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I'm hoping someone might have a clue for me based on a similar experience.

My dog is an 11-month-old Italian greyhound. In October and November he had short bouts of GI trouble, we thought from eating something he shouldn't have. He got fluids and meds and was on the mend within a few days.

On 12/22 he ate about half his breakfast, later in the day refused dinner. Also refused treats. He also would not eat on 12/23 and seemed very uncomfortable...noisy stomach, couldn't relax and be still. I took him to the ER vet that day where they discovered a few things: one, he'd apparently hurt his back (pinched a nerve or something similar); two, his ALT (liver enzymes) was about 3x normal; and three, his urine showed a few abnormalities that they said might indicate the start of a UTI. They also took x-rays. They gave him a shot of anti-nausea medicine and a shot of pain reliever for his back.

We began offering boiled chicken at home, which sometimes he would eat and sometimes not. We offered dog food - sometimes he'd eat it, sometimes not. Treats, same story. On Christmas he seemed to perk up a bit - playing, eating a bit better.

12/26 was our follow-up with the regular vet. They performed another urine test which showed elevated bilirubin. The vet thought perhaps the dog needs a "liver diet" or to switch proteins entirely and sent us home with Cerenia tablets and some prescription food. At home I gave the pill and 1/2 hour later the dog vomited - later in the day he had diarrhea a few times. Back to the vet we went for another Cerenia injection and recommendation to withhold food for 24 hours.

12/27 we offered food later in the day and he ate a bit. But it's like someone turned off his little personality. He doesn't play, he doesn't wake us up in the morning, he doesn't get up and ask to go outside (I take him every couple of hours). I called the vet 12/28 and explained all this and they had me bring him back in for fluids and more blood testing. All the blood tests were normal...liver enzymes back to normal, no pain on physical exam, everything normal, normal, normal.

Took him home and he still won't really eat. If I open a fresh can of food he will eat a couple tablespoons. He will lick a bit of peanut butter and take a treat, and he is VERY interested in whatever we are eating but WILL. NOT. eat the dog food. He is also still very lethargic/depressed, not himself, won't play, seems scared a lot of the time.

I feel like I am going crazy being told he is fine and then coming home and feeling like he is dying. I have no idea what could be wrong or what to ask/tell the vet. I would be grateful for any ideas.
 

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google liver diet for dog & you can make your own- I feed my dog the same meat I eat coz she was so small & fussy. She's 4 now & fine. there's some guidelines like remove fat from the meat, give egg whites not yolks, give low fat cheese etc for liver diets.
 

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Thank you - I am wondering if perhaps he is just not into fish (the protein the vet recommended we switch to...he had been eating chicken-based puppy food). But I am also not wanting to switch too many times and give him more GI trouble.

He did a bit better today and ate the food I offered first thing in the a.m...he ate it quite readily and finished what I offered, but would not take a second helping. He is also a bit more "himself" so far, but I would really like to see him eating and drinking more!
 

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You said he was interested your food. Will he eat people food? If so he is being picky. Watch his weight, you want to control weight loss, even if it means feeding him food that may lack some of the nutrition he needs. Once you get him interested in eating, you can focus more on his nutrition. Check with your Vet, but if you let him get too weak, he will lose interest in everything.
 

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You said they did x-rays a while back and tested his blood. What other test has he had? Ultrasound? MRI? CT?

If you're going to your regular vet I'd contact a specialist hospital. Not sure what type of specialist you'd need, but you can ask for advice on that. Clearly something is wrong that needs to be found, he just needs the right person to be able to find it.

Good luck. Please keep us updated.
 

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Thanks all. As an update, I gave up on the prescription food and found something (same protein) that he will devour. I am not sure it is the healthiest option but as someone else said, it is more important to me that he eat as his appearance had started to become alarming (Italian greyhounds do not have much wiggle room when it comes to weight loss!) Personality-wise, he seems a bit better each day. He will now play enthusiastically but is still sleeping a lot, though we had visitors over the holidays and he was quite busy entertaining them. Also not sure I'm the best judge of this as I am overly sensitive to how he's doing.

To answer your questions:

Yes, for a while he would be interested in anything we were eating, even trying to snatch it directly from our plates. I have found a food he likes as I said. The prescription food was a total bust.

Other than the blood tests (done 2x), nothing other than a couple urine tests.

Currently, the issue he seems to be having is trouble urinating first thing in the morning. Normal the rest of the day, but first thing is a struggle. He doesn't cry or yelp but does seem to be straining. I'm in contact with the vet about this as you can imagine.

We have a follow-up appointment tomorrow morning and I may ask for a referral to a specialist if we still don't have answers or even further clues.
 

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he is VERY interested in whatever we are eating but WILL. NOT. eat the dog food. He is also still very lethargic/depressed, not himself, won't play, seems scared a lot of the time.
That's normal, my dog is now almost 1.5 years old, she went through the same phase and a lot of dog owners I know had similar experience with dogs not eating their food and wanting human food instead. They're just like us and like any kids, they're curious and they get bored with their food. Others food always look better and taste better.

I've gone through so many brands including Hills, Pedigree, Fromm, Taste of the Wild, AVP, Nutram, Orijen & Aatu in the past 8 months, but the result is pretty similar. I always feed her dry dog food and every night I would add meat on top. Mostly chicken, some times pork chop or beef. She would just eat the meat and leave the dog food almost untouched. She would only eat a little bit when she's really really hungry. Finally, I thought of a solution, is to give her a bit of cheese powder, and that did the job. So every day, I would add some salmon oil in her kibbles and sprinkle some cheese powder on top. When she finish her meal, I would give her some treats, but only if she ate most of her food. I would also give her fruits afterwards, so she have some natural food rather then all man made. She loves apples, bananas, watermelon and kiwi fruits. She likes oranges too, but it's a bit messy, so I usually just stick with apples and bananas. I've now settled for Aatu, I think she likes it best out of all the others but having said that, without cheese powder, she would still turn her head.

So don't worry too much if he doesn't want to eat his food, most likely he's just bored with it. As long as he's interested in your food, he's good. Start worrying if he has absolutely no interest in any food.

As to his depression, he was sick just a few days ago so maybe that's just an after effect. Give him some time and lots of attention. He'll come around. Just have patient.
 

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Ours, too, went through a phase of not wanting to eat, unless it was our meal time and it came off our table. Switched her all fresh food, all USDA certified for human consumption, and balanced for her nutrition. She loves it, and never turns it down. Our Vet says he can see a definite difference in her since we have taken her off all processed food.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The follow-up was only bloodwork, all liver indicators came back perfectly normal this time (last time they were trending toward normal, now they are perfect).

He is eating well but still a bit picky, and is having occasional diarrhea/loose bowels. However, he is hungry, eating, drinking water, playful, good spirits.

I am wondering if not eating much for several days (and now making up for lost time) has just made his system a little sensitive in the time being. We will of course be calling the vet if it persists.
 

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You could try give him some supplement like Pro-Max. It will help with his digesting. My dog smells and licks everything, she also eat stuff off the street, probably due to her being a stray. A bad habit she developed to survive. Even though, I always keep an close eye, but some times she still gets the better of me. So having a few Pro-Max at home is a must.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Final follow-up - we changed food again to a limited-ingredient turkey-based formula after two days of the i/d digestive health food. This followed an episode of vomiting. Anyway, he is doing great now, not really sure what caused the incident but great to see him gaining weight, eating, and acting himself again.

Thanks all for the input!
 
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