Posted by: Lia | 2011/02/07

Dog not ill but won't 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 at 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 ImageCyberVet

Did the vet run any tests ?? This could be a simple case of missing her friend or she may be ill . If the tests are normal -then try Nutricalm

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Our users say:
Posted by: ICE | 2011/02/11

I also have a boxer (and she''s not the first one).

Boxer''s are picky eaters and tend to get bored with the same food over and over again (unlike Boerboels and other " good eaters" .)

What work for us is to change foods every few months. Select a few good ones and change back and forth every once in a while (when the dog starts to not want to eat for no reason at all).

Dog foods that we mix and match through the year:
Royal Canin Boxer (only occassionally as its so expensive)
Purina Number 1
Woolworths brand dogfood (the more expensive one not the supermarket-equivalent one).

We also add acceptable " treats"  such as Cé zar dog food to the pellets when she''s a bit down / ill / sulking about something. Like humans, dogs also like a bit (but not too much) of " comfort food"  when they''re unhappy and the Cé zar is at least a healthy treat.

Reply to ICE
Posted by: CyberVet | 2011/02/10

Did the vet run any tests ?? This could be a simple case of missing her friend or she may be ill . If the tests are normal -then try Nutricalm

Reply to CyberVet
Posted by: Chill | 2011/02/08

Excellent suggestion, Ruby, re getting the dog tested for biliary - I should have thought of that. Well done.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Ruby | 2011/02/08

Oh, and consider having her tested for tick bite fever. She may also have been bitten but didn''t get as sick as the other dog. Infected ticks are often in one area. It happened to my friend who had 2 Pointers. One got sick from tick bite and sadly died very rapidly. The other one was just under the weather and only became sick later - fortunately my friend realised what was happening and got her to the vet in time.

Reply to Ruby
Posted by: Ruby | 2011/02/08

Try Rescue Remedy - I''ve used it on my dog who gets completely frantic during thunderstorms, so it might help your dog who is in a very upset state.
Maybe try adding healthy things to your dog''s foodbowl, with the pellets - like a little bit of steamed veggies, or a spoonful of plain yoghurt.

Reply to Ruby
Posted by: Chill | 2011/02/07

Sounds like a very sad scenario.

On the whole, I would tend to agree with your vet, to give the dog no scraps, nothing but dogfood. But on the other hand, it would be very hard to see her wasting away.

So some suggestions here, for you to consider:
1. Go back to the vet and ask him to prescribe a tranquilliser. I think that if she''s pining, then that is stress-related, so if the stress can be dealt with she may come right.
2. Talk to a behaviourist and see if they have any suggestions
3. Consider getting another dog, which may not be precisely what you want at this stage, but even if perhaps a family member has a dog you could borrow for a few days or a week, this would provide not only a distraction, but also some competition for food, which may help to do the trick.

Best of luck - let us know how it goes.

Reply to Chill

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