How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Gary Your Own Question
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19798
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Gary is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog has gone for 10 days now without food. He is drinking

This answer was rated:

My dog has gone for 10 days now without food. He is drinking water but not as much as usual because his urine is concentrated. He has bowel movements but they are small. He appears interested in food but when I hand it to him, he sniffs and walks away. I've tried many things...hamburger, rotisserie chicken, jerky, bacon, cheese, canned and dry dog food. He hasn't lost much weight, maybe 1-2 lbs (45 lb normal weight). He doesn't seem to be in pain. He's active, plays and goes for walks. The only thing different that I notice is that he laps water by pushing his tongue against the side of the bowl rather than just lapping from the middle of the bowl. He's not sensitive to touch anywhere including around his neck/throat. He is impossible at the vet...hisses/spits and fights tooth and nail. I don't want to traumatize him or me if not necessary. Any comments on what to try?
Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

I think this is going to be a mechanical issue. It sounds like there is something going on with his mouth, teeth or tongue that is preventing him from being able to eat. The fact that he's not lapping up water is a big sign.

My guess is that it's a tooth root abscess that is causing pain or a nerve/ muscle disorder preventing him from grasping food and chewing. Hopefully this is a tooth issue as those can be fixed fairly quickly. We anesthetize them and remove the affected tooth.

If this is a nerve/ muscle problem, then we'll often have to put a feeding tube in them to get calories in. This is because it is a disease that takes weeks to resolve. There is no specific treatment, we just figure out ways to get food in.

I know it's not going to be easy, but I would take him in to a vet. 10 days is far too long. It also sounds like he has lost 5% of his body weight, which is concerning.

They'll just have to anesthetize him to get the exam done, imaging taken and probably treatment if it's a tooth.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Dr. Gary and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

I'm just following up on our conversation about Timmy. How is everything going?

Dr. Gary
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Vet determined he had throat inflammation. Injected with 7day antibiotic and B12. After 48 hrs, dog still wouldn't eat so got nutri-cal from Vet. After 2 doses, Timmy started eating again. Seems to be doing fine 5 after antibiotic inj. Thanks for your help. I hate taking this dog in because he fights the vet so. It was a bit of a nightmare for me (and him) ;-)

Good deal, I'm glad he's doing better. Thanks for the update.