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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21417
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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My ten month old puppy won't eat food, but eats small

Customer Question

My ten month old puppy won't eat food, but eats small amounts of leaves. Should I be concerned? It's been going on for about 18 hours.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

What leaves is he eating?

Has he had any retching, gagging, lip licking, or vomiting?

Can he keep water down?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly,does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, rocks, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Has he had any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is not swollen or sore. He is eating leaves off what I believe to be oak saplings. No retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting. He can drink and keep down water. I checked his mouth thoroughly this morning, thinking he might have something lodged in it. He did not. It looked normal and was moist. Nose cold an wet, but warm and dry when he sleeps. He could have eaten something bad for him. Destroyed a tv remote three days ago. Did not swallow batteries. He is not tender when I press his belly, nor does he guard at all. No diarrhea.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He also refused bacon, which he gets a slice of once a month, which is his very favorite treat.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is fed twice daily, morning and evening. He ate fine Sunday morning and night, and yesterday morning, but didn't eat last night or this morning.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you,

Now this is a concern for Hemi.

Eating items like leaves can be a sign of nausea and if he is chewing on oak leaves these can actually induce nausea (and cause further harm if he eats enough of them). So, he is caught in a bit of a catch-22 here. Therefore, we need to keep him away from the saplings to start. Further to this, we'd want to try and address this nausea for him. To do so, you can try treating him with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. Ones we can use here include Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ Zantac (More Info/Dose @ Whichever you use, we'd give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption and of course double check with your vet before use if he has any pre-existing health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Once that is on board, you can try him again with the lighter diet options. Alternatively you could also offer rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). Whichever you choose, offer small frequent meals to offset his stomach upset. And do avoid rich/fatty treats like bacon for the moment.

Overall, this is a concern for Hemi. His signs do support a possible infectious gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, or even dietary indiscretion (hopefully not a blockage since it has been 3 days since he ate the remote). So, we need to keep him from the oaks and start supportive care at this point. If you do so, but he isn't eating in the next 12-24 hours then we'd want to have him checked by his vet as he may need to be treated with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle this for him.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Hemi.. How is everything going?