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Question
Posted by: Lia | 2011/02/07

Dog not ill but refuses to eat???

I really need some advice. My 8 year old cross boxer staffie does not want to eat.

This all started two weeks ago when her friend (my basset hound died of tickbite fever). The two dogs were extremely close and his death has made her very depressed. Since then she refuses to eat her dry dog food.

I took her to the vet on Friday and he says that her health is fine and there is nothing wrong with her. She''''ll eat a bit of meat from the table but I am hesitant to give her too much food scraps from my table as I am scared I will spoil her to the point where she refuses dog food.

The vet suggested I stop all treats and snacks from the table and only leave her dry food out. He recons she will eat if she is hungry. All sounds good, but the problem is she is beginning to loose condition. She is becoming very thin and I can see her shaking when having to do something physical such as going for a walk or getting into the car for a drive which she usually loves. She has never been a playful dog but is now very depressed and sleeps most of the time.

I am wat wits end, I love her so much but cannot stand seeing her wither away like this. Why is she doing this to herself? Please, any advice would do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Lia, what a distressing situation to have!

I do agree with your vet about the eating, but did he perhaps prescribe any medication to help her cope, this may help.

Personally I would get hold of somebody that does Tellington TTouch. This modality is wonderful for lessening stress and I have used it extensively in helping dog with depression.

What is also important is your own reaction to her. Although you are feeling sorry for her and are concerned about her, the more you act this way towards her, the more she will keep on with the same behaviour.

When you act in your 'old' way, she may relax more. I would also try to get her out for walks and perhaps to meet other dogs, or just to have some fun games-ball throwing, chasing each other around the garden, in fact anything that the dog loved before.

Another option is to consider getting another dog, but this does not always help. If you do get another dog, remember to teach the dogs to be independant and not be with each other 24/7 and then this situation wont happen again.

Good luck and do let me know how it goes, thanks Scotty

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/02/07

Hi Lia, what a distressing situation to have!

I do agree with your vet about the eating, but did he perhaps prescribe any medication to help her cope, this may help.

Personally I would get hold of somebody that does Tellington TTouch. This modality is wonderful for lessening stress and I have used it extensively in helping dog with depression.

What is also important is your own reaction to her. Although you are feeling sorry for her and are concerned about her, the more you act this way towards her, the more she will keep on with the same behaviour.

When you act in your 'old' way, she may relax more. I would also try to get her out for walks and perhaps to meet other dogs, or just to have some fun games-ball throwing, chasing each other around the garden, in fact anything that the dog loved before.

Another option is to consider getting another dog, but this does not always help. If you do get another dog, remember to teach the dogs to be independant and not be with each other 24/7 and then this situation wont happen again.

Good luck and do let me know how it goes, thanks Scotty

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