Senior B who is not eating at all

I have an 11 year old girl that I have posted about before. In March she had a colitis attack that we got under control. Then a few months ago she started losing weight and lost her interest in food. Since the colitis she has been eating a homemade dog food. We did a full blood panel and urinalysis. She came back with slightly higher reticulocytes and slightly higher platelets. The vet wants me to give her homeopathic liver pills but if I do she looks nauseous and she won’t eat. Now we are giving her appetite stimulants but she will only eat sometimes. We are starting to get really worried. We went through this years ago with another basenji and we lost him at 7 years old. It was horrible watching him fade away. She’s pretty lumpy and bumpy in her older age and she has a fatty tissue mass on her tummy. Any help will be appreciated! Right now she will sometimes eat gluten free spaghetti noodles, pork tenderloin, a scrambled egg, cottage cheese, shrimp, turkey, fish, gravy. What she will eat for one meal she will not eat for a second meal. The carbs are less likely and I can’t get her to eat any veggies. If I add any additives it’s a no go, she is on probiotics daily. Thanks for any advice!

I would talk to another vet for a second opinion. I have been looking on line and apparently there is a problem condition with Basenjis, immunoproliferative enteropathy, something I was not aware of until I looked at colitis in dogs. Was she treated with prednisone for her colitis? I ask because it usually causes an increase in appetite, and can be tricky to taper off of....

Perhaps the current situation is unrelated, but I would guess it likely is since March isn't all that long ago.

She wasn’t treated with prednisone. My first 2 b’s had protein losing enteropathy. That’s what they died of at 6 and 7. They were from a terrible breeder here in Canada. This dog Maitai has been super healthy until this past March. She got into some tomato fertilizer and then had her colitis attack. Now her poops are perfect but she is just getting thinner and she won’t eat. She is acting hungry but puts her nose up at everything I give her. Yet she will drink my tea as soon as my back is turned. She is glued to me all day! I’m feeling a bit defeated. This happened last time and there was nothing that worked even though we tried everything! We spent $35,000 at the vet on those 2 pups but nothing helped.

Thanks for the further information. One thing you are always fighting with a dog that won't eat is that often eating makes them feel ill and they associate it with whatever they just consumed, so won't want any more of that particular food. Makes it tricky to get them to eat. Since you know what caused the colitis, is it possible that it had a longer term effect on her, or do you feel this is unrelated? Can you get her to eat by leaving your own plate in an accessible place and turning your back so she can "steal" it? Perhaps, like the tea, she might be tempted if she thinks it's not for her.

I know how frustrating it can be when your dog won't eat. It tells you something is wrong but doesn't tell you what. The reason I suggested getting another opinion is that sometimes new eyes on a problem can be useful. I kept my 13 year old girl going for another 3 years after she had a seizure and I consulted a different vet (with the full support of my regular one) for advice.

I had a senior B who responded well to 1/2 scoop of NutraThrive added to his meals. It seemed to give him back his normal bowel flora. J

I am so sorry you are having eating issues with your pup!

My little Tess, has a less than stellar appetite. She does have some kidney issues, her blood work indicates early kidney failure, but she continues to be relatively healthy on her kidney diet. Her kidney values have been off for quite a few years.

eeeefarms suggestion is a good one. Once Tess' appetite is stimulated, she eats well. Tess definitely plays food games, now that she is the last dog standing. She would often leave her food uneaten all day. These days, she waits for me to eat, and does want some of my food. I will usually give her a bite, or put a little on her her food. She does then finally, grudgingly finish her food.

I have hand fed her some days. That helps too.

Tess definitely has had tummy issues along the way. I will include famotadine (veterinarian recommended) in her pill pocket if her tummy is off. It does tend to help.

She has a bad neck, the result of jumping up and hitting the tailgate if my Volvo station wagon as it was opening. Poor girl, it bothers her off and on. During her last bad patch, she was on prednisone to reduce the swelling. It did work, but she lost her muscle mass and her appetite. I really thought I was going to lose her. She was so thin and weak. I think it's been over six months: she has recovered and is beginning to eat more normally.

Tess looks pretty good for a dog who is about to turn 16. I am grateful for every day I have with her.

Persevere!!

How did you get her to recover? Maia is weak and has lost a lot of muscle mass very quickly. I am getting her to eat small amounts but I just see her continuing to decline.

What did they do for her when she got into the tomato fertilizer? Has she had recent bloodwork? How complete was the bloodwork? Did it include phosphorus, IONIZED calcium, Vit D and/or PTH? The fertilizer may have thrown parathyroid regulation out of whack. An elevated phosphorus level will squash an appetite.

It might be time to consult with a vet specialist. I hope you find a solution quickly!

Hello, sorry to hear your girl is not doing well. We recently went through the same thing and lost the battle 12/21. In our case, blood test and urine analysis came back normal. He had some bad teeth, so we had 4 of them extracted and no change. We finally had an ultrasound done where they suspected IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease). We did had a procedure done to confirm what the specialist suspected. Unfortunately he just kept getting weaker and eventually passed in my arms. Please see my post, others had some comments as well.

https://basenjiforums.com/topic/15708/no-longer-eating

I am so sorry to hear about your b! We went through the same thing years ago with our 7 year old boy. I was hoping someone would have some new treatment that would give us a miracle. It’s torture to know they need help and there isn’t anything you can do. We are never ready to say goodbye, when Whiskey passed I would have given anything for a few more years, I got that with Maia buts it’s never enough! I will check out your post, maybe there is something in there that can help. Thank you for reaching out, we appreciate it!

I hope you will continue to pursue veterinary help if your sweet Maia doesn’t continue to improve.

There are any number of things that can cause failure to thrive in a dog.

In the meantime, I do know that Tess would sometimes eat some of her food if I put chicken broth on it. Not the broth with onions in it, just plain chicken broth.

When a dog feels too sick to eat, there isn’t much you can do to tempt them unfortunately.

I hope that Maia gets better, as Tess did. I am so sorry you have to go through this with her. Sending you my best, most heartfelt wishes.

Unfortunately for us Maia has never done well with chicken, she loves it and eats it but it gives her diarrhea and seems to mess up her over all health. We did blood work again and her liver enzymes decreased by 30% which is great! Her actual health though is not so good so that is bad. We can get her to eat which is good, but the food control is not great salmon, ham(boiled a few times to remove the salt), breaded cauliflower, Mac and cheese. Whatever we can get her to eat. It’s crazy! We have her booked with a chiropractor to check her nerve function and we are ready to get prednisone going if it is ibd. We are working closely with our vet daily, she currently is on metronidazole and amoxicillin and gabapentin. Thursday I thought we were going to lose her and she has rallied. I hate optimism as I don’t do well with a broken heart but I am hoping for the best right now. She is on 2 billion probiotic per day as well. Every bite of food I can get into her I think, ok 1 more day at least. If I have to spend all day hand feeding her, I will. She is finally sleeping and twitching a little less! She is going up and down stairs ok, not great but ok and she is no longer falling over. We are far from out of the woods but I have seen some small improvements. Thank you all for your words, encouragement, advice and stories of what you have gone through. It is tremendous to me how kind you are. Thank you for taking some time out of your day and trying to help! We so appreciate it. Mai Mai means the entire world to us and every word, suggestion, or story we take into account and thank you so much for being such a loving wonderful community. With lock down and a sick pup we feel quite overwhelmed, so thank you!

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