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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9778
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hi my gorgeous nine month old kc registered maltese terrior

Resolved Question:

Hi my gorgeous nine month old kc registered maltese terrior has lost her appitite, she's just had her first heat. She is our much loved, fully fussed princess. She is my baby girl. We recently got a Yorkshire terrior girl, who has now been with us for three weeks now. Suki (Maltese) got on really well with Kia (Yorkie) at first. But as the days have gone on Suki seemed almost sad and isn't eating anything. Not even her treats. What should I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and I'll do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Suki but I do have a few questions to ask about her first if you don't mind:

1. How long has Suki not been eating?
2. Would you say she's lethargic?
3. Can you tell me the color of her gums?
4. Can you take her temperature?
5. No vomiting or diarrhea, correct?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would say two days without eating now. I've offered her all her favourites. But she's moved away and turned her nose up at it all.

She had a great walk today, running around in the grass. She's always licking me and the kids.

Her gums are a healthy pink colour.

No vomiting or diarreah.

She doesn't seem to have a temp.
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Thanks so much for the answers to my questions.

That's good that her gums are a normal color and that she has no gastrointestinal signs.

And, the fact that she has normal energy is also a plus.

While we can't know for sure if her temperature is elevated or normal without actually taking it with a rectal thermometer, typically dogs with fevers are also a little lethargic...which she clearly is not:) But, having said that, I'd want to know for sure that her temperature is normal so it might be helpful if you can manage to get your hands on a thermometer to confirm. Normal is between 100 and 102.5. If it's elevated, then this would explain her disinterest in eating but then we'd have to wonder why she has a fever. There are many reasons ranging from viral or bacterial infections to tick diseases to auto-immune conditions, etc.

There are several other possible explanations that occur to me as reasons for her disinterest in her food:

1. Some dogs in heat will go off their food. This can be an especially challenging problem for the small breeds since I worry about low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) when this happens.
I'll often suggest that owners rub a small amount of honey or pancake syrup on the gums (or offer then about 1 teaspoon if they'll eat it) every 5-6 hours just to prevent the blood sugar from becoming too low.
If this is the reason for her inappetance, then you might actually have to force feed her some food every day just to keep up her nutrition. If she's drinking, then you might mix canned food with a lot of water or pedialyte and see if you can get her to "drink" her meals.

2. I've seen some of the small breeds become quite fussy over time and bored with their food. They absolutely refuse to eat their dog food but will readily eat human food. I neglected to ask if you've offered her human food, but if you haven't, then I would boil some chicken breast or lean hamburg and see if she'll eat it. This is bland enough so that it shouldn't cause loose stool issues. You can also offer human baby food (avoid those with onion and/or garlic in them).

3. Dogs who feel a little nauseous (even if they aren't actively vomiting) will sometimes go off their food. The nausea could be secondary to systemic disease such as issues with the kidneys, liver or pancreas or gastrointestinal disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
If I suspect that this might be the problem, then over the counter Pepcid AC can be given at a dose of 1/4th mg/lb twice a day.

4. I wouldn't expect her appetite to be affected because of the new friend in her life although I suppose it's always possible. But I'd expect her to at least eat her treats and any really yummy food that you're offering her.

To summarize:
1. I'd try to take her temperature to confirm that it's not elevated. If it is, then I'd have her seen.
2. I'd give her Pepcid AC on the off chance that she might be a little nauseous.
3. I'd rub her gums with honey or pancake syrup to keep up her blood sugar levels.
4. I'd offer her human food if you haven't already.
5 Consider bloodwork if the problem persists just to rule out any underlying issues although recognize that this may be heat related. If it is, then this may be a problem every time she has a heat cycle.

I hope this helps. Deb

Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9778
Experience: I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Dr. Deb and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I hope you'll keep me posted about Suki; I'd like to know how she fares.

Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.

I'll be wishing her the best. Regards, Deb

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