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Discussion Starter #1
For the last year my 12 yo collie has eaten barely enough to stay alive. I honestly don't know how she IS still alive. She does have severe osteoarthritis but taking vet prescribed supplements and pain medication for it and while a little unsteady on her feet at times, she gets around pretty well.

She's been to our veterinarian several times this past year. Two full blood works and chem panels show her to be in excellent internal health -- go figure, how can that be??!! And nothing else of note to be concerned for. The last of these were just 6 weeks ago. My vet has also tried everything she knows to entice her appetite but nothing has worked. I have exhausted every trick in the book, from blogs, dog sites, vet sites, friends, nothing has worked or if it did, only once or twice was I successful. It has been a very weary and exhausting year for me. She otherwise does seem fine. I don't know how with such little nutrition.

Has anyone gone thru this? Did you find anything that worked? Please, please share.

Thank you all so much,
Very weary dog mom.
 

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Have you tried organs, boiled and added to her kibble? Also heard of people grinding freeze dried liver into powder and coating the kibble with it.
 

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Dog with poor appetite? Pain meds vs. Turmeric & CBD oil.

Hi @shanshan

Watching your beloved dog not want to eat and then losing so much weight must be soooooo hard on you. Especially since it is such a mystery and the vets cannot tell you what is going on with her. Sigh. So sorry. I hope you figure it out soon!

You said the vet has done bloodwork, etc and found nothing. What about requesting an ultrasound? Have you guys done one of these yet?

Maybe the pain meds are causing your dog to not have an appetite?
That can sure happen with dog and humans. Maybe talk to your vet about that and trying a different pain med.

Or try Turmeric for pain!!

At my house we use Turmeric as a fabulous safe natural pain reliever for our dogs. I buy the loose turmeric powder (not capsules!) at our local grocery store in the naturals section, and then I put it into a recipe called "Turmeric Golden Paste" which I cook up about every 2-3 weeks and store in fridge.

I then put the correct "dose" of the Turmeric paste into my dog's food and mix it in with some extra yummy food like chicken or chicken soup or meat bites, livers, etc. And I also mix in a spoonful of plain yogurt to soothe the stomach along with the turmeric paste. For my lil 15 lb chihuahua Sparky I use a tiny dose of about 1/8 tsp per meal for example.

Or try CBD oil for pain! Or both Turmeric and CBD oil.


I used the turmeric paste recently in conjunction with CBD oil for my lil Sparky dog when he needed serious pain meds for his surgery. The vet wanted to give us traditional vet pain meds, I said no thanks because of potential unwanted side effects.

So I used my own home cooked Turmeric GP and gave Sparky a few drops of legitimate CBD oil under his tongue instead for the pain after his surgery.

Guess what?? The next day with these two natural "meds" he was prancing about our parking lot at work wanting to say hi to people. He should have been in serious pain and sleeping all day, right? Our vet was very surprised to hear how well it worked. No vet pain meds needed for us! Yeah! And he actually healed super fast with this combo every day (given twice a day) and he is actually a senior dog, so even more astounding to me.

If you are interested in the Turmeric paste recipe that I use, let me know and I will post it here.

It is said that Turmeric is a fantastic pain and inflammation reliever. Curcumin is a key chemical in turmeric. Claims: Reduces pain, inflammation and stiffness related to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA); treats bursitis. Known as a cleansing agent, turmeric often is used as a digestive aid in India.

About CBD oil.....

**** Also if anyone wants to try CBD oil for their dogs PLEASE do your homework and buy only legitimate CBD oil from a reputable place. There is a ton of bogus CBD oil out there as it is an unregulated product. We paid about $70 for a very small bottle with a dropper. We only give it under the dog's tongue, (not on top of food!!) as I was advised that it works best under the tongue.

PS. I am not a vet or a doctor, so please do your own research before you try these natural remedies or any other remedies! I just know I had very good results with these two things with my dog! And the best part? No bad side effects!!!!:)

Best to you guys. Hope this helps a lil bit:)
 

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If she will eat anything, like freshly cooked hamburger and cheese, give her that, to try to control the weight loss. You can worry about nutrition later. The immediate goal is to control weight loss and get her used to eating again, then work on nutrition for her.
 

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If she will eat anything, like freshly cooked hamburger and cheese, give her that, to try to control the weight loss. You can worry about nutrition later. The immediate goal is to control weight loss and get her used to eating again, then work on nutrition for her.
I was assuming from the original post that they had tried using super delicious foods to try to entice her to eat. Am I mistaken, shanshan?

@shanshan, have you tried tons of different types of foods as well as extra delicious foods like Laco mentioned like freshly cooked hamburger or cheese or cooked chicken livers and gizzards or homemade chicken soup, or like @Littlefox suggested "organs, boiled and added to her kibble? Also heard of people grinding freeze dried liver into powder and coating the kibble with it."

Also have you tried using different bowls or plates to feed your dog? Sometimes this can make a big difference emotionally to a dog that has eating issues. Even something as random as a dog's ID tag hitting the bowl can make a dog not want to eat from a bowl as the sound can bother them as it hits the bowl.

Will she eat out of your hand if you hand feed her? Sometimes this really helps my dogs to re-start normal eating habits after feeling sick or emotionally off or stressed.

I just did this hand feeding with my Puma the other day for one meal, and the next day she resumed normal eating. (Puma's refusing/reluctance to eat was due to hormonal issues, plus meds issues, plus schedule change stress due to my mom being in the hospital)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your posts! Yes, I have tried everything from the super delicious food to feeding from my hand, different bowls, even a different location. All these things have helped at times, but not permanently. I was just beginning to increase turmeric intake when my vet put her on pain meds then stopped. Maybe I should start that up again. Somehow my gut tells me that tradition pain meds is not for her and I agonize over the fact that there may be something out there for her but don't know what. Plus have read that nsaids take a hit to the liver and kidneys.

I am happy to report that nature has informed my Shannon that she MUST eat and last night and this morning ate very well. Unfortunately, these moments don't last.

AthenaLove, I just checked her records for the last year and the only ultrasound that was done was for the bladder which fortunately came out negative for anything. We've done many x-rays and other things but only found arthritic areas and some hip dysplasia.

I have not tried CBD oil. I was afraid to go there but AthenaLove, you are the second person to tell me of the change in your dog from this, not including online testimonies. Perhaps I will check with the lady at work whom I do trust and ask where she buys hers from. If I do get this, do you know if it would be okay to administer along with the pain meds just till I (hopefully) see a difference, then stop the pain meds? I will research this myself, just, if you happen to know, please share. Thanks.

Shannon's Mom
 

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If her blood work is normal, and X-rays and ultra sounds, show nothing unusual, then my guess would be she may feel nauseated, which makes it very difficult, if not impossible to eat. Have your tried some anti-nausea medication, like Cerenia? When ours was sick, possible salmonella, Cerenia worked quite well for her. Another possibility, is she drinking an adequate amount of water. If she is dehydrated, that can lead to a lot of cascading problems and symptoms. If you haven't already explored all this, I would sure have a conversation with your Vet. Sure wish you luck, I know how difficult it is to see them in distress and not know how to help them.
 

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What we will do to help our beloved dogs in sickness and pain

If her blood work is normal, and X-rays and ultra sounds, show nothing unusual, then my guess would be she may feel nauseated, which makes it very difficult, if not impossible to eat.


Another possibility, is she drinking an adequate amount of water. If she is dehydrated, that can lead to a lot of cascading problems and symptoms.
Good points, @Laco. Nausea and dehydration issues can surely make you or your dog feel like absolute crap, and hence not want to eat.

When my Athena was going through all her weird eating issues with the pancreatitis (and probably some form of stomach cancer) she certainly was nauseated, and we did try giving her the Cerenia but that did not help her at that point. We even tried a tiny, tiny dose of morphine (from the vet, of course!!) to try to assuage the nausea. Didn't really help either. But again, this was towards the end. So I finally went to a holistic vet on the constant advice (pressure) of my friend. That was a horrible decision as well for its own reasons which I will not get into here. Poor Athena.

Anyway, I finally as a last resort decided to try some actual marijuana for my dog, as there was no CBD oil at that time. It was an odd/difficult decision for me, because I have never done any illegal drugs in my life and I was age 50 at the time and still have abstained. So basically my first drug experience would be for my dog!

But..... I was trying to comfort my dog/heal her in any way because I had to try to control the nausea in an effort for her to want to be able to eat on her own. And I had tried almost everything under the sun to help her.

So my friend (same holistic vet referral friend) brought home some marijuana and we went into her garage with a blanket making like a tent over our sweet dog and she very gently and slowly blew the smoke near her. It was such a weird experience. Very heartbreaking as I knew this was probably going to be my last attempt to help her as I (and the vets) had run out of options. My vet (not the holistic vet) at the time actually told me he thought the marijuana/pot was worth a try to help curb her nausea!

Anyway I prayed (and cried) hoping this would work and help her. We only got to do it that once, as we lost her very soon after that, perhaps a few days later.

Athena was my soulmate dog of my life
and it brings tears to my eyes as I write and recall those ultra hard days of trying to help her in anyway imaginable.

Maybe if CBD oil was around at that time it may have helped her? Who really knows. Sure as heck would have been a lot easier to use than that "other" weird experiment in my friend's garage.

I certainly would have tried the CBD oil if it was available!!


What we will do to help our beloved dogs, right????
 

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Maybe find a balanced vet that practices traditional and natural medicine

I was just beginning to increase turmeric intake when my vet put her on pain meds then stopped. Maybe I should start that up again. Somehow my gut tells me that tradition pain meds is not for her and I agonize over the fact that there may be something out there for her but don't know what. Plus have read that nsaids take a hit to the liver and kidneys.

AthenaLove, I just checked her records for the last year and the only ultrasound that was done was for the bladder which fortunately came out negative for anything.

I have not tried CBD oil. I was afraid to go there but AthenaLove, you are the second person to tell me of the change in your dog from this, not including online testimonies. Perhaps I will check with the lady at work whom I do trust and ask where she buys hers from.

If I do get this, do you know if it would be okay to administer along with the pain meds just till I (hopefully) see a difference, then stop the pain meds?
Shannon's Mom
Hi again shanshan,

I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to respond to your question, but honestly I was hoping someone else here would respond and have a good answer for you on this question of:

"If I do get this, do you know if it would be okay to administer along with the pain meds just till I (hopefully) see a difference, then stop the pain meds?"

I would think it would be ok to combine traditional vet pain meds with legitamate CBD oil, but I am not really qualified to tell you. Is your vet open to natural alternatives like CBD and Turmeric? Maybe speak to them about your concerns about the NSAIDs and negatively affecting the liver/kidney. This is a legitimate concern and you should certainly ask your vet.

If your vet doesn't want to or refuses to talk to you about alternatives maybe see if there is a vet in your area that is a balanced vet, where they practice both traditional medicine and natural remedies/homeopathy. They do exist.

I personally would ask your vet about using the CBD oil/Turmeric combo regimen for your dog's pain/arthritis/etc. Especially since you are familiar with using the Turmeric already and you have a trusted friend who can maybe help you to buy authentic CBD oil.

Never buy CBD oil from head shop type place or flea market setting, etc. If it is cheaply priced, I would be very leery. There is a lot of fake CBD oil out there as it is an unregulated market.

As far as the ultrasounds go, does your vet recommend any other scans beside the bladder? What about a stomach ultrasound? I am surprised that your vet cannot find anything wrong to cause this odd eating problem/huge weight loss. Could it be thyroid related?

If it were me and my dog, I would probably seek out a second opinion from another vet. Which sounds like a bunch more moolah...grrrr. Sorry, I know going to the vet is so stressful and expensive, or at least I feel that way.

***How is your dog doing today? Eating better? I sure hope so!!!

Please updates us, ok?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I am so elated, Shannon has been eating very well since Friday!!! This did happen once before this past year, she ate real good for 3 weeks then stopped. It has caused her to have a few poo accidents in the house but I don't care, she's eating, that's what counts!!!

Her water intake has always been very good, thank goodness I haven't had to worry about that. As far as nausea, there is nothing to indicate that she is but how would one know? She never vomits and if I happen to hit upon something that strikes her fancy at that particular moment, she will eat it with gusto and ask for more. This, after turning down other food. I think she is just being spoiled and picky but to the point of losing this much weight? I have read where a dog will not starve itself but have my doubts at times with her.

Laco, I see you are from So. Cal. I grew up in Newport Beach. Miss it. Where you at?

Poor Athena, sounds like my last cat who went through similar. I am so very sorry for what you endured and can honestly say, I know the pain of what you went thru. I have been there many times with my babies! It is every bit as painful as losing a human loved one and no one can tell me different.

I would give anything to have a holistic vet nearby, here in SE Wisconsin, they don't exist. Have thought for years I would prefer one. Actually, AthenaLove, I would be curious to know why that turned out to be a mistake for you if you don't mind sharing. I did express my concerns to my vet about the NSAIDS and they do understand. He said that if she seems to be doing okay I can try to take her off for awhile. Plus he said that every 6 months he wants to recheck her blood work as this will tell him if there is any problem with the NSAIDs as well as just see how she is doing. I am surprised overall that they aren't more concerned about the weight loss. I haven't worked up the courage to ask him about the CDB oil.

I've considered the second opinion thing myself. She is still eating good right now fortunately. I hope it lasts. For some reason Taste of the Wild can dog food has hit the spot real big this past week. If she stops eating again and before her next appointment for blood work, I may decide to check with another vet. As far as traditional vets go, he does seem pretty okay, though.

Pray with me that she keeps eating like this! Thank you!
Shannon's mom
 

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The horrible holistic vet visit with my soulmate dog Athena

Hi again!

I am sooooo completely happy to hear that your dog Shannon is eating well again! That is fantastic news! I will hope for continued success for both of you!

Thank you for your kind words about Athena. I am sorry about your kitty. It was so incredibly difficult for me. I tired everything to heal her or just make her feel better. In fact, ironically, that is how I originally found this forum! I was so desperate for answers after several vets couldn't really figure it out, that I went online to begin studying her symptoms and see if I could find any info to help us.

As for the holistic vet disaster....

First off, I am not at all knocking any vets at all, holistic or otherwise. Everyone is different.
And this holistic vet came highly recommended to me. Maybe we just had a horrible experience. Who knows?
Would I try another holistic vet in the future? Probably so.

Anyway, it was a very cold winter day. I had to close my shop(all day-so no income) to drive way across town to this holistic vet. I made an appt bc I wanted to be sure Athena would be seen. I told them on phone that Athena was diagnosed with severe pancreatitis and possibly something like stomach cancer, and that she was throwing up (bile only) every few hours. She HAD to eat at certain intervals or she would throw up again which was dangerous for her. I was carefully home cooking all her food at this point and hand feeding her. And I was journaling every bite she ate, every time she threw up, every med the vets threw at her, everything about this medical "journey" or whatever you call it.

The holistic vet was super, super "busy" that day and kept us waiting for ever. They left my poor Athena to lay on the freezing cold tile floor with no blanket offered. For hours while they ran around trying to help other clients. Grrrr. I had emphatically told them I needed to be seen at my appt time (or close to it) so I could time her food intake, and thus prevent the vomiting. Well because they went over by hours, she indeed threw up again in their office...and they then seem annoyed! Whaaaaat??

The main reason I went there was to ask a zillion questions from an "expert" so I could stop guessing about what to feed her/what to medicate her with.
I wanted some holistic meds to soothe her stomach, stop the vomiting.

I carefully wrote all my questions down in order of importance. Well basically the vet answered the first few-- and then in the middle of me asking my questions, she left the room. Again. She would come in for a moment, then leave. We were left alone for a crazy amount of time waiting, so I finally left the room and asked the front desk people what happened. Ohhh, blablabla.

The tech finally came in, left agin, came back later, and read the bloodwork test results instead of the vet. "Sorry, Vet was busy" was his answer. But I wanted to see the actual vet----that is who I was paying the big bucks for and had lost my whole days income for--- while my poor sweet dog lay on a cold hard miserable floor for hours. Sigh. I think I cried for a long time after that appointment. It was dark out when we left for our trek home. And I hate driving in the dark, especially across town in areas that are unfamiliar to me. And my significant other was out of town, to boot. Sigh.

Our experience that terrible day? No real answers, more heartbreaking throw up, poor customer service, lots of money gone, inhumane treatment on that cold floor, but mostly----NO HOPE.

Sorry to be a total bummer with this post. You asked. I wasn't going to mention the reasons, but what the hell? It happened. It didn't have to bet that way at all. They should have seen us, run the bloodwork, answered my questions, and then sent my very sick, sweet beyond belief, Athena dog home to our cozy warm home. Not kept her for hours on a bare cold tile floor. Who does that, especially to a sick dog?

Brings tears to my eyes as I think about how Athena suffered in her illness, but was so incredibly graceful every moment. And loving. Gosh I loved that dog, may she rest in peace.

Sending only healing thoughts and continued healthy happy eating to your beloved Shannon. You both deserve it. I can tell you love your dog like I love my Athena and all my dogs.
 

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Well, I am so elated, Shannon has been eating very well since Friday!!! This did happen once before this past year, she ate real good for 3 weeks then stopped. It has caused her to have a few poo accidents in the house but I don't care, she's eating, that's what counts!!!

Her water intake has always been very good, thank goodness I haven't had to worry about that. As far as nausea, there is nothing to indicate that she is but how would one know? She never vomits and if I happen to hit upon something that strikes her fancy at that particular moment, she will eat it with gusto and ask for more. This, after turning down other food. I think she is just being spoiled and picky but to the point of losing this much weight? I have read where a dog will not starve itself but have my doubts at times with her.

Laco, I see you are from So. Cal. I grew up in Newport Beach. Miss it. Where you at?

Poor Athena, sounds like my last cat who went through similar. I am so very sorry for what you endured and can honestly say, I know the pain of what you went thru. I have been there many times with my babies! It is every bit as painful as losing a human loved one and no one can tell me different.

I would give anything to have a holistic vet nearby, here in SE Wisconsin, they don't exist. Have thought for years I would prefer one. Actually, AthenaLove, I would be curious to know why that turned out to be a mistake for you if you don't mind sharing. I did express my concerns to my vet about the NSAIDS and they do understand. He said that if she seems to be doing okay I can try to take her off for awhile. Plus he said that every 6 months he wants to recheck her blood work as this will tell him if there is any problem with the NSAIDs as well as just see how she is doing. I am surprised overall that they aren't more concerned about the weight loss. I haven't worked up the courage to ask him about the CDB oil.

I've considered the second opinion thing myself. She is still eating good right now fortunately. I hope it lasts. For some reason Taste of the Wild can dog food has hit the spot real big this past week. If she stops eating again and before her next appointment for blood work, I may decide to check with another vet. As far as traditional vets go, he does seem pretty okay, though.

Pray with me that she keeps eating like this! Thank you!
Shannon's mom



So glad she is doing better, certainly hope it lasts. As long as she is eating, drinking and eliminating ok, she should be ok.


I really know how you feel, both the helplessness when they are not doing well, and the feeling of relief and satisfaction when they do better. We have really been though it with ours this past year. She, just about a year ago, could barely walk or move and was crying in pain. Our Vet concluded it was neurological and sent us to a neurology center in Tustin. She was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder, that caused her immune system to attack her central nervous system. She was put on huge doses of medication, including steroids, and suffered from both the disease and the horrible side effects from all the medication. I am happy to report, that at her annual neurological checkup, last month, her neurologist said she was in full remission. We still give her small doses of maintenance medication, and most likely will for the rest of her life, but right now she is doing quite well. I only lay all this out, so you can see that when I say, I completely understand what you are going through, I really do, and have been though some of that with ours too.
 

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Nutrition

I think nutrition is probably the right avenue. There are a number of products that have shown to assist in helping out with disease/serious conditions with dogs like yours. I've used Buddy Custard and the nutritional benefits have been impactful for my pup. Something to think about.
 

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Does anyone know how soon grinding up dry kibble with water to make a paste will cause a break down of it's nutritional value? Couldn't find anything online about this.

Long story short, after a week Shannon quit eating again but have since found that she will let me feed her with an oral dosing syringe. First thing come to mind was some sort of tooth or mouth problem but vet checked, nothing. Okay, so we feed her this way, definitely not hassle-free, but hey, she eats! She will let me feed her anything with the syringes so everything goes in the tube, food, supplements, vitamins, turmeric, etc. long as I can get it pureed enough to go thru the hole.

Right now I puree only enough that she will consume in a 24 hour period. If I could go for a larger batch that would help but my concern is the nutritional break down. Tried switching to can but with dry kibble as the base and pumpkin I've been able to keep her from diarrhea.

Shannon's mom.
 

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Somehow over the last dozen days or so I missed the last 4 replies! I'm so sorry, I guess you have to actually log in to see new posts. I didn't think you had to.

AthenaLove, my heart absolutely broke reading your experience with that vet and with precious Athena. And the fact that it took me so long to see it makes it worse. Good gosh, my vet always has rubber mats and a ton of large towels on hand. That was indeed a bad experience!! You and Athena should have never been treated that way I don't care how busy they are!!! I do certainly hope that that is an isolated instance and not something that happens often out there in the world. I'm just sorry it happened to you and Athena. That was difficult to keep the eyes dry when I read "Gosh I loved that dog, may she rest in peace." I KNOW that cry of the heart for it has been my own in the past.

My Cady (cat similar to Athena's condition) started throwing up alot too. I believe now after reading your post that it was probably her pancreas as they found out later, she only had about 10 percent of it left. I saw the x-ray.

Thank you for sharing you heart AthenaLove. I am so sorry I missed the posts. Until I actually logged in just now, I did not see them.

Shannon's Mom
 

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Laco, your situation sounds very similar almost identical to the terrier of an engineer I sit next to at work! She is just barely two years old. Glad to hear that something is keeping your little one as well as can be and that she is in remission. Let us hope it stays that way. Yes, I see that you do understand. It is helpful to share and I thank you!

Shannon's mon
 

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Dog Mom87,

Thank you for sharing this! I just looked up their website and was all aboard with it, especially since my collie prefers cold and frozen to room temperature or heated food. Well, it must be great stuff because I went to order and they are currently out of stock.

Again, thank you for sharing this as Shannon loves ice cream and I don't like giving her that with the sugars but believe this will be a great substitute I may be able to switch to.

Shannon's mom
 
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