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Picky Eating? Or... Something Else? Please Help.


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Hello Everyone,

 

First of all - I apologize for the long post. I want to get as much detail out there as I can in effort to get some insightful advice from other fellow Greyhound Lovers. A couple of weeks ago, our 5-year old male greyhound started to refuse his food. He has never been one to go completely crazy over food - but this was different in that he was completely refusing to eat and walking away when he heard me going to get his bowl ready.

 

We have tried everything including:

  • Switching bags of food (in case there was something wrong with the current bag)
  • Putting a topper on his food (canned food, etc.)
  • Wetting food down with warm water
  • Heating up the food in the microwave
  • Taking food away after 15 minutes and trying again at the next feeding
  • Adding cheese sprinkled on top of his food

Occasionally, one of the above would work; however, it was hit or miss. Sometimes he'd eat a little bit if it was mixed with the right ingredient, sometimes he'd eat a treat, sometimes nothing. For a bit, I figured he was just being a picky eater; however, going more than 1-2 meals did not seem to be just that. Then, over the course of a few days they only thing he would eat was chicken / beef with rice. Please note, he has not lost any weight and is at a healthy 79.5 lbs, no diarrhea, energy level normal - still loves "walkies," etc. Nonetheless, we brought him into the veterinarian on 3/25/2019 as I also noticed that due to his decreased appetite he also wasn’t drinking as much (but was still drinking). The vet completed a full blood chemistry panel, CBC and Urine Analysis.

 

The results to be noted were as follows (everything else looked fairly normal):

  • Slightly elevated Creatinine (2.0 mg/dL) – although this greyhound has always had a somewhat “higher” Creatinine level.
  • Elevated BUN (35 mg/dL)
  • Specific Urine Gravity >1.050, Clarity Clear, pH 7.0

Given his decreased water intake prior to the urine test, the vet felt as though the urine gravity wasn’t overly remarkable. We also completed an SDMA and he is well within the ideal reference range at 9µg/dL – no indication of kidney or renal failure. Provided the results of the labs, and the facts that our greyhound is acting otherwise normal, we were not able to derive a conclusion as to what may be going on. The vet opted to treat with doxycycline twice per day to see if he starts to feel better, indicating he may have some bacterial infection in his digestive system.

 

Following administration of the Doxycycline, our greyhound started eating well (1 – 1.25 cups of kibble mixed with chicken and/or boiled beef) twice per day for subsequent three days. In addition, his water intake went back to normal. Then just last night and this morning his appetite was diminishing again. This morning, the only thing he would eat is the beef. He pushes the kibble away with his nose. I would typically let him go hungry but with the antibiotic I wanted to be sure to get something in his tummy so that he doesn’t end up getting nauseous.

 

My questions for the group are:

  • Do you think he is just being picky now that he has gotten chicken and beef? It seems like an abrupt halt on the kibble and he used to eat that just fine.
  • Do you have any other thoughts, given his labs, of what may be going on?
  • Any recommendations of what to feed him?
  • Any other advice? I am at my wits end trying to figure this guy out – and I think he knows it 😊

 

Thank you in advance for your help!

Kashi

OWNER OF "KEEPER INTREPID" & "WIND AS WITNESS"

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OK, I've been there before 3 or 4 times, and twice with it being the start of Chronic Renal Failure with varying survival times from 4 weeks to 18 months post dx.

I, think for whatever reason, your dog may be feeling nauseous and so an anti-nausea medication could be given. He may have a very sore gut with spasms, so something like Buscopan could help. What's underlying could be a parasite burden, or it may be something more sinister which only special tests can reveal.

 

One other 'obvious' thing comes to mind: When you are feeding the boiled chicken, you really must remove the fatty skin from it, lest it trigger Pancreatitis?

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Check the ingredients on the food to see if there have been any changes. An unannounced formula changed caused my girl to go picky which then caused a whole chain of other issues.

If he’s been on the same food for a while it is completely possible that he doesn’t like it any more. Is there a different flavor of the same product line you could try?

Lila goes though phases where she won’t eat from her bowl, but will greedily eat the same meal off a paper plate. She’s a weirdo, but it’s worth a try.

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What are his teeth like? I just adopted a girl from the Canidrome. They say she is in the beginning of kidney disease that's why she is being so picky. Kidney food tastes terrible.

 

But her teeth were HORRIBLE. We did a dental, she lost 24 teeth and now eats like there's no tomorrow. Even that crappy kidney diet food.

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OK, I've been there before 3 or 4 times, and twice with it being the start of Chronic Renal Failure with varying survival times from 4 weeks to 18 months post dx.

I, think for whatever reason, your dog may be feeling nauseous and so an anti-nausea medication could be given. He may have a very sore gut with spasms, so something like Buscopan could help. What's underlying could be a parasite burden, or it may be something more sinister which only special tests can reveal.

 

One other 'obvious' thing comes to mind: When you are feeding the boiled chicken, you really must remove the fatty skin from it, lest it trigger Pancreatitis?

 

Thank you for the insight. The vet was pretty confident this isn't renal failure at this point based on his other labs (SDMA was normal, no anemia, no weight loss, not drinking an excessive amount). Do you have a recommendation on what special tests could / should be run to confirm anything else? I will look into the Buscopan (I have never heard of this before).

 

I am removing the fat skin from the chicken. We did run labs to ensure pancreatitis was not occurring, unfortunately his actual lab work isn't telling us very much as everything seems to be "okay." He WILL eat, just won't eat what I offer. Usually, the go-to ends on beef and/or chicken.

OWNER OF "KEEPER INTREPID" & "WIND AS WITNESS"

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Check the ingredients on the food to see if there have been any changes. An unannounced formula changed caused my girl to go picky which then caused a whole chain of other issues.

If he’s been on the same food for a while it is completely possible that he doesn’t like it any more. Is there a different flavor of the same product line you could try?

Lila goes though phases where she won’t eat from her bowl, but will greedily eat the same meal off a paper plate. She’s a weirdo, but it’s worth a try.

 

I checked on the dog food that we are currently feeding (Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food) and it has recently undergone a packaging change but I confirmed that none of the ingredients have changed. I have tried a few different options and occasionally he will show interest and eat a few bites; but then after a bit will walk away and turn it down. It is very sporadic.

What are his teeth like? I just adopted a girl from the Canidrome. They say she is in the beginning of kidney disease that's why she is being so picky. Kidney food tastes terrible.

 

But her teeth were HORRIBLE. We did a dental, she lost 24 teeth and now eats like there's no tomorrow. Even that crappy kidney diet food.

 

Congratulations on getting a new girl! That's awesome. His teeth are actually PERFECT and brushed often. He has no issues with that area, and I did have the vet check that out on Monday (just to be sure). I am so confused with this guy... sometimes he'll eat, and other times not. But lately, he seems to be more than uninterested.

OWNER OF "KEEPER INTREPID" & "WIND AS WITNESS"

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Feed a bland diet of hamburger and rice for about a week and then add a bit of kibble (tablespoon) and increase very slowly but, before adding the kibble in, change the kibble that you are using ... maybe go to something like ProPlan shredded beef formula

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Here is the Complete Urine Analysis Lab Result:

This was a mid-day urine sample, taken around 3:30 PM - was given a meal prior to the lab around 2:00 PM; however, water intake for the previous 24 hours was noted to be decreased (which could directly impact the urine analysis results).

  • Collection: Free Catch
  • Color: Dark Yellow
  • Clarity: Clear
  • Specific Gravity: >1.050
  • pH: 7.0
  • LEU: 25 Leu/µL
  • PRO: 30 mg/dL
  • GLU: Negative
  • KET: Negative
  • UBG: 8 mg/dL
  • BIL: 3 mg/dL
  • BLD: 10 Ery/µL
Edited by GreyhoundGuru87

OWNER OF "KEEPER INTREPID" & "WIND AS WITNESS"

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He just might not be hungry. Maybe for him his current weight is too heavy for him. Stop trying to feed him so much. Sometimes less is best.

also, doxycycline usually does their tummy in. there are other antibiotics that will not have such strong effects on the stomach. dare i say second opinion and maybe recommend a week of plain boiled chicken and rice? you can cook an entire chicken(cut it up and remove the skin) in a stock pot of rice. debone the chicken and the stuff is amazing. no dog seems to turn their nose up to home made chicken and rice. just shred or chop the chicken, mix in and nuke for a tad prior to serving. when he is hungry he will eat, i am not recommending probiotics or pecid ac, but doxy is pretty strong stuff. generally to clean up the cut it's FLAGYL or TYLAN powder prescribed here in the states.

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When was his last fecal test done? I would suspect some sort of parasite infestation or giardia.

 

 

He just might not be hungry. Maybe for him his current weight is too heavy for him. Stop trying to feed him so much. Sometimes less is best.

 

 

also, doxycycline usually does their tummy in. there are other antibiotics that will not have such strong effects on the stomach. dare i say second opinion and maybe recommend a week of plain boiled chicken and rice? you can cook an entire chicken(cut it up and remove the skin) in a stock pot of rice. debone the chicken and the stuff is amazing. no dog seems to turn their nose up to home made chicken and rice. just shred or chop the chicken, mix in and nuke for a tad prior to serving. when he is hungry he will eat, i am not recommending probiotics or pecid ac, but doxy is pretty strong stuff. generally to clean up the cut it's FLAGYL or TYLAN powder prescribed here in the states.

 

 

Thank you to everyone for their insight(s). Overall, he seems to be doing better this past day. He still does not want to eat in the mornings; however, by about 10 AM, he seems to get his appetite back for the most part. Yesterday, he gobbled down his usual amount of food but did not really want anything to eat until mid-afternoon.

 

He did have a fecal exam in January and everything was good but we are planning to run another one at his follow-up appointment in a week just to be sure. One thing noted by "tbhounds" may be spot on... we do notice that when he reaches his "top / ideal" weight he does seem to taper his eating quite a bit. I have never had a dog that self regulated so this would be new to me!

 

Cleptogrey - I actually do have him taking a probiotic as I know how hard Antibiotics can be on their system. I will ask the vet about the other medication options - I am not 100% sure why doxycycline was chosen. I am hesitant to go to another vet as this in particular knows our grey's history and works directly with the adoption agency that we got him from. However, I really appreciate your insights... all of the advice counts and is helpful!

Edited by GreyhoundGuru87

OWNER OF "KEEPER INTREPID" & "WIND AS WITNESS"

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Renny does something similar this time of year, not being interested on his meals or only eating part and leaving the rest. (He's 80lb but I can count every single rib on him, wish I could put a couple pounds on him!) Anyway, after much testing and trial and error over the last two years we've chalked it up to some unspecific seasonal allergy that exists spring and summer. Fall and winter he has no issue and inhales his food (but still gains no weight. Weirdo). Maybe something similar is going on here?

 

Renny is an extremely food motivated hound, making his lack of appetite all the more puzzling. This may sound dumb, but we've actually trained him that he'll get a cookie if he finishes his meal. We walk over, very obviously check his bowl, exclaim, "good boy!!!!!!" in the most excited voice we can, and loudly drop a cookie in the metal bowl. If he doesn't eat, we hold up the cookie for him to see, tell him to finish his dinner, and then wait (and sometimes walk away and come back a few minutes later). Why the cookie is oh-so-much-better, I'll never know, but it works and I've stopped questioning it lol

 

We've tried Pepcid, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Prednisone with no effect (the last one landed him an emergency vet visit after plummeting 9lb in as many days, please be very careful if your vet suggests this because some greys are sensitive). This year, since it's now started up again I'm giving benadryl a go, which just might be working but is still early days. Crossing my fingers it works, but the cookie method makes a good backup! :D

 

Edit: I should mention that Renny also has a bit of a cough/sniffle to go with it which pointed us down the allergy route. That may not be applicable here though

Edited by KellyandKris216
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Renny does something similar this time of year, not being interested on his meals or only eating part and leaving the rest. (He's 80lb but I can count every single rib on him, wish I could put a couple pounds on him!) Anyway, after much testing and trial and error over the last two years we've chalked it up to some unspecific seasonal allergy that exists spring and summer. Fall and winter he has no issue and inhales his food (but still gains no weight. Weirdo). Maybe something similar is going on here?

 

Renny is an extremely food motivated hound, making his lack of appetite all the more puzzling. This may sound dumb, but we've actually trained him that he'll get a cookie if he finishes his meal. We walk over, very obviously check his bowl, exclaim, "good boy!!!!!!" in the most excited voice we can, and loudly drop a cookie in the metal bowl. If he doesn't eat, we hold up the cookie for him to see, tell him to finish his dinner, and then wait (and sometimes walk away and come back a few minutes later). Why the cookie is oh-so-much-better, I'll never know, but it works and I've stopped questioning it lol

 

We've tried Pepcid, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Prednisone with no effect (the last one landed him an emergency vet visit after plummeting 9lb in as many days, please be very careful if your vet suggests this because some greys are sensitive). This year, since it's now started up again I'm giving benadryl a go, which just might be working but is still early days. Crossing my fingers it works, but the cookie method makes a good backup! :D

 

Edit: I should mention that Renny also has a bit of a cough/sniffle to go with it which pointed us down the allergy route. That may not be applicable here though

 

 

If you don't mind my asking - how long does Remy usually act like this in the Springtime? We were wondering about allergy-related or seasonal behavior as well. I have tried the "cookie after dinner" thing but he hasn't quite picked up on it as well as I had hoped. He is currently taking a Pepcid daily (20 mg). He doesn't have a cough or anything but we do notice that his eating does seem to go with the season sometimes.

OWNER OF "KEEPER INTREPID" & "WIND AS WITNESS"

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If you don't mind my asking - how long does Remy usually act like this in the Springtime? We were wondering about allergy-related or seasonal behavior as well. I have tried the "cookie after dinner" thing but he hasn't quite picked up on it as well as I had hoped. He is currently taking a Pepcid daily (20 mg). He doesn't have a cough or anything but we do notice that his eating does seem to go with the season sometimes.

Before the cookie discovery, it was pretty much a battle all spring and summer. We had to mix increasingly elaborate things into his food to get him to eat it, and even then he'd turn up his nose sometimes. Now we're back down to kibble, a squirt of salmon oil, a probiotic capsule, and some water. The cookies he gets aren't even anything fancy, they're literally just Trader Joe's peanut butter dog cookies.

 

It took a while to establish the cookie routine since we had to "capture" the behavior of him eating all his meal first. Once Renny kinda started to understand what we were trying for, we brought our other pup into the fold (he's a vacuum cleaner), and would clank the cookie in his bowl and then look over at Renny's bowl. Well, Renny also happens to be a very jealous dog and figured out what was going on right quick! He's cookie motivated, but even moreso when Indy gets a cookie!

 

I've heard some greys lose interest in eating once it gets hot outside; depending on where you are maybe this could be a factor? Here in VA it's still oscillating between cold and semi-warm, but I've heard places like Phoenix have hit 90 already.

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