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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  35 years of veterinary practice in small animal medicine
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I have a year old cocker spaniel who still has an umbilical

Resolved Question:

I have a year old cocker spaniel who still has an umbilical hernia would that sop her eating as she has a very poor appetite .
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.
I'm sorry to read of Bella's hernia and picky eating habits. I don't believe the two conditions are related unless the hernia is exceptionally large - like the size of a plum. Normally umbilical hernias are very small, the size of a peanut or so. Unless a loop of bowel is able to pass through the defect in the abdominal muscle layer, all this is found in the hernia sac is a tissue layer containing fat which is harmless. A strangulated loop of bowel would show symptoms of severe abdominal distress, vomiting, cramping, etc. You haven't mentioned any of these signs in Bella, so I must assume she's just a picky eater with an umbilical hernia.
Dogs are much more interested in training humans than humans are in training dogs, as a general rule. Bella is doing a fine job of training you to feed her what she likes, and that's evidently not a diet that is good for her long-term health.
If you don't mind cooking for her you can purchase recipes for extremely well-balanced dog diets online at www.balanceit.com. The diets listed there work with the foods the dogs like, and builds a fully balanced diet around them. This would be the easiest option.
Training her to eat properly involves picking a good quality dog food and simply putting it down for 20 minutes several times through the day, then taking it up and putting it away. When she's good and hungry, knows this is all that is to be offered, and realizes that her time for deciding whether or not to eat is limited, she'll eventually learn to eat what is offered very close to when it is offered. Two weeks of not eating is not unusual in the wild state, as dog's bodies are built to store nutrients between "kills". She won't starve and won't think you're mean, but she will most likely test your resolve with incessant begging. If you decide to go this route, do not give in, or the game is over and you've lost! NO TREATS!!!!!!
Either approach can work, but the second requires a harder attitude. Hopefully in a few weeks Bella will be happily eating her food without complaint, but if you should have any questions about either approach, please let me know.
Kind regards, XXXXX
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience: 35 years of veterinary practice in small animal medicine
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