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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21419
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 much. He has no teeth so I hand feed him. He

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He's not eating much. He has no teeth so I hand feed him.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: He pretends to bury the food between bites and sometimes he just continues burying for a while and then nsomeitmes he'll take a bite but sometimes not
JA: Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: His name is*****'s a three pound chihuahua who is around 10 years old with cataracts, disintegrating irises, and more. This is probably expensive. Thanks for giving me a chance to vent
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok. More info: He has started retching once after drinking water recently.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He has two teeth, lower back. He has severe scoliosis, stage 4 heart murmur, luxating patellas, cataracts and disintegrating irises.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He's the happiest sweetest guy in the world and this is killing me. Even before this recent three-day reduced eating thing -- he's eating about half of what he used to -- he never had a great appetite and has had GI issues. He lost 1/3 lb. and we tried putting him on a med for esophageal irritation, but it made no difference. He had exrays and there doesn't seem to be an underlying skeletal issue.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Normal bowel movements, (he does get laxative sprinkled over his a.m. food). Normal urination .
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Normal mood/activity level, though he seems more anxious at separation

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Was he struggling with his lack of teeth before this?

What medication did you try specifically? Any other tests done?

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

Any change to his thirst or breathing rate?

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

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

Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
62;>Was he struggling with his lack of teeth before this?
No. He has one tooth in the back (he has two, either side lower rear) that we're watching, but so far no infection. etc.>>What medication did you try specifically? Any other tests done?
Sufalcram, i gm. No other tests.>>Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?
Yes. Retching sometimes after drinking water -- just one, usually, like a cough. He had one "seizure" like episode, in which he stretched out his neck and seemed to be gagging with his mouth closed. Sometimes a little episodic lip licking. No drooling, or vomiting.>>Any change to his thirst or breathing rate?
Not that I can tell.>>Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?
White on the top and bottom and pink in the middle. I don't know if this is normal for him since he hates his mouth being touched.If you press on his belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?
>>He tenses up and shakes if I touch the left side atthe bottom of his ribcage towards the back.Also next to his spine to the left at the back of his ribcage.He tenses upp and just tried to nudge my hand away with his nose when I moved down his spime toowards his tail.>>Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?
No

Hello again,

Now I am glad to see that Doomsday hasn't those more severe signs I asked about. Though if he was managing with a lack of teeth before then that tells us that his mouth isn't likely causing the appetite loss we have here. Instead, his signs do support a suspect gastrointestinal issue with underlying nausea. And while its good he has responded to the treatments before, his relapses tell us that they were only symptomatic and not curing the root cause. Just to note, we'd be specifically worried about a chronic bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, helicobacter gastritis, chronic low grade pancreatitis (something I'm especially suspecting here), stomach ulceration, parasites/protozoa, or at his age we'd also have systemic concerns (secondary to kidney or liver disease, metabolic issues, IBD or even cancer).

Now if Sucralfate (a gastroprotectant) wasn't enough to soothe his signs, I'd suggest trying him at least on an OTC pet safe antacid [ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac)]. Whichever you choose, give it 20 minutes before 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. Otherwise you could speak to his vet about a strong anti-nausea medication (ie Zofran, Cerenia, Metoclopramide) to just keep his nausea under control and with it keep him as sign free as we can.

As well, just since his appetite is declining (though treating with the above would hopefully stop that), we can try an easily digestible diet like cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only) The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Though if he is struggling, then we can offer or syringe feed watered down canned puppy food, Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are critical care diets that are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise. So, you don't have to get as much in to meet his daily needs.

Overall, his signs do raise a few concerns for us and given the relapsing at his age this raises worries of an underlying cause like those I noted being at the heart of this. So, ideally we'd want to be thinking about blood work +/- an ultrasound to start narrowing this down. But in the meantime we need to better address this nausea he is suggesting with his behaviors to see if we can get him more settled and eating properly for us.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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I aim to provide best care for you just as I do for my own clients & their pets. If you have any other questions, please ask – I’m happy to help but please rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great) as this is the only way I am credited for my work by the site & this allows me to continue to help here. This is included in your question fee. Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you. : )**

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks for all this. I noticed a couple of behaviors that may help --
1) when I try and handfeed him, he is running from place to place after taking a bite -- from his bed to a rug to another place on the rug to another spot back to the first spot, taking a bite each place then running. He will jump iinto his bed and pretend to bury a bite after I try to hand it to him, pushing my hand away. The bed is covered, not that it matters.
2) I think he *is* drinking more water. I've noticed it recently but thought it was a good thing since he didn't used to drink water at all.
3) I didn't mention before that he largely eats cat food -- he prefers it to dog food, and for a long time it was a problem getting him to accept food. Could this be responsible?
My short-term plan is pepcid and puppy food for the next week. Does that sound reasonable?

You are very welcome,

The agitation isn't quite a specific sign but burying food is a nausea sign as well. So, the Pepcid is ideal. Otherwise, the preference for cat food isn't uncommon in dogs but it just isn't balanced properly for them, so we can see odd deficiencies and the richness will sometimes trigger pancreatitis. So, do try the puppy food as well or one of the light options we discussed. And that would be a good short term plan for him to see if we can get him more settled and feeling like himself.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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** If you have any other questions, please ask – I’m happy to help but please rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great) as this is the only way I am credited for my work by the site & this allows me to continue to help here. This is included in your question fee. Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you. : )**

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