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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14916
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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Additional input - behavioral issue? I have a Portuguese Water

Customer Question

Additional input - behavioral issue?
I have a Portuguese Water dog Mix. Mother > PWD, Father > Huskie / Collie.
She just turned 14 years old. A biopsy from a year ago showed her lower colon showed mild disease. She just recovered from massive diarrhea of 4 long days. Our vet has suggested that we narrowly focus here food input. I agreed with this decision. We decided to go with fresh salmon grilled, mixed with Nature Balance Synergy. This means that she no longer will be getting any of the high end treats that I usually gave her.
When it came to her first meal, she was so hungry. I started out with small portions of grilled salmon (which she has always loved) and devoured it. The following three days I added the hard food which she ate without issue. Her bowel movements continually improved. Today was her 1st "perfect" bowel movement.
Low and behold, I give her her breakfast with the kibble and salmon. She sniffed it and walked away. I work from home. She is constantly nudging me for food. I admit I am somewhat a weakling when it comes to her demands. Clearly, I realize that I have enabled her to know that she can get what she wants from me, since she has received this treatment for the last 8 years.
How long do I let her go without eating? Being a person that has IBS, I know how important it is to eat at regular intervals so that I don't PO my GI tract.
Regards, Kurt
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry to hear you are worried about Maddy. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.
When you say her biopsy showed mild disease, what disease was it? Inflammatory bowel disease?
Sorry, bad with abbreviations. I know what GI is, but what is PO?
Dog can go longer than people without eating. Our blood sugar drops after an overnight fast; you have to fast a dog for days to get the blood sugar to drop below normal. I know dogs that will turn down their regular food for days, holding out for table food and treats. Still, I don't want her to go more than 12 to 24 hours without eating.
Sometimes a rest is good for the digestive tract; one treatment for diarrhea is a 24 hours clear fluids only fast.
If she is not eating to get you to give her something better, I would try not to give in. However, one concern is that she turned down food because she feels sick again. I would monitor her hydration, drinking, and I hope she continues to have nice formed stool.
Let me know what other questions you have.

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