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Senior Dog Has Become A Picky Eater & Losing Weight

Published on: October 29, 2022 • By: hurkychels_15 · In Forum: Dogs
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hurkychels_15
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October 29, 2022 at 12:08am
Hello, vets! Our senior dog, Bubbles has become a very picky eater leading him to lose weight. He is no longer interested in wet food. We’ve tried many things to get him interested again. The only thing he will eat is spam / Vienna sausages. He will eat those like a savage. Does anyone have recommendations on things we can feed him (that are soft) and healthier? We know Spam & Vienna sausages aren’t the best, but it’s the only thing he will eat. He drinks water and has a lively personality. Just turning his nose up to wet food.
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
October 29, 2022 at 12:28am
Hello, and I wonder if you might be barking up the wrong tree, so to speak.  If I normally have boring, brown breakfast cereal flakes for breakfast and I wake up not hungry, or even with a slight tummy ache, I might well decide to turn my nose up at the brown flakes.  But say my husband has made a special effort and gone out for fresh croissants.  Well, I'm still not hungry / still have a tummy ache, but I can smell those croissants..... oh, Go on then, I suppose if he's twisting my arm....
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
October 29, 2022 at 12:32am
The same happens for dogs.  Even if they are not hungry / slightly nauseous, they still have a strong drive to eat tastey, highly flavoured, warm, wet, food.  So if your dog isnt up for good quality dog food, trying chicken or, indeed, Spam and Vienna sausages, might encourage them more.  I can see that its been working for you - to an extent....
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
October 29, 2022 at 12:40am
However, from a vets' perspective, the question ought to be:  why is the dog declining food all of a sudden?   (Tutu once said that rather than pulling bodies out of the river, we should go upstream and find out why they're falling in).  If the dog has pancreatitis for example, feeding fatty food is practically the worst approach because fatty food could make pancreatitis worse in the medium term, even if the dog does eat the fatty food in the short term.   Similar problems could be encountered with liver or bilary disease.
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
October 29, 2022 at 12:51am
So, rather than concentrating on the immediate problem in front of you (my dog won't eat the food - lets try tastier, more tempting food) there is a great case here for going upriver - and working out why Bubbles is refusing his food in the first place.   This does, I'm afraid, often require a veterinary examination and tests.  It could be that Bubbles has liver disease, kidney disease, gastritis, pancreatitis, a tumour,  or some other cause of nausea.  Pancreatitis, for example, can be quite treatable.  Another possibility is pain (this is actually what puts pancreatitis patients off their food, but alternatively there could also be spinal pain, or dental pain, for example).
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
October 29, 2022 at 12:58am
So to finally get round to answering your question:  cooked chicken without bones is warm, moist, low fat, nutritious and may encourage a dog to eat.  But - we would actually reccommend finding out why Bubbles doesnt want to eat, because it could be that theres some more serious underlying cause, that could be treated more effectively by your veterinary surgeon, for example with appropriate pain relief.   Please do let us know what happens next.
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
October 29, 2022 at 01:03am
I have never met a dog that is a picky eater to such an extent that weight moves off them.   Usually, there is some cause - it may just be a challenge to pinpoint.
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Pawrulz
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November 16, 2022 at 10:38am
I feed my dog this drools chicken and egg dry food - https://pawrulz.com/drools-chicken-and-egg-dry-food-puppy-dog-dry-food/
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