little water today also.  But she's always been that way, that part is not new.

The vomiting has never happened every morning, only about once a week, but seems to be more than that now.  Last night I found two more spots in the back of her crate, but I'm not sure if they were there before the Vet visit or not because I might have missed them as I didn't look that good back there.

They did not say at the Vet's what time of day or w/ or w/o food to give these two meds.  So I am going to call back here in a minute to get clarity on that.  Have been doing the Zantac first thing of the morning and at bedtime.  And the probiotic in the evening sometime.  

A friend of mine doesn't understand why I don't free feed like she does her two dogs... but that's just not my personality, I also had trouble housetraining her so a feeding schedule also helped me set a potty schedule and I'm very reluctant to leave that for that reason.  She poops 3 times a day, at 6:30 am, around 10 am & last around 8pm.  That's a lot to do w/ why I haven't moved those feeding up to bedtime like the Vet suggested because I'm wondering how that will affect her poop times.  I'll do it if it helps her just trying to adjust myself I guess.

Would appreciate any suggestions/advise.  Thank You!
15 Responses
5318756 tn?1366879670
Good to hear that you've taken your pup to a vet and she's put on 4 pounds in the last 2 months.
Shih Tzu's can be notoriousely picky eaters , and as she grows from a "young" pup obviousely her eating habits will change.  Dogs don't need three meals a day - being offered  two meals is fine for a small dog.  If you cut out lunch she's more likely to have an appetite for dinner.
The fact that she's put on weight screams TOO MUCH FOOD.  I'm sure you'll be able to get used to her new pooping schedule once you work out how to feed her appropriately.
Avatar universal
Well, I understand what you are saying.  But she threw up again today after not eating breakfast.  I'm just not sure what's going on.  I'm ok w/ learning a new way to do things w/ her.  I admit that I'm a very scheduled person and love predictability... but something in my gut is just saying something is off w/ her.  

So she skipped breakfast and I was trying to be ok w/ it and say to myself that she'd eat later, but then she threw up.  And about 2:00 I've put down "lunch" for her to which she's also rejecting.

I wouldn't think that just 1 cup a day would be too much, but as you say she did gain 4 lbs. in 2 months.  So if less is what she needs or fewer meals that's fine but the throwing up is concerning to me.

If she does indeed have the syndrome the Vet spoke of then the longer the tummy stays empty the more nauseous she'll feel.  I am not sure if that's what's going on or not.  

Thanks for your post!
462827 tn?1333172552
Welcome, I have a number of suggestions, but due to very limited time right now, I will have to do short segments....

As with all food, you get what you pay for.....This bothers me: I know, I know... everyone hates Puppy Chow. Do you know why people hate puppy chow? Here's a link that will give you an idea:

Your Eukanuba Puppy is a little better, but still considered low quality.....Please, do even think of feeding any Hill's products such as Science Diet....Their food quality is so low, it creates disease IMO!

First, your overfeeding and feeding too often....What your seeing is stomach acid from an empty stomach or no morning food....It's actually fairly common.....You don't say how much she weighs....However, 4 lbs. in 2 months time is alarming, for a toy breed!

She should be fed twice a day at this age & probably no more than 1/4 to 1/3 Cup per day....You can offer an afternoon healthy snack such as a small bowl of Plain Lowfat Yogurt (Would help build good bacteria), cottage cheese (Lowfat), apple slices, etc.  Before bed, offer her a cookie type snack that will absorb stomach acid through the night.....Again, you want a healthy one!

Here are two links with a list of the worst foods on the market AND the best food on the market:

The worst: http://www.dogfoodscoop.com/bad-dog-food-list.html
Next to the worst: http://www.dogfoodscoop.com/dog-food-ratings-1.html
The Very Best: http://www.dogfoodscoop.com/best-dog-foods-ranked.html

These BEST food companys also make wonderful healthy treats & many make the cookie type (Which is what she needs) in this case....

ALso, most of these foods already have Probiotics included, whereas low quality food will not!

Too: High quality foods are nutrient dense, so you feed LESS per serving.....These foods do not include unhealthy fillers, cheap grains, dyes, dangerous preservatives, or by-products that provide zero nutrition.... Everything your feeding does....Also, one of your foods is full of an artificial sweetner! This makes no sense except to get the dog addicted to the sugar & it's hard to give up.....Also, leads to Diabetes....

So, bottom line, you CAN turn this around......If you want me to help you select a brand of food and cookie/bisquit, let me know....You will not find any of these at Wal-Mart or your local grocery store....

My other concern is her temp. of over 103......This is MORE than a normal high & could be indicative of an infection going on.....I'm not sure I'd leave this alone! Is this the same Vet that sold you Science Diet all those years? If so, I'd use caution!!!!

I must run; I'm trying to save 2 Parvo (Already treated in hospital) puppies here & I have 4 of my own.....

Let me know what you think & I'll try to respond when I can find some more time.......Good luck, Karla
462827 tn?1333172552
Corrections from my first post, They Should read:

(DON'T) even think of feeding any Hill's products

Next: She should be fed twice a day at this age & probably no more than 1/4 to 1/3 Cup (TWICE) per day. Sorry......
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for the post. I too am short on time & will dissect & digest your post later tonight... But wanted to answer about her weight....

She weighed 7.6 on Feb. 19th, at 21 weeks old, when she had her surgery.  This past Friday she weighed 11, exact age is 31 weeks.

So not exactly 4 lbs, vet said AKC lists acceptable weight range as 9 to 16 for shih tzu.   I was surprised she had jumped up that much, vet said sometimes after being spayed their metabolism slows down.  I have not increased her food at all since then.

About the temp, like I said she said it was slightly over 103, & that she felt like it was from the excitement & nervousness of being there & having stuff done to her.  

Yes it is the same vet office that prescribed the hills prescription diet to our Pom yrs ago, but a different vet, our vet from back then retired. But they do still carry the science & prescription diet because its in the lobby when you first go in.
Avatar universal
Well,  the meds are not working for her.  If anything she's throwing up more now.  It was occasional... now it's been every day.

Yesterday I tried to just leave her alone and let her decide when she wanted to eat but that seemed to just make her sicker.  Same today.  When I finally coaxed her to eat some she seemed to perk up and feel better.  

Misfits4Me, I looked over all the links you gave me.  I actually had looked at Wellness Core before at Petco.  But I want anything physical ruled out before I go switching her food, I feel like that will just make things worse at this point until I know she's clear in other areas.  So I guess I'm going back to the Vet.  

The first half of the day seems to be the worst for her, the latter half of the day she starts acting more like herself and a little more enthusiastic about eating.  That's got to be a clue to something, maybe the stomach acid thing & nausea...

I just don't know anymore.
462827 tn?1333172552
"I want anything physical ruled out before I go switching her food, I feel like that will just make things worse at this point until I know she's clear in other areas. "  What if it IS her food that's causing her distress?
You need to read these consumer complaints about Purina.....Alot of them sound like what your dealing with or worse! These complaints come in on a daily basis & today is no exception......Please read-----
Here's the link:  http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/ralston.html
Avatar universal
Yes I did read that somewhere, did you give me that link or did I read it elsewhere?  When I do change her food it has to be gradual anyway, I don't have it here I'll have to drive to town to get it, I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow, so why not go ahead and get the blood work and possible radiographics (Vet's word) done just to make sure that organs are as they should be, there's no abnormality... etc.  

I just can't move forward till I know there's nothing physically wrong, do you see what I mean?  

I can't get the food as quickly as some because of where I live, there's not even a walmart in my town.  So that's what I meant by I'm not changing the food till I know the major stuff is checked.  If everything checks out at the Vets, I'll swing by Petco and grab a bag of the Wellness or something.

I've looked at so many dog foods the past week I am so confused and overwhelmed.  There's so many brands, then you've got to look for the puppy versions then you've got so many different flavors and I don't know which to pick, why can't it just be simple... Chicken or Salmon or Lamb etc...

I'm actually stuck between:

Wellness CORE Puppy
Wellness Super5Mix Just for Puppy
Wellness Super5Mix Small Breed Just for Puppy
Halo Spot's Stew Chicken Recipe Puppy

Any thoughts on these?

If I also decide to get treats like the biscuits you recommended I give her at bedtime does it need to stay w/ the same Brand as the dog food I choose?  I noticed that Wellness did have a biscuit treat but hadn't checked on Halo yet.
Avatar universal
If you read the reviews on Dogfoodadvisor.com there are people complaining of some of the same symptoms even on the five star brands like Wellness & four star brands like Halo.  It's very hard to make decisions when there's so much conflicting information out there.  Some of those people said they've went through over half a dozen of the best brands out there!  How is it that they are the best if dogs are having the same symptoms as dogs on the cheap foods?

I'm confused and aggravated.
462827 tn?1333172552
Hello again....All Foster Puppies that come through this house (And there are many) are started on Wellness Just For Puppy CANNED.....I've had very good luck with it, so I'm not changing....These rescue dogs come in very ill & malnourished or worse & dry food isn't going to give me or them what I need to make happen.....

Eventually, I do add some dry kibble (Always, Wellness CORE for puppies) only because unfortunately, future new homes will want to feed kibble....

My own dogs are not allowed any kibble.....I rotate through brands & flavors of (Dehydrated Raw) on a regular basis as I don't expect them to eat the same thing their whole life for every meal.....I wouldn't want to do that, either....It also keeps them from getting bored of one food and also cuts down on chances of food allergies forming after eating the same thing day in and day out...

I have a dog just as the one you describe....I do remember the nightmare, but that was many years ago....She just turned 11!
IMO, moisture is the key to life and without it, problems will eventually start......

I did like Halo very well a few years ago....Once the company sold, their formulation changed for the less. It's still a good food and I do think it's worth feeding......I have the original recipe for their Spot's Stew CANNED and make it quite often for this crew...The batch makes 13lbs. of stew & I portion and freeze by the pound.....

I know what you mean, I too live in a small town....We do have a Tiny WalMart, but I wouldn't buy any animal supplies there, anyway.....

The largest town from here is 60 miles away (One way) & I do go quite often because my son lives there & my dogs Vet is there, but most of my dogfood is purchased online and I have it sent to the house......Easier for me, I can get anything I want & I choose places that have free shipping if you spend $50 which is easy with a houseful of dogs!  :)  

Hope this helps you...I must get all dogs out to potty so we can all go to bed.....Let me know what you think.......Karla

Avatar universal
Doesn't canned food make the poops too soft?  We've owned lots of animals over the yrs and I've never fed canned... I guess I'm just one of those people, it seems more expensive to buy that way too.  I guess I've just always associated it w/ poops too soft & more expensive.
Avatar universal
What's the difference between the Core & the Super5Mix?  I like that the Super5 has a small breed version... I like the smaller kibble so it's easier for smaller mouths to chew up.
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