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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16316
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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His appetite is not good, he's very sluggish, seems to have

Customer Question

His appetite is not good, he's very sluggish, seems to have a sound like snoring while lying down awake. He's 11, but normally very high energy, literally happened almost overnight. Was able to get him to eat some chicken with rice and a little broth, and yesterday he ate a couple little burgers we made him, and some spaghetti. He's drinking his water, and has been going to pee, but not his usual regularity with his bm
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the dog will be able to digest that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Nitro, he's about a 45lb pit mix, as I say, he usually lives up to his name, but has been very mopey since Sun. My son, who is more his daddy recently had a baby(5 months) so he doesn't get as much attention from Jeremy, but he's a people doggie, and still greets people, but he has been lying down after a brief hello, whereas normally he wants as much time as you're willing to give him
JA: Thank you.
Customer: Thank you
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about,?
Customer: He has a little sore on his butt, worried about infection, and his friend Bella always wants to help keep it clean, his left ear appears to be bothering him a little, not scratching at it, or shaking his head, but there's a little discharge. My emails are***@******.*** and***@******.*** in case it doesn't show, thanks so much for your time and concern. Jamie
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 months ago.
Hello & welcome, Jamie. I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help. First, I would note that if Nitro is eating poorly, then a lapse in regular volumes of stool isn’t unexpected (less intake = less output). Furthermore, if his appetite is poor, this will tap his energy resources as well.Now based on the signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns. Common causes for anorexia in the elderly dog would be a brewing gut infection (ie bacteria, viruses, etc), pancreatitis, IBD, cancer, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (hopefully less likely at his age). As well, at his age, we’d also have to be wary of these signs being secondary to a systemic issue like organ dysfunction (ie liver, kidney), metabolic disease, or we can even see them subdued and not want to eat due to pain around the jaw if there is a deep ear infection lurking (since moving the jaw moves the ear which may be sore here). With this all in mind, to start, we can try to rule out and/or address any nausea triggering his signs. To do so, we can consider treating him with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be: Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac), or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. If that gets him more settled, we’d then tempt him to eat. Favorites are allowed and chicken/rice is a good start. Though further to that, I’d note that you can also add boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk) to his rice. Or there are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Though if we try those and he cannot be tempted to eat properly, then we’d need to think about offering or even syringe feeding calorie rich diets like Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet, or even canned puppy food. Alternatively, if he will drink, we can try a liquid diet (ie Clinicare, Dogsure). As well, there are paste supplements (ie Nutrical) that can also be used. And these will all get more in per bite even if we cannot get much in to help boost his energy here. Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue for him (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).Finally, if you are seeing discharge from his ear, you can try gently flushing the ear with warm salt water (1tbsp salt to a pint warm water). This is safe to use in ears (since a lot of medications aren't if the ear drum isn't intact) and can help cleanse discharge and reduce microorganism populations in the ear.Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the anorexia we are seeing. Therefore, in his case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach. If he cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours (since he is older and this has come on quite severely); then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, check that ear, make sure there are no sinister lumps or bumps that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Furthermore, you can have them test a blood sample to make sure his organs are working as they should. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-vomiting medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach, and get him back feeling like himself. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 months ago.
How is everything going with Nitro?Dr. B.