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Discussion Starter #1
We have a very small, very sick, foster dog right now. We've had him for a almost a week and I don't feel like he has any improvement and we are having to force feed him.

The shelter vets diagnosed severe URI, possible kennel cough. He has large amounts of nasal discharge(ranging from normal yellow/light green to very dark) and is extremely skinny. He also appears to have very sensitive eyes? He keeps them shut, but they have no discharge or anything.
He thankfully has normal poop, no vomit or anything, and his pee is normal color.
He has 2 medicines and eye drops.

He ate and drank the first day I had him(weds) none on Thursday, a few licks of baby food on Friday. Friday I bought a syringe and force feed him a jar of baby food and 4onces of water. He does not even attempt to drink water on his own.
Saturday and Sunday same thing(upped the water intake to 10onces)
Yesterday I made Satin Balls, he ate almost a whole severing of one on his own(around 350 calories) Today he didn't want to eat again and I force feed him 2onces of water, and about 150 calories worth of his Satin Ball this morning.

He goes back to the vet on Thursday, once he's done with his medicine. They told me I have to get him to eat and drink, hence the force feeding.

Am I doing the right thing? I don't feel like he has made improvement.... maybe it hasn't been long enough.
Should he be eating on his own yet?
Is there anything I can try?
(I've tried Satin balls, chicken, chick broth, baby food, wet food, microwaving it, cheese.... pretty much everything)

He's so skinny, and clearly does NOT feel good.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I would call the vet today and ask. Poor thing.
I've already called, twice. Friday(when they told me I'm going to have to force feed him) and Monday to update and check on getting a okay to give him Satin balls. They said to continue what I'm doing, and they would check him when he came in.

Large county shelter in TX, they have over 500 dogs and an onsite vet. I don't know how good they are(they mean well) but they only cover vet care if I bring him to the vet there, I will have to pay out of pocket if I take him anywhere else and we can't do that.

More just looking for any experiences anyone else might have had with very sick dogs. I've never fostered one this bad off before.
 

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It's probably not all the URI is the problem. Most new fosters/adoptees are pretty scared and traumatized, so shutting down and refusing to eat isn't unusual in that population. Add in a nasty URI in a tiny dog and you have an utterly miserable dog.

As long as they're aware of what's going on and continue to recommend getting him to eat, keep at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks. Yea, I just have no experience with really sick dogs, neither of ours have ever been this sick.

He has to stay in our bathroom(which is quite large) because we have two other dogs(fully vaccinated and kept separate of course). I just feel awful because I'm just stuffing food and water down his throat. I do a little every few hours, not all at once. We go on a short little walk once it cools off in the evenings. He's pretty peppy once he's out(well compared to his normal, very into sleeping state) but for the most part he sleeps until I wake him up for some water and food.

I'm hoping the satin balls put weight on him, I'm sure its hard for his body to fight off the URI without any nutrition.
 

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My dog slept unless he was outside for weeks after I first got him and he was relatively healthy. It sounds like this little guy is very shut down, and then sick on top of it.
 

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I'd be most concerned to get plenty of fluids in him. Try putting some chicken broth (no salt type) into his water to see if he'll drink that.

The meds may be affecting his appetite because some upset the stomach. Can you call the shelter vet and ask if you can give him an over the counter med for upset tummy, such as Pepcid? I was told to use that by several vets when my JRT was getting chemo and wouldn't eat. It helped. Please consult the vet first though for dosing.
 
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