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I adopted a 12 week old golden retriever mix puppy from a rescue

in March. He would not...
I adopted a 12 week old golden retriever mix puppy from a rescue in March. He would not eat unless I was right next to him, but he eventually grew out of this behavior. I use 4Health Puppy (Dry) food and pour some water to wet it a bit.

He is 10 months old now. A month ago I noticed sores on his leg, groin and the side of his lip, and took him to the vet. He was diagnosed with demodicidosis. Last week he started on antibiotics as his licking made his leg worse. The mite counts are down, but the leg got an infection.

Since the time he's been diagnosed, his eating habits have become strange. He will nibble a few bits then just move away and lie down. I've tried adding olive oil, and have begun transitioning him in the past 3 days to Blue Buffalo puppy food. I've tried taking away the bowl after 15 min (as many sites recommend), so he re-learns that food time is non-negotiable, but he still just nibbles. I've taken to just leaving the bowl with the food, and it may take him 3 hours to eat 3/4 of it. I know a dog won't starve themselves, and his weight hasn't suffered (he's 54 lbs and still slowly growing) but this change in eating habit is really worrying me.

Any suggestions?
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
10/2/2013
Dr B
Dr B, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2,133
Experience: DVM
Verified

Dr. J. :

Hi, I would be glad to help you tonight. Can you tell me the names of all the current medications he is taking?

Customer:

If you give me one second, I can run upstairs and get the names

Dr. J. :

No hurry.....

Customer:

Also, thank you for speaking with me

Customer:

I know off the top of my head

Customer:

Ivermectin (increasing dose, oral, liquid)

Customer:

750mg BID Cephalexin

Dr. J. :

I am more than happy to help

Customer:

Tramadol (if he seems agitated, haven't really used it though)

Dr. J. :

How much does he weigh?

Customer:

Those all started last Thursday

Customer:

he's 54lbs

Customer:

What he was started on was just Dermalone

Customer:

ointment

Dr. J. :

ok, give me one minute...

Customer:

That's been the last month and a half

Customer:

Thanks Dr. J

Customer:

Oh, and I've been wrapping the leg wound with gauze first, then No-Chew vet wrap, and then putting lickguard on top of it. He freaks out and hits things in an e-collar, and destroys any other wrapping I try to put on

Customer:

The no-chew started 3 weeks ago. The lick guard on top of it started last week.

Dr. J. :

My suspicion is that it is the Cephalexin knocking down his appetite. This does happen in some dogs for reasons we don't really know. (especially at higher doses). Cephalexin is a good drug but it does cause inappetance in some dogs. Usually the Ivermectin does not affect the appetite. I would call your vet and ask them if they have a drug called Convenia. It is a Cephalosporin but it is an injection that lasts 2 weeks and does not usually affect their appetite because it does not have to pass through GI tract.

Customer:

Sorry if I'm giving you too much information. No one seems to be able to figure his eating issue out. The vet hasn't been much help.

Customer:

The appetite issues began about 3 weeks before I started the cephalexin though. When I first noticed the sores.

Customer:

I'm terrible at explaining haha. The sores began about a month ago. He started the ceph. last week

Dr. J. :

Ok, sorry I did not get that from your original history. Ok, have they done any bloodwork on him?

Customer:

I think so. He was dewormed at the beginning of the summer (precautionary, I moved from NC to VA)

Customer:

The skin cytology shows it is demodicidosis

Customer:

He's healing though. My worry is really the eating issues.

Customer:

This is his latest workup: http://f.cl.ly/items/3R311X3G1j301S1z3A0j/Bentley-32815.pdf

Dr. J. :

OK, if they have done bloodwork and it looks normal, and not related to drugs (though I bet the drugs have made it worse) then it must be behavioral. I have always fed my dogs by meal feeding and giving them 20 minutes to eat and taking it up. Also I do not wet food down or add anything to it as that makes dogs more finicky. Also changing foods can make some dogs extremely finicky. I would recommend that you pick a good food and maybe one that has a canned version. Give him dry with a couple of tablespoons of canned mixed in well. GIve him 20 minutes to eat it and if he does not take it up. By making so many changes, you are essentially confusing him and he will never learn to eat well. Do this and stick to it.If he will not eat well, then have your vet give him a shot of Convenia so he does not have to take oral antibiotics so as not to upset his stomach.If you do all this and he is not losing weight and still slowly growing then you are in business. You need to give this new protocol some time. If he does not eat at all after 3 days then you should revisit your vet. But I think the main problem is that we have confused him. Does this make sense? Animals learn only by association.

Customer:

May I write my understand of what you said, just in case I mix something up?

Customer:

*write my understanding

Customer:

*mixed

Customer:

You wouldn't believe it, but I am an English teacher. It's just late for me, haha.

Dr. J. :

of course, I want you to totally understand everything.

Customer:

1. Give him 20 minutes to eat.
2. Do not add water to the food.
3. Add a little bit of the canned version of the same brand of dog food to the dry dog food.

Customer:

If he doesn't eat at all after 3 days, see my vet.

Customer:


1. Give him 20 minutes to eat.
2. Do not add water to the food.
3. Add a little bit of the canned version of the same brand of dog food to the dry dog food.






9:05 PM



If he doesn't eat at all after 3 days, see my vet.



Dr. J. :

Yes, that is totally correct. But since he needs antibiotics, make sure you don't wait to long to get the Convenia injection which he can have even if he is not eating well.

Customer:

Can I mix brands? I have about 3/4 of a huge bag of 4Health left (stocked up before I left NC), but don't have a "Tractor Supply" (4Health is their in-house brand) near me at all

Customer:

So I was going to switch him over to blue buffalo once the bag has about 1/4 left. They're similar in ingredients and overall rating (via https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com)

Customer:

Again, thank you so much for working with me on this. I really do appreciate your time.

Dr. J. :

Ok, are you telling me that the food you are using is a house brand from a tractor supply place? Blue Buffaloe really is much better. And you can get canned as well. I would get rid of the tractor supply brand...no offense but I don;t like house brands.

Dr. J. :

It is possible that the palatability of his current food is not helping.

Customer:

I understand. https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/4health-dog-food-dry/
I'm not a fan of house brands either, but this stuff is actually really good. It's made by Diamond Pet Foods.

However, I will take your advice, and start him on Blue Buffalo tomorrow. Thank you so much for your time and help!

Dr. J. :

Diamond pet foods was actually one of the brands that had a huge recall for Salmonella I believe it was about 2-3 years ago. Are you sure you don't have any further questions? I am happy to assist you until you feel completely informed.

Customer:

I think I'm good for right now. I'm definitely giving you an "excellent service". This is my first time using this site, but you've definitely far exceeded what I thought it was going to be like. Thank you again!

Dr. J. :

You will always get that type of service from me.Get back with me if you need follow up help!Cheers! DrJ

Dr B
Dr B, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2,133
Experience: DVM
Verified
Dr B and 87 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
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Let me know how your little guy makes out with his new diet plan. Remember consistency is key and it takes a while.Sincerely, DRj
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Dr B
Dr B
Dr B, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2,133
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