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Discussion Starter #1
We just adopted a female 10 month old Chihuahua/Papillon mix two days ago. This puppy broke both of her front legs before we got her. She has support plates in her legs that will be removed in January. On top of this, she's underweight. At 8 pounds, all of her ribs and spine are very pronounced. She looks emaciated!

Right now, I'm feeding her 1/8 cup Fromm mixed with 1/16 cup water (so it's soft enough for her to eat). I'm doing this 3-4 times a day.

I feel like she should be getting more, but my boyfriend says no. He says that free-feeding would do more damage to her ? because she wouldn't stop eating until she hurt herself.

Is he right? Should I be feeding her like he says (which I've been doing) or a different way? Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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Lots of dogs free feed. Sometimes they'll eat too much and have a weight problem, but there's not really anything negative about setting out a set amount of food and letting her eat it as she sees fit.

The only reason(s) I don't free feed are because I have too many dogs (have to monitor so no one is stealing) and they're all food hounds anyway so the food is gone pretty quick. ;)

You're still only feeding her about half a cup a day....I'd up the amount a little bit, maybe add another 1/8th to 1/4th a cup daily, or add in some higher calorie options like wet food or even the food rolls you can buy in the pet store.

As long as you watch her weight and slow down with the food/extras once she hits a good weight, she should be fine.


She's adorable, by the way! Such a lucky pup :)
 

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I agree that upping the amount is needed. My dog is 8.6lbs, is at his ideal weight, and has a moderate activity level. He gets, counting wet food, around 1/2 cup of food a day, and between 16 to 20 calories worth of treats a day. Going by that, and the fact that your girl is underweight at 8 lbs, it sounds like she needs a bit of a larger portion size.

I have my boy on a feeding schedule, he gets most of his kibble in the morning and evening, with a small amount at lunch, and a bit before bed. If I gave him the whole portion in the morning he'd have it finished in a minute (not exaggerating), if I just kept his bowl filled and let him eat till he had enough I'm pretty sure he would not self regulate and be 20 lbs by the end of the month. One of his goals in life is to resemble a blip.

One word of advice, keep a good eye on her weight, small dogs tend to gain weight fast and you will not be doing her any favors if you let her get fat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
We've upped her intake to 1/4 cup dry food, mixed with 1/8 cup warm water, 4 times a day. I know that's a bit much for such a small dog, but she's underweight/malnourished right now. You can feel and see every rib and vertebrae.

And I'm able to coax her into drinking about 2 ounces of liquid each time she eats. But I'm just worried that she's not getting enough fluids. I have to mix low-sodium chicken broth into her water or she won't drink it at all. Does the water I'm mixing into her food count towards her liquid intake?
 

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Liquid intake is liquid intake, however dry food increases their need for liquids. If she is peeing a decent amount at reasonable intervals, she is probably ok, but it couldn't hurt to have your Vet check her hydration level.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Liquid intake is liquid intake, however dry food increases their need for liquids. If she is peeing a decent amount at reasonable intervals, she is probably ok, but it couldn't hurt to have your Vet check her hydration level.
Thank you very much. The vet has already looked at her and said she has kennel cough. I just worry about Lilith. She's so tiny!

The vet prescribed cough meds and Scalawaggles (where we adopted Lilith from, a Non-Profit Pet Rescue) is giving us the meds for free.

And the attached picture is of Lilith and her mommy, my daughter Echo.
 

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Oh, she's so darn cute :)

I believe that humidity helps with kennel cough - either a humidifier or having her hang out in a bathroom with a hot shower for awhile. It might help to clear out her lungs/airways a bit.

Definitely make sure she's getting plenty of fluids as she'll need them to fight off the virus. If you suspect dehydration at all give the vet a call.

Best of luck to the both of you. I'm sure she'll pull out just fine!
 

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That kennel cough is really hard on them. When we adopted Samantha, she had kennel cough, and for the first 10 days or more, my wife and I took shifts at night to sit up with her. She was really sick, but she did get through it, and so did we.
 

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Thank you all for the advice and support. She's been given antibiotics now. From what I've been told, this should help her kick that cough within the next two or three days. Yay! And Echo is going to take her into the bathroom next time she showers.

I'll keep you all informed on her progress.
 

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Update: Lilith is doing so much better now!

The kennel cough sounds better, now that she's been on her antibiotics. The cough is almost gone, after only 1½ days!

We figured out why she hasn't been eating all that much. She hates dry food! We bought some canned food and Lilith is going to town on it! 1¼ cans a day, which is great because of the malnutrition.

Getting Lilith to drink liquids is a nightmare though. We've tried a bowl, plate, cup, syringe... Nothing! Then we found out from the woman that was fostering her that she hates water dishes. So now we have a rabbit water bottle (what she was trained on) and we're hoping it will solve the problem. Cross your fingers for us!
 

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As she gets more comfortable in her new environment, you could try adding a little kibble to her soft food. Our Vet wants Samantha to have small quantities of kibble for her oral health. She always eats her meat, veggies and fruit first, but then goes after the kibble. As far as water, whatever you have to do to insure she gets enough water, you don't want her getting dehydrated. Again as she becomes more comfortable, she may use a water bowl, time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
OMG! The antibiotics have absolutely kicked little Lilith's ass. They made her quit eating and drinking, and when we got food/water into her, she would vomit it all out! And she's been lethargic since day one of the pills.

I know that she's supposed to take the full ten days of them, but she's just not doing good at all. So, after four days of pills, I took her off of them. Before everyone freaks out on me, I already know! I know.

But she's eaten today. And she drank today. There's no coughing. But she's still not moving about much.

I'm not telling my daughter, but I'm scared. My last dog, three years ago, was acting like this when we found out he had parvo and had to put him down. The only thing keeping me (somewhat) sane is that Lilith doesn't have foul smelling diarrhea. She's constipated.

I'm losing my mind here! Can someone please tell me it's all going to be okay?
 

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Did you tell the vet what was going on when she was on the antibiotic?
 

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Did you tell the vet what was going on when she was on the antibiotic?
Yes. The vet said that she'd put Lilith on a very strong antibiotic (minocycline 100mg 2xdaily), the only one she'd ever seen really work. She wasn't surprised that it was giving Lilith problems.

I told her that I was taking Lilith off of it, per my daughter's request (Lilith is her dog). The vet gave the pros and cons of this decision. Ultimately, she said that if the kennel cough came back, I needed to have Lilith finish the rest of the meds.
 

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I'm surprised that y'all were not given Cerenia, it's an anti nausea medicine. My vet prescribed it for my boy the last time I had to give him an antibiotic. The interesting thing with Zody was that he was taking the antibiotic because he had some sort of stomach bug that had him so nauseated he was throwing up everything he ate or drank. Then the antibiotic went and made him nauseated on top of that.

If you do have to put her back on the medicine ask about the Cerenia, it seemed to do the trick with Zody, and he was able to finish his antibiotic. Kennel cough is usually mild, sort of like us getting a cold, but it can go into pneumonia, so keep a good eye on her!

Oh, about the constipation, give her a tablespoon or two of 100% pure canned pumpkin, it should help. Just be prepared for her stool to be orange tinged from the pumpkin! Didn't know if you've ever fed pumpkin, and didn't want you to be shocked at the color of the stool LOL.

I really doubt it's parvo, I'd lean more towards the kennel cough throwing her for a loop with all she's been through so far. If she had an owner in the past that got her vaccinated, she's likely still got immunity to parvo. To set your mind at ease you could ask your vet to test for it.
 

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Update: Lilith is doing fabulous! In just a couple of days without the antibiotics, she is so much better!

She's eating 2/3 cup of canned food from me. Kangaroo seems to be her absolute favorite. Plus, she's digging into the dry food occasionally.

She'll only drink the water if I mix in milk. A teaspoon of milk per 1/4 cup of water seems to do, so I'm not terribly worried. Plus it's helping her go potty. Not to mention that there is no more fighting drinking the liquids!

She's bouncing all around the living room too! She has an abundance of energy now. Now if I could just keep her from chewing on the fuzzies!

I'm feeling so much better about her. It seems like this HUGE boulder has been lifted from my shoulders.
 
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