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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4910
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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my 18 month chiahuahua is very under weight and will not eat

Customer Question

my 18 month chiahuahua is very under weight and will not eat anything other than chicken, and its such a small amount prehaps 1oz a day. i give him bakers complete dry mix in the hope he will try it but just throws it around. iv tried every dog food known to man, but it is still there days later, all he seems to do is drink. ive moved his water in the hope he will eat but no joy. he has been to the vets and they say other than being very under weight he seems healthy and lively. he is regularly wormed, im worried he might die, can you help please.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

This does sound highly concerning, given the length of time he has refused to eat. Good job trying to offer him a variety of different foods. This is certainly a first step. What testing did your veterinarian do? At a minimum with this length of time of not eating well, if at all, and the weight loss he would need a wellness lab work screen that might include a CBC, chemistry profile with electrolytes, urine check and stool check. That can help us to know if he is having any organ issues (liver, kidney), pancreatitis, electrolyte problem, profound infection, etc.

Dr. Joey :

If lab work was done, and was normal, then the next step that we really must do is to take an xray of his abdomen to know if he has some sort of intestinal blockage such as from swallowing an unusual item. Even our little dogs do this from time to time.

Dr. Joey :

If this looks excellent (xrays and lab work), then the next step is to start him on medication to stimluate his appetite such as mirtazepine (prescription product your vet would have to prescribe) and/or some antinausea medications. If he was my patient I might recommend you purchase famotidine from your local people pharmacy and use the 10mg tab and give one-half every 12 hours -- this helps with some level of nausea and sour stomach, and has no bad side effects.

Dr. Joey :

For food, it not already tried, try offering white rice mixed with a protein (such as boiled chicken breast or cottage cheese).

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.

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