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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 5455
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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My dog is not eating and seems very sad, She is about 11

Customer Question

My dog is not eating and seems very sad
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: She is about 11 years old and very active. I noticed thus morning and evening that she isn't interested in her food and inactive. I tried to give her a snack, which she always flips over, but she turned away
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Dog Specialists generally expect a deposit of about $19 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Good afternoon. I am so very sorry to hear that your girl is not well. Can you give me some additional info on your situation?

1) How long has her refusal of food been going on?
2) How long has her inactivity been happening?
3) Are you seeing any vomiting or diarrhea?
4) When was the last time that blood work was performed on her?
5) Any medical history of illness?

This information will help me to best assist you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
She started refusing to eat this morning, a well ad the inactivity. No diarrhea or vomiting. No blood work lately and a history of back issues
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Is she currently on any medications?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No meds
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. I am working on typing out a response for you. It will take me about 20 minutes.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Especially in the case of the older dog, we become concerned when lethargy and refusal to eat starts. Without additional symptoms, it becomes difficult to know what might be causing it but we're always concerned about underlying medical problems. In her case, this could all point to her past history with back issues.

It would be most useful to have her seen by a veterinarian to have a physical performed, lab work obtained and also x-rays, if needed. There is a comprehensive link here that shares many of the concerns that we focus on in senior dogs who aren't eating and are lethargic:

Failing this, you can try some of the following procedures at home to see if she feels better over the next few days. If her symptoms persist, she needs to be seen for diagnostics.

As I mentioned above, it's possible that her history of back issues could be contributing. It's not uncommon for dogs who have spinal pain to also battle nausea, which would not only give her a reason to be inactive but also to refuse food. You can try giving her small amounts of chicken or turkey baby food with no added onion or garlic in the ingredients. Alternatively, you can also boil some skinless, boneless chicken breast with water and white or brown rice until it's mushy. Both of these are good choices for a dog who might have some tenderness in their abdomen and need a more bland diet.

You can also provide a dose of a medication to help settle her stomach, should this be part of the reason she's feeling unwell. You can find that dosing information here:

Not knowing whether or not her back could be contributing, it would not be a bad idea to limit her access to any elevated surfaces such as the couch or bed, that she may wish to sleep on. A more ideal location would be to have her stay entirely on a flat surface such as the floor or in a kennel, if you cannot prevent her from jumping on elevated surfaces. This type of rest for the back can allow a strain or pulled muscle to heal enough to possibly prevent medical intervention. It is, unfortunately, very common for dogs with back issues to reinjure themselves with activity (even just normal activity).

If my answer has helped you, please take the time to leave positive feedback for me. This is the only way that I am compensated for my time. Your satisfaction is my focus, so if I can answer other questions you might have on this topic don't hesitate to reply and I will help you further.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?