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Older dog going losing appetite..short bowel synd. update 32

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  • Older dog going losing appetite..short bowel synd. update 32

    Vet appt is Monday, but thought I'd throw this out and see if anyone has run into similar.

    9YO Lab. Last bloodwork was done in December. At that time, he had surgery for a perforation of the intestine. Had 30 cm of small intestine removed. Spent several days at MSU. After surgery, we were concerned about short bowel syndrome. Had him on special food for about 6 weeks, then he went back to the food he's been on his whole life. No issues.

    He is normally a food hound. If he doesn't down a bowl in 60 seconds, that would be cause for alarm.

    But over the last 2 mos, he has been kind of off and on about his food. At first, I thought I might have a bad bag, so I got a new one. He ate well one meal, skipped the next, ate well, skipped. He is still quite interested in people food (which he's not allowed) and treats (like carrots).

    It has continued like this for the better part of 2 mos. Last week I noticed that he was taking a bite and chewing it over the kitchen floor. Made me think teeth probs. I didn't see anything funky, gums looked good, but I soaked the kibble in chicken broth and he ate it right up.

    Energy is good, temp is normal, weight is good. No indications of any issues.

    Monday, he's getting bloodwork done, exam, and a dental exam and cleaning.

    Any thoughts though? Maybe just "getting older"??? Everything else seems fine but he can be awfully stoic.
    Last edited by BuddyRoo; Oct. 21, 2012, 09:12 PM.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

  • #2
    Sorry to hear

    I hate to say it, but I would hold off the dental until you get a full exam and abdominal ultrasound.

    When he perforated last year, what was the cause? Unless it was a foreign body (which I know is common in food hounds!), I would be concerned that his current state may be related.



    • Original Poster

      Yep, it was a foreign body--small mammal vertebrae.
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


      • #4
        Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
        Yep, it was a foreign body--small mammal vertebrae.

        Oh jesus, only a lab!

        I'd still recommend an abdominal ultrasound if he's not eating with normal gusto, along with bloodwork before going under an anesthetic for a dental. Absolutley could be the teeth, but normally labs dont even care about chewing


        • Original Poster

          I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that that wasn't his first abdominal surgery for a foreign body. (sarcasm font needed)

          Yep, definitely doing the blood work prior to anesthesia. I will talk to them Monday about the ultrasound. He doesn't seem to be having any discomfort, but like I said, he's pretty stoic.

          In the back of my mind, I keep thinking cancer. I don't know why. Too many years at the clinic perhaps.
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...


          • #6
            Try offering some food by hand. (If he will normally take food from your hand). If he eats it, put the bowl on a raised surface. You can use a stack of books, a cinderblock, a pillow, or a stair. Many older dogs get neck arthritis, and it hurts to bend over so they stop eating (unless it's something REALLY irresistable).


            • Original Poster

              Hmm, didn't think about arthritis. He will eat anything OTHER than his dog food just fine. I can try raising it up.

              Also...as a sidenote, this is causing a SECONDARY problem because my silly standard poodle won't eat unless his buddy is eating so now HE isn't eating regularly either. He's 2 and takes all of his cues from the lab--when to eat, when to sleep, when to play, when to destroy things...etc etc.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


              • #8
                Hahaha....poodle will survive the weekend without much food. I have the SAME scenerio here. Poodle is what Lab does.


                • Original Poster

                  You have a standard? Are they all goofballs? Or just mine? LOL

                  He's a shadow to the lab I tell ya.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                  • #10
                    A Lab not eating? Abdominal ultrasound for peace of mind.


                    • #11
                      My dog did something similiar and was more likely not to eat breakfast. lunch and dinner was eaten with more gusto. he is now on pepcid and doing good.. hoping your lab can and is an easy cure..


                      • #12
                        When my 8 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback lost his appetite for dog food, I tried everything, he never lost his interest in people food, just dog food. In his case, he had an advanced case of lymphoma, and really didn't have much of an appetite but the people food was so much more appetizing than plain old dog kibble. . I would think that during his surgery in December, vets would have detected that, but I wouldn't rule it out.
                        "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                        • #13
                          Try heating his food to bring the aroma UP !

                          I would advise warming his food to bring up the aroma ~ with age senses weaken especially smell and taste ```` ask any grandfather
                          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                          • #14
                            When our bichon/shih tzu lost his appetite he was suffering from kidney failure.


                            • Original Poster

                              I added some canned to the dry last night and of course, that went down in seconds.

                              Texted vet yesterday (she's my neighbor) and she can ultrasound tomorrow if she feels it's necessary. So we shall see. Thanks for the tips.

                              He acts just fine but I'm a little twitchy when it comes to this sort of thing. More than once I've thought something was NQR and kind of been blown off until it got really bad.
                              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                              • #16
                                Kidney blood work would be a good place to start.


                                • #17
                                  Have you tried feeding his normal food from a raised surface? Easy to do, and will tell you a lot.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by tradewind View Post
                                    Kidney blood work would be a good place to start.
                                    Actually, a comprehensive profile would be better If you are going to collect blood for renal values, may as well collect (the same amount) for the rest of the organs


                                    • #19
                                      Oh dear.

                                      Please keep us posted.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        We can do the cbc and chem panel in house tomorrow morning and see where we're at. Crossing fingers. I would really hate for him to be getting sick at any time, but right before a move w/ no established veterinarian at the new place, I'm even more nervous!
                                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...