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Male lab that normally eats me out of house and home. Not…

Customer Question
Male lab that normally...

Male lab that normally eats me out of house and home. Not eating but runs and plays

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the dog's name and age?

Harley 8 yrs old. Will be 9 end of april

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Harley?

No. No other problem

Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 28 minutes by:
3/11/2016
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,561
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified

Such an abrupt change in behavior shouldn't be discounted, Beth, and so I'm pleased to hear that you're aware of it. Unfortunately, anorexia is one of the least specific clinical signs and will not in itself direct the clinical evaluation. Anorexia is purely an indication of underlying disease. For the truly anorexic patient, the causes may be legion. It's vital to differentiate between a patient disinterested in eating and one who experiences difficulty or discomfort while eating. Thereafter, routine laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging complement the history and physical exam for elucidating the cause of anorexia. Here is a synopsis of the differential diagnosis for anorexia:

Disinterested in food altogether (true anorexia): systemic disease, infection/inflammation, neoplasia, food aversion

Reluctance to eat (pseudoanorexia)

Associated with pain/discomfort

Painful prehension or mastication, odynophagia (repeated attempts at swallowing) as seen with: retrobulbar abscesses from apical/tooth root abscesses, e.g., intraoral masses/foreign bodies, mandibular fractures/temporomandibular joint disease, masticatory myositis (inflammation of the muscles of chewing), periodontal disease, salivary gland disorders, oropharyngeal dysphagia, esophageal disease (masses, foreign bodies), nasal disease affecting sense of smell.

Associated with nausea

Gastrointestinal inflammatory disease Ileus (paralysis of the GI tract), delayed gastric emptying, vestibular disease, side effect of medications; many drugs have GI tract side effects.

The initial database for pseudoanorexia is a neurologic examination, oral, dental, and cranial examination (sedation or general anesthesia); radiographs of the teeth, mandible, or nasal cavity may be required. Thoracic radiographs and/or endoscopy to evaluate the esophagus and gastroesophageal sphincter for any obstruction (e.g., strictures, masses, foreign bodies) or mobility problems. The initial database for true anorexia involves laboratory testing and imaging as suggested by history and physical exam findings.

I understand that the above was quite a pedantic response but neither of us have much to go on at this time. Did anything above ring a bell with you?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
No. I've checked his mouth/teeth. Nothing seemed to hurt or looked different. He still runs and plays. Nothing seems to hurt.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

Thank you. You have little recourse but to have Harley's vet perform a thorough physical exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Hi Beth,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
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