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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20625
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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He's not eating and is getting very skinny and seems though

Customer Question

He's not eating and is getting very skinny and seems though he has no energy:( he's only 2
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Schmidt
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Schmidt?
Customer: It also seems he's breathing is kinda forced I think
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he been showing signs?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

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

Could he have eaten anything he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count his breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6)?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He has been getting skinnier for a couple of weeks now but only tonight he refused to eat. His breathing rate is 51 breaths per minute. His gums are pink and I wouldn't say sticky. I don't really know how to tell if a dog is in pain but when I press his stomach he doesn't wine. I don't know if he has ingested anything, but I don't think so.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He's not doing anything and it's really weird. He's been standing in the same spot for a good 20 minutes now. Not lying or sitting. Just standing
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

So, has the breathing just been elevated tonight?

Did he seem uncomfortable when you pressed?

Has he had any diarrhea over the past few weeks?

Was the appetite declining progressively?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That I've noticed yes.
He didn't really feel uncomfortable I don't think. I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary but then again I haven't seen his poo. We live on a large block of land. I would say his appetite is definitely declining along with his energy levels
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I would note that I do suspect your lad is uncomfortable given then elevated breathing rate without change to the gum color/perfusion and the fact he isn't lying down (often they do this to avoid putting pressure on their bellies). As well, while we cannot exclude diarrhea or excessive protein loss in the urine as the cause for weight loss, his progressive appetite loss certainly could be playing a major role here. And the less he eats, the less he will need to pass as stool and less energy he will have. So, those signs are all interlinked.

With that all in mind, potential causes for this in Schmidt's case would be a potential foreign body, harmful ingestion, pancreatitis, or severe gastroenteritis. As well, if we did have diarrhea or urine protein losses, then other bacterial/viral agents, parasites, and even organ compromise would have to be considered.

Now with this having gone on for weeks and his being at a point where he is refusing to eat at all, we'd be best to have him seen. That way his vet can pinpoint which of these concerns is present and start injectable anti-nausea medication, gut safe pain relief, fluids, and appetite stimulants.

Otherwise, if there is any delay in having him seen and we can at least try some supportive care.To start, you can consider treating him with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Zantac (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Aftewards, we'd want to tempt him to eat. You can try favorites or a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset.

Though if he cannot be tempted, then we'd need to think about syringe feeding with a calorie rich diet like Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery or even canned puppy food. As well, there are also liquid diets like Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet or Dogsure. All of these are nutrient dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise. And these could just help get some more calories in and halt weight loss even if we can’t get a huge amount in.

Overall, there are a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle his stomach to see if we can get him eating. Though if he refuses and since this sounds advanced already, we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, rule out toxins, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach, and get him back settled so we can get weight back onto him.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Oh that sounds worse than I thought :/ His owner just moved to Melbourne a few weeks ago so I kinda thought he wasn't as energetic maybe he was sad but alright I'll take him to a vet tomorrow
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hi again,

With what you have reported in such a young dog, I do feel it is quite serious and getting to an advance state. Dogs can pine for owners but rarely do they do it to a point where they are wasting away. So, it is best to have a check here and head off any health based causes for this anorexia.

Best wishes for you both,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )