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Waning Appetite


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I need some advice for my senior boy who doesn't seem to want to eat anymore. Nico will be 12 years old in August. His medical issues include Laryngeal Paralysis and some LS/hind end weakness. He also had a soft tissue cancer removed from his old old fractured right hock area 4-5 years ago. For years we fed him Nutro Ultra and he always had a healthy appetite. Intermittantly he had the occasional bout of diarrhea which would resolve with boiled chicken and rice, pumpkin, Flagyl and the like. Over time, these incidents became more and more frequent and every time we put him back on the Ultra, he would get diarrhea.


We finally put him on boiled chicken and rice and did a salivary sensitivity test. Apparently everything we were giving him, he was sensitive to! So, basically, he can eat beef and lamb. Even chicken showed some sensivity, although he does fine with the boiled chicken. At long last, we found limited ingredient beef kibble and limited ingredient lamb. We boiled chicken breast and cooked hamburger, mixed it with rice, put in the kibble, made a gravy and a dollop of pumpkin on top. His poops were perfect, his coat improved (less shedding) and I swear, his farts weren't as smelly!


He's been doing so well for the last 6 months. Slowly, he began to turn up his nose at the food. We are switching off between beef kibble and lamb kibble. I was told the Stella and Chewy's dehydrated lamb was like "doggy crack", so I've been crumbling it on top. I even shredded a tiny bit of cheese on top. He's only eating about 1 meal a day (a little over 2 cups). We weighed him last week at the vets and he's down from his usual 81 lbs to 75.8 lbs.


I'm stressed because I don't know if he's just sick of the same old food or if there's something medically wrong, or if this is simply old age (and the beginning of the end, God forbid).


I could use some help and any advice you can share. Thanks.

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My hounds are also approaching 12yo (Baby turns 12 tomorrow, and Riley in December). Riley's always been a bit picky, but usually only when his tummy is bothering him. I've noticed both are losing weight and getting picky on their foods. But Riley's teeth are deteriorating, and is a probable cause for his symptoms. Baby's appetite isn't waning, but she's been losing weight.

So ... if your pup is otherwise healthy (don't forget to check those TEETH), try some different toppers. Softer kibble might be needed (so just add more broth). I'm finding Riley prefers slightly warmed food (again, indicating a mouth issue). Add some Ensure (generic is fine ... vanilla higher calorie version is safest). Try some peanut butter snack cups to add calories in between meals (I give kongs when I leave the house, but will also give an occasional "peanut butter to go cup", watching the frequency to avoid causing problems that would lead to pancreatitis from too much fat).


My dogs LOVE Stella & Chewy's ... but they started turning away from the Duck flavor (also the beef ). the Chicken flavor is a staple in my house, as is the Rabbit .... both crumble nicely (beef can sometimes be 'hard').


Try rotisserie chicken to get some stronger flavor on the chx ... its a go-to for me as well.


good luck!

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Have the vet do some new blood work to check Kidney and Liver function. I hope it isn't failure of either, but if you know then you can stop that awful second-guessing about food and take steps to improve and preserve quality of life.

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See this thread re: Stella & Chewy's recall

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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