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Grey Refusing To Eat. Help!


Guest Chiad
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Four year old, neutered male, retired racer (retired over two years ago).

 

Time line:

Oct 31 am: Two episodes of vomiting. Not interested in food. Vomit consisted of bile and grass. Bowel movements normal.

Nov 1: three more episodes of vomiting. ate perhaps 1/5 regular amount of food. Possibly ate some of the cat's food. Booked vet visit. Bowel movements normal, although very small.

Nov 2: No vomit. Visible weight loss (more ribs showing) Appointment with vet. Bloods all in normal ranges. IV fluids for the day. Vet had no further ideas or suggestions.

Nov 3: No vomit. No interest in food or water. Force-fed combination electrolyte solution mixed with canned food. Got perhaps two cups into him over the course of the day. Very concerned about weight loss now. Almost all ribs showing, other signs of weight loss.

Nov 4: Drank on his own. Ate roughly 1/2 cup of food in pm. No interest in any of his favourite foods/treats, or any of the "upset stomach" foods (rice/boiled meat, ect.) I have to leave for a funeral, leaving him with good friends with a small essay on things to do/watch for. Bowel movements normal.

Nov 5: reported by friends: ate several cups of food over the day, drank on his own, bowel movements normal.

Nov 6 am: Ate and drank in am. Managed to eat some grass while outside (friend turned his back for a moment), 2x vomit in house. Food and grass. I returned mid-day. Refused to eat anything substantial since (is now Nov 6, pm) He ate a small piece of roast (size of the first joint of my thumb) with apparent enthusiasm but refused to eat any more of it, or anything else since.

 

I've had him for about a year and a half now, this is the first time he's had any heath problems or refused to eat. I'm running out of money, ideas, and sanity. I can't afford to miss any more days of work for him (already missed one and a half) or I'll lose my job. He has basically no subcutaneous body fat left, and I've tried offering him everything I can think of, from his favourite treats, through kibble and raw diet, to the most tempting foods in the world. No interest in and active avoidance of all things offered.

 

Has anyone here run into anything like this with a Grey before? Any suggestions? Got a hotline to a deity for a miracle cure? Anything?! He's wasting away in front of me and I can't seem to help him!

Edited by Chiad
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Guest karma98104

Wow, I'm so sorry I don't have anything helpful to say. There has to be some health issue not yet found that is causing this :( Try a different vet. Contact the group that you adopted him from to see if they have any insight. Could it be a tick borne disease that your vet may not be familiar with? GOOD LUCK and I'm sure you'll get some great advice here in a bit..

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I'm sure you'll get some better (and more pertinent) replies than this, but in the interim, you might check out some similar, previous discussions on the subject:

 

 

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php?showtopic=170759&hl

 

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php?showtopic=137879&hl

 

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php?showtopic=131583&hl

 

 

 

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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Two words for you - Second Opinion!

 

 

Has he been back to the vet since that first visit? Has he had urine tests? Any investigations like ultrasound/x-ray/physical exam of mouth and throat under sedation? If your vet has no clue and no suggestions, go see another vet ASAP. Maybe people on here can help you find a recommended greyhound vet locally to you, if you let us know which area you're in.

 

If a second vet visit throws nothing new up, go for a specialist referral.

 

In the meantime, here are my thoughts and questions.

 

How active is he? Is he keen to exercise normally - does he run - does he play?

 

What does he normally eat? Could he have swallowed or eaten something he shouldn't, like cooked bone, pieces of plastic, toxic plants, anything? Does this happen more after high fat meals or treats, or certain types of food?

 

Has he been wormed lately?

 

I'm guessing you're in the US somewhere, so it might be worth getting a tick borne disease (TBD) panel done - even if you're not in an area where they are endemic. These dogs have often travelled a long way during their lives and TBDs can lie dormant for a long time.

 

It sounds to me as if his stomach is uncomfortable - that's a common reason for them to eat grass and refuse food. It could be anything from a foreign body in his stomach which isn't passing along (people on GT have reported things like socks being vomited back up weeks later) through a metabolic disorder like kidney disease or pancreatitis, to cancer or parasitic disease or chronic infection, etc. so you need to get a diagnosis.

 

I think personally at this stage, I'd skip the local second opinion and go straight for the vet school referral. But that's me. I've left it too late once and that is enough for me. :(

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Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest longdogs

No simple advice. Something is badly wrong and greys tend to lose condition quickly. He really needs an immediate referral to a specialist. As an alternative, is there any charitable pet hospital you can take him to? I wouldn't wait because he's most probably going to get worse.

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Guest wmlcml6

HE's not eating because he doesn't feel good and knows it will make him feel worse. I just went through a similar situation with a 6 month old pup. It turned out to be giardia, which didn't show up on the first fecal exam. Get another fecal, and treat with Panacur for three days. I don't think it would hurt to treat with Panacur without a vet confirming it actually, but it would be comforting to know if that's what this is. Once he starts eating, give bland food for a few days (chicken and rice, maybe). I also got Natural Balance tubed food and he ate that like it was a gift from above.

 

http://www.canismajor.com/dog/giardia.html

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I agree with Silverfish---he needs further diagnostic tests performed--such as x-ray's, ultrasound. barium study etc. His health sounds like it's continuing to decline so giving him time has not helped. Do you have an E-vet near you? Most of the e-vets are also referral hospitals--a good way to get a quick appointment is to go in as an emergency then if he's admitted his case can be transfered to internal medicine. I hope he feels better soon :(

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Silverfish:

Has he been back to the vet since that first visit? Has he had urine tests? Any investigations like ultrasound/x-ray/physical exam of mouth and throat under sedation?

Not yet. I thought he was improving on Sunday. Apparently not. I'm going to call tomorrow morning and find out what the hours are at a different clinic in town. Urine was done when bloods were done, results normal. And that was a no-result $300 very unpleasant experience (never going back to that vet!)

 

If a second vet visit throws nothing new up, go for a specialist referral. / vet school referral

The nearest specialist is eight hours away, the nearest vet school, twelve hours. Neither is a trip I can afford to make right now, or I would.

 

Could he have swallowed or eaten something he shouldn't, like cooked bone, pieces of plastic, toxic plants, anything? Does this happen more after high fat meals or treats, or certain types of food?

It is possible that he ate something he shouldn't have, but in the year and a half I've had him he has always very carefully spat out anything that didn't taste or feel like "food". He's not showing any external symptoms of plant toxicity. This is the first bout of refusing to eat I've ever had with him.

 

Has he been wormed lately?

Yup, a month ago. Broad-spectrum.

 

I'm guessing you're in the US somewhere, so it might be worth getting a tick borne disease (TBD) panel done - even if you're not in an area where they are endemic.

Actually, I'm not, I'm in central/northern BC, Canada. While he is from the states, I can not at this time afford a TBD panel. Regardless of if he improves or not, I'm planning to have one done as soon as I can afford it.

 

wmlcml6:

I hope to take him to another vet on the 7th (aka later today when they're actually open, it's 4am local time), and if the vet doesn't propose a fecal, I'll ask for one.

 

tbhounds:

E-vet? As in an emergency vet? All of our vets locally provide emergency services, although none of them are referral hospitals, nor do they have specialists on staff.

Edited by Chiad
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Needs abdominal x-ray/ultrasound at the very least. Unless he's a complete fruitcake at the vet, he shouldn't need to be sedated for that (I'm mentioning because sometimes vets want to sedate for every such test).

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest greytmonty

It sounds like you have limited vet options and money constraints, that makes it harder. He definitely needs a thorough work up, I wish you the best of luck. I am sorry he is going through this.

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After reading your post title I was all ready to give you the "he'll eat when he's hungry" line, cause I'm mean like that. ;) But after reading your post it's clear that something is wrong and him not eating is only a symptom, not the cause of the problem. I agree that the issue needs to be diagnosed and it sounds like his condition is only getting worse. I hope you will be able to figure out what diagnostics he needs with the help of the folks here.

 

Have you tried giving him a Pepcid, then waiting a while and trying to feed him? Just thinking this on the off-chance that it's something like IBD and because of all the bile. On the other hand it could be an obstruction or something like that, but I really hope it's not.

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Before I moved (at the vet I actually liked and respected) we managed to pass a urinary catheter without sedation, and he behaved like an angel for it, so I'm not too concerned about his behaviour at the vets'. (For the first half-year that I had him I was working in a clinic, so he got to come to work with me every day, lots of positive associations for him with veterinary clinics.) I'm quite confident that he won't need to be sedated for rads/ultrasound.

 

Thanks greytmonty, I'm going to talk to my partner once he's awake and see if he can spot me the money for another round at the vets. He already said as much, but he's still in university, so I really feel the need to confirm with him what the financial limits are. After I've talked to him, I'm going to call the vet and see how late they're open, see if I can get him in at lunch or after work.

 

Ola, I haven't tried Pepcid, it's not something I've ever used on a dog before and I wasn't sure of dosage, or of adding any additional interactions to his system while we're still trying to figure things out. I'll discuss it with the vet as soon as I can. Thanks!

 

Burpdog, I wasn't aware of care credit, but as soon as I finish typing, I'm going to go call them. Thanks!

Edited by Chiad
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Sounds like some kind of blockage to me.

 

This might sound stupid, but have you thoroughly checked inside his mouth? I saw a case on the E-Vet TV show once where the dog had a stick lodged in the roof of his mouth, and I believe TWO vets missed it. It was the exact side to wedge between his teeth, and he had dark skin in his mouth, and it was amost impossible to see.

 

Take you 30 seconds to look!

 

Good luck. I feel your pain--


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Thanks for the suggestion JumpingGeorge, but no luck. I ended up checking every inch of his mouth on the day I had to force-feed him. Nothing in there that's not supposed to be. On the up side, gum colour and crt are still good.

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Guest EmilyAnne

I was going to suggest checking his mouth, but I see you already did that. Maybe your grey loses his/her appetite when upset? Maybe your grey senses your being upset? When I myself am upset, I cant eat, and if I try to force it, I do throw up. (not intentionally) You said he likes to eat grass, maybe he'd like some green veggies or fruit as treats? (note: avocados are poisonous! Double check the veggie/fruit to make sure it is not poisonous to be on the safe side)

 

About paying the vet, I myself pretty much ALWAYS have a tab at the vet. I have a lot of history with my vet and they know I do my best and they continue to make sure my pets get the care they need. There is always at least one special need dog in our house.

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Guest charmsmom

Is it possibly a corn cob blockage? That would taste and feel like food, but can be extremely harmful in their intestines because it's indigestible. If you've eaten corn in the last few days, I would explore that option.

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Guest trevdog

I agree on the xray/ultrasound option, he may have a blockage. There's a reason he's not eating. Also might be Giardia. Is he acting normal otherwise? Playful, energetic, however he normally acts? Or is he more mopey and subdued? Stretching, yawning? An increase in stretching could indicate a blockage.

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He needs to be seen by the vet, even if it is a different one.

To me, NOT A VET, it sounds like a blockage of some sort.

For x-rays, we usually pay around $100 for a couple of views. You likely won't need to sedate him for it.

I paid $110 for an ultrasound recently and then paid $300 for a higher resolution ultrasound a couple of days later. Ultrasound prices are going to depend on how good the machine is.... more money for more powerful machines.

 

Is he at least still drinking? I'm not sure if you can give Ensure or the likes to a dog, but I think it shouldn't be an issue if you avoid the chocolate ones. If he's still drinking, I'd see about getting something into him with nutrients besides water for now. Ask the vet when you call to make the apt - the sooner you get him in there, the better.

 

 

 

 

Ryan ate a ball a couple of years ago.

Eight months later he started having issues. Never miss a meal boy still was eating and puking it back up. Then decided it just wasn't worth the effort.

X-ray showed something the vet wanted to look at again in a few days, but didn't feel it was an obstruction. We took blood to do some testing as something was wrong with him, he doesn't turn up a chance to eat. The vet visit was first thing Sat morning, we were in the lobby waiting for the vet to get in.

 

Sunday he came running inside and stood at his food bowl waiting for it to be filled up.

I went outside to see what made this change. The inside of the ball had finally made its way out.

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Guest wmlcml6

Whether your dog has giardia or not, I don't think using panacur for three days is going to hurt him and it's relatively inexpensive. If you cannot afford another vet visit, I personally would give this a try. Not to say you don't need to check for blockage, but if it's giardia, you don't want to wait. What is the consistency of the diarhea? Our pup's was clear/tan, sometimes flecked with a little blood, and almost greasy and liquid form. Very smelly. I wish you the best of luck for your dog.

 

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_panacur.html

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I'd try Panucur too. It doesn't seem to upset the stomach. But how would Chiad get the Panacur in the dog? Maybe wrap it in a couple of meatballs & pill them? I've only used the granules. Is it available in other form? And how soon should Chiad expect to see improvement, if it is Giardia?

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Guest wmlcml6

We saw improvement in just 3 days, maybe sooner. Then he started eating us out of house and home. :-)

 

Panacur comes in liquid form that can be squirted right down the throat. Squirt it in, hold the mouth closed so they can't fling it back out, and blow in the nose to make them swallow.

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Well he's in at the vets right now.

 

I thought he was doing better, he ate and drank eagerly last night. I woke up to barf, called the clinic to get him in today, and he had six episodes of vomiting before I left for work, two more while I was at work, and I took him into the vet on my lunch break.

 

Don't know what I'm going to do if the answer is surgery, but I guess I can't do anything but wait right now.

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