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D'Elle

How much should I worry if Kit doesn't eat breakfast?

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My lovely Kit is now fifteen and seven months old. I am really pleased with how well she is doing, over all. She was starting to show signs of not feeling good, so I took her to our vet a few weeks ago, and she suggested we try Rimadyl. It seems to be doing her some good, because the sparkle is back in her eyes and she is much more enthusiastic (and stronger) at her favorite play, tug.

 

She will reliably eat her dinner, if it is something other than kibble. We rotate through boiled chicken and rice, boiled hamburger and rice, canned dog food for dinner. I put liverwurst in little pieces on it to get her going sometimes, that kind of thing. But often she just won't eat breakfast at all, or won't eat more than half of it, no matter what I offer her.

 

She is thin, although not frighteningly so. I know her activity is pretty low, especially now in the summer months, so that may be part of it, and maybe an older dog just doesn't need to eat as much?

 

Guess I am just wondering if this should worry me or not.

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My old Megan has less appetite in the morning than the evening but she'll usually eat the rest of her breakfast after a walk and maybe an hour or few to digest the first half. In the evening, she usually cleans it all up. Maybe Kit would like it as first breakfast and second breakfast, too?

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Thanks, Sue. Good idea, and I will try second breakfast.

 

Kit has always been such a good dog, and so undemanding, that I want to do whatever I can for her.

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I've had a couple dogs whose metabolisms changed when they got older and they didn't need or want as much food. (I've also got one who's now requiring more food than he did when he was younger.) Hard to say if this is what's going on or not.

 

I like Sue's idea of changing up times and/or offering her food at different times of the day. Maybe she's becoming a Hobbit. Who knows? She may even like to try elevenses. :D

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Well, I will keep trying things. She's lost a few pounds in the past three months or so, so it concerns me. She's still OK but I don't want the weight loss to continue.

 

And while she was eating Satin Balls for a while, now she won't touch them any more, so I don't have that solution.

 

But, if I am home, which I more often am now, I will definitely try offering food at different times of the day.

 

She turns 16 in December. I want to throw her a little "Sweet 16" party. :-)

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I also had an oldie who rarely ate in the morning. Often she'd eat the same meal at noon.

At this age, give her anything she'll eat. I often added scrambled egg with cheese to her regular food, and she loved it!

 

Best of luck. Enjoy the time you have together!

diane

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And while she was eating Satin Balls for a while, now she won't touch them any more, so I don't have that solution.

 

Oh, Tilly, who I lost 2 years ago, went through that, too. She'd just randomly start refusing things she'd been eating regularly before. Sometimes she'd eat whatever it was again after a break of my not offering it, sometimes not. It was very frustrating and I ended up wasting a lot of food because sometimes it was just too much leftover to give the other dogs. I'm a raw feeder, and I even went back to kibble for a while with her because sometimes that's all she'd eat.

 

Yes, the weight loss is worrisome, so I understand feeling the need to get her to eat whatever you can. Have you tried liverwurst? For a while I'd think it with some warm water and mix it in. And I remember someone here posting that some dogs can be enticed to eat canned ravioli with meat. I never got to try it with her because she'd just died when it was posted, but I tried it with a fussy old teacup poodle I was pet sitting and she ate it for a while when she was refusing other food.

 

She turns 16 in December. I want to throw her a little "Sweet 16" party. :-)

 

:wub: :wub: :wub:

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Make her some breakfast! Try some eggs with runny yolk. Even some oatmeal or cream of wheat.

 

We threw Nikko a sweet 16. I went all out. My boyfriend's birthday was the next month, and I didn't do half as much for him as I did for Nikko.

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Today she weighs 41.5 pounds.

She was 44 three months ago, and 42 at the vet office 3 weeks ago.

So, worrisome.

 

She will usually eat some oatmeal at breakfast if I put yogurt on it. And scrambled eggs. But she never finishes all the food I offer her for breakfast.

Today I am going to try offering something during the day.

 

I have tried giving her twice as much for dinner, but then she usually only eats half.

 

I had not thought of changing the meat in the satin balls. (duh).

I am putting pieces of liverwurst on top to get her started.

 

Laura, I like your story of the 16 party you did. I don't have a lot of people who would be likely to come, but no matter how small, I will throw her a party in December.

 

Kit is my sweetheart dog. She came to me at the age of 6, and I have always wished I had had her from a puppy. No one who has met her has failed to love her.

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With Megan, who is on a special diet due to kidney failure, I give her the full, balanced meal at breakfast. What she doen't finish, is available for her to eat later. But for some dogs, a "fresh" meal or something different for second breakfast, brunch, elevensies, or lunch might be more appealing.

 

One friend's dog in kidney failure would eat nothing but pancakes. Almost anything is better than nothing!

 

Very best wishes!

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A couple of things that really helped my old guy before he passed (not age, cancer, but still tempting him to eat was a thing) were actually meat baby food (these are ridiculously expensive) mixed some some Kitten Milk Replacer. Mixed together he'd eat anything they touched so while individually they're pretty costly, I was only using a maybe a few dollars a week. Your vet can also prescribe an appetite stimulate if you're super concerned.


Though honestly by the end Jack had GAINED about 5lbs. He was a picky eater but he quickly learned that we'd give him anything he wanted off our plates and did quite well for himself in sandwich meat, chicken, turkey, steak, and whatever the heck else was there - like cheese puffs. He was, however, *sick* not just old, so it was easier to justify a crappy diet of table scraps.

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Perhaps talk to your vet about mirtazapine? It's an anti depressant medication that has a strong side effect as an appetite stimulant. I used it with my Kipp when he had cancer and it worked really well.

 

Also, I had good success with cat food for both of my dogs who had cancer and less than stellar appetites

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If it was just the picky appetite and the weight was holding steady I'd just change things as everyone else has suggested (lots of great ideas!!!) But with the weight loss I'd be concerned. Rimadyl can cause stomach upset and liver problems. Do you give rimadyl once or twice a day? I'd also be doing bloodwork, urinalysis, and maybe x-rays. My previous Border Collies were very stoic about hiding health issues. It could be she is just losing weight with age, some dogs (and people) do that but I'd be afraid I was missing a problem. Good Luck!!!

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Thanks so much for all of your help, and your good wishes as well.

 

The vet did not do any tests. She said we could do blood work and urinalysis and so on, but she and I decided to try the Rimadyl (twice a day) first. It does seem to help her, in that she has brighter eyes and is more interested in playing tug, and seems a bit stronger when she does.

 

I am not sure if I should have other tests run or not.

She did eat "elevenses" the other day, finishing the other half left from breakfast.

But then, another day she did not. On days I am home I will continue to offer it.

 

I just keep trying things. I always heat up her food so it is warm. This morning breakfast was rice, boiled steak with juice and the fat, and two scrambled eggs, and she ate all of it right away. :)

 

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that combination will always work. And I have found that if she doesn't eat one breakfast, most often she won't eat anything else I offer to her at that time. Sometimes she turns down cooked chicken, or liverwurst, even. I offer her various things at random times of the day, now, as well.

 

I sometimes can give what she doesn't eat to the other 2 dogs for their next meal, but of course food also gets wasted. Not that I care. I just want Kit to eat so she can stick around as long as possible.

 

It's just a guessing game/ gamble every morning....what to try this time. I keep trying to sneak in a little fat, like cooking the eggs in butter or olive oil, keeping all the fat on the meat I cook, so that maybe she maintains her weight. I should try pancakes. I make mine without any wheat, using buckwheat and rice flour, and I put extra eggs in them.

 

If she goes as low as 40 lbs it will be time for more intervention, I think. That is when I will do tests, and might try the mirtazapine if the vet thinks it is a good idea. Unless I decide to do it sooner than that.....

 

Again, thanks for all the support and good ideas. It helps a lot.

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Does she get a Pepcid at bedtime? I had duodenal ulcers as a teenager, and first thing in the morning I was frequently nauseous. AND, whenever I ate something that disagreed with me, I couldn't even look at it without the same nausea. As the day wore on, the nausea would subside.

 

Check with your vet. It might be something to try.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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You might ask about Metacam. That is what my vet prefers for joint type pain. Tommy gets some every day and she is doing great. And she never misses a meal. Never seems nauseous. She runs all over the place even with her arthritis.

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I was giving her Pepcid at night. Did that for a week or two, and it didn't seem to help. When I took her to the vet, she said that she wouldn't recommend pepcid, because you don't know if it is nausea or something else that is causing her not to eat breakfast.

 

I may have hit on a formula that will work...at least, as long as it works. Meat, rice, 2 scrambled eggs for breakfast. Yesterday and today she ate all of that right away. I am now just hoping that it continues to work for her.

 

Dinner, I still don't think she is eating quite enough, but she eats some. Usually canned dog food.

I don't want to feed her eggs for dinner, too....afraid that might be too many eggs.

 

Here's a question: I am looking for inexpensive but good meat for her in the stores, Often I can get beef or chicken on sale, and that's fine. But pork is usually even cheaper. I never have seen pork listed as an ingredient in any dog food. So I have always assumed that pork is not good for dogs, but have never actually read or heard that said. Anyone know about this?

 

These days Kit won't eat any kibble at all no matter what I top it with, but that's ok.

Really, at this point I will feed her anything that she wants, no matter what it is, as long as it is nutritious and not bad for her. It's just finding the right thing that is a challenge.

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4health brand dog food has a pork formula dog food. And as a raw feeder I feed pork in my regular rotation of meats.

 

I think there's a lingering bias against pork for dogs because of it's past association with parasites. But commercially raised pork in the US has no more risk of parasites than meat from other species these days. Plus, fully cooking the pork always destroyed the parasites anyway (this is the reason pork is usually well done, even over-cooked and not served more rare. It's not because it tastes better that way; it was just safer. Freezing for a time will also destroy parasites.

 

One thing I'd suggest though would be to make sure she's getting enough calcium. That can be a challenge when we're putting together odd mixtures of whatever we can get a sick or elderly dog to eat. But the consequences can be severe. If we don't get enough calcium, over time the body will start to draw it from our own bones (same with dogs) to meet its other needs.

 

One way you could add some extra calcium (other than the obvious dairy products) is adding ground eggshells. Raw feeders will use 1/2 tsp. for each approx. 14.2 oz. of meat (odd amount as I converted this from metric) if they're not offering other bones. I think it would roughly apply to what you're feeding, too. Just let the shells dry and grind them finely in a blender or food processor, preferably one with a glass bowl. They'll sand the surface of a plastic bowl, making it look cloudy. No real damage, but it doesn't look great.

 

Another alternative, if she'll eat it, would be to cook chicken backs overnight in a crock pot. Just cover with water and let them cook until the bones become soft and mushy. They're completely edible that way and could be a nice addition to her food as a topping. Hopefully she'll like it. It smells pretty great; I've been tempted to eat it myself when I've made it. You could add veggies or rice right into the crock pot if you wanted to.

 

I'm happy to hear Kit's eating breakfast, at least for the time being. I hope she continues to eat for you. Best wishes for both of you.

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I forgot about kitten chow! I had a sweet little black/white cat who Would Not Eat. Vet told me if I couldn't get some food in her in 48 hours, he would need to force feed her.

 

I tried EVERYTHING. Angel wouldn't even look at any of it. Then I saw a box of Purina Kitten chow on a grocery store shelf, brought some home, and she dove into it. Ate 3/4 or so of kc every day for 3 days, gained her weight back. Then started turning up her nose at the kc and demanded regular kibble.

 

I was re-reading the post and saw the suggestion about kitten milk replacer. Kc might work as well.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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Also fish, if she's into that at all can be great.


I'm not suggesting catfood outright because that can lead to stomach upset for a lot (the milk replacer is usually pretty universally easily tolerated by both cats and dogs) but canned salmon/tuna/sardines/etc can smell to high heaven and really entice picky dogs.

Or turn them off completely, depending.

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Thanks again for the suggestions.

 

Gentle Lake, thanks for the reminder. I have some good quality dog vitamins and also some seaweed calcium designed for dogs who are fed raw, so I will start adding both to her food. 'Course, if she doesn't eat it, they won't benefit her.

 

Today, she would not eat the combo that she ate with gusto yesterday morning. (ack)

But, later on I was cutting up some sirloin ( :rolleyes: ) I had bought for her, intending to cook it, and offered her a raw piece and she ate it. So I gave her a bunch more, and she ate it.

 

So, I didn't cook the meat, cut up and froze it instead, and will offer it to her raw first, can always cook later.

 

If only she would eat the same thing each meal, I would feed her anything. I mean, sirloin isn't cheap, but doesn't cost much more than premium dog food, and I'd rather spend the money on the meat.

 

I may try pork, cooked. Thanks for letting me know that it would be OK.

 

I had not thought of cat food, 'cause I always heard it was bad for dogs and cats to eat each other's food. But I will try a small bit maybe on top to see if it entices her. And thanks for the canned fish idea. worth a try also.

 

I weighed her yesterday and she was back up to 42 lb. So, I'm not as scary-worried as I was.

Even so, I am going to make an appointment and get blood tests run. Just to get a picture of what is going on inside her.

 

Thanks again for all the support. It helps not to be dealing with this alone.

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I had not thought of cat food, 'cause I always heard it was bad for dogs and cats to eat each other's food.

 

AFAIK the problem is when cats are fed dog food, not the other way around. The reason is that cats have nutritional requirements for certain things, especially taurine, that are beyond dogs' need for them, which is why cat food is more expensive than dog food. So if cats are fed a steady diet of dog food they can end up with some significant problems. I don't think the extra taurine would hurt a dog, though you may want to confirm that with your vet to be certain.

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