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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2817
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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I have a 5 year old Yorkie that has had Diarrhea

Customer Question

I have a 5 year old Yorkie that has had Diarrhea for about a month. Her Vet has de-wormed her and done some blood work, and everything is fine. Now she is not eating or drinking - unless I give her people food. She doesn't act sick. We are moving and have people coming and going and boxes sitting around. Could all of this be nerves? The Vet is so expensive, I can't afford to be taking her there all the time, but I want to find out what is wrong with her.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Sophie. I'm so sorry she is having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need.
You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY. That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided and are happy to give me a positive rating.
I can just imagine how hectic things must be for you right now with all the activity of movie and especially with having to worry about Sophie being sick. That just makes it worse, and I'm sorry for that.
I've got some good news for you, though, that I hope will give you some peace of mind. Here are my two initial thoughts upon reading your question...
1. Your vet has done a good initial workup and therapeutic trial. It's very reassuring to know a lot of potentially serious problems have been ruled out with the normal blood work, and most of the common problems that will cause these symptoms respond to treatment with deworming and GI diets.
2. Yes, it is completely possible for a dog to show all the symptoms Sophie is showing simply from stress. In fact, given that she isn't acting sick in any other way and will eat people food, it's a quite likely scenario.
That being said, yes, of course, it's also possible that she has some other kind of illness going on that won't show up on routine blood work or respond to a GI diet and deworming, but those things are all much less common.
If I were in your shoes I'd find it reasonable to conclude that (until proven otherwise) this is all stress and manipulation on her part and move confidently ahead with refusing to feed her table food/people food. It will not harm her at all to go for several days without eating if she's particularly stubborn and determined. I've seen an awful lot of really stubborn dogs who started out healthy actually end up sick because they essentially trained their owners to offer them all kinds of unhealthy foods in an effort to "get them to eat". They would have been much better off simply offering the dog food of their choice (the *owner's* choice) and walking away with a take it or leave it attitude.
If you are not comfortable with that idea, then I'm afraid the only other option is to return to the vet to have additional diagnostic testing done. If she were my patient I'd start by rechecking her weight (is she losing?), doing fecal diagnostics, and considering repeating the blood work to look for any developing trends.
Again, I hope it helps to know that you will not make a healthy dog sick by leaving it only with one option of food to eat. It will eventually eat it when it gets hungry enough.
If a dog is refusing to eat because it's lost its appetite due to an illness, that dog won't eat much no matter what you offer it.
I hope this helps. I know it can be a confusing idea to explain.
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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I'm just checking in to ask how things are going with Sophie. I know you've been really busy dealing with her and moving, etc., but I'm curious to know if she's doing okay.
When you have a moment please send an update, and please let me know what else I can do to help you be satisfied with my answer. Your positive feedback is important to me because it is the only way I receive any compensation for helping you.
Thank you.