Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Veterinary Questions
Hello, my name is***** and I'm happy to help answer your question about Molly. How long has she been eating less? Does she have any other signs (vomiting/diarrhea)?
Poor girl. Well there are many possible causes of decreased appetite in dogs. Unfortunately they can't just tell us what's wrong or what hurts, so we have to rely on diagnostic testing to help us figure it out. Does Molly have a veterinarian that she could go see today? They will do a complete physical exam and will likely offer tests such as blood work (to evaluate internal organ function) and imaging (x-rays or ultrasound).
I understand. It can be very hard to distinguish between depression and a true medical cause, however my recommendation is to have her evaluated because you don't want to miss something that could be treated and help her feel better. We definitely see depression in dogs and this can affect appetite, however if it's been going on for a while and she's actively losing weight as a result, she could have something more serious or something treatable going on inside her.
Also, even if it is simply depression or a behavioral change, there are medications your vet could prescribe that would help her feel better during this difficult time.
Great question. Again, this depends a little bit on the underlying cause of her signs. In general I would say you could try offering her a variety of foods (dry foods, canned foods), as well as some home-cooked meals (boiled chicken - boneless/skinless, boiled hamburger, cooked white rice). The home-cooked diets are not intended for long term use but can help in the short-term if she's not wanting to eat her dog food.
I know that finances can be tight. Fortunately veterinarians are very accustomed to working within budgets. Some will also offer payment plans for clients with limited funds - you just have to ask. As long as you're up front and honest about how much money you have to spend, your vet will be able to work out a plan for Molly. :)
Do you have any further questions?
I wish you and Molly the best!