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Samantha Stephenson
Samantha Stephenson, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 160
Experience:  I have been a licensed veterinarian for 5 years.
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I adopted my friends chihuahua 7 +three quarters old, 3 months

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I adopted my friend's chihuahua 7 +three quarters old, 3 months ago. I have to hand feed her and she is very picky. I have been back and forth to the vet and her health now is pretty good except her teeth are pretty mucky and some loose. I have started putting dental granules in her food. She is reluctant to drink water from a bowl and terrible on the lead keeps stopping and refusing to move. She doesn't jump from the coach and doesn't move around a lot or bark. She is just below perfect weight. I am spending a fortune on food and giving it to the fox because she won't eat it. I have bought her some Royal Canin Chihuahua kibble and she won't eat it. She will not eat from a bowl and I think would starve if I didn't feed her. I am at my wits end. Thinking of finding her a new home where they may be more experienced!
Samantha Stephenson :

Hello, I am Dr. Samantha Stephenson. Sorry to hear about your sounds like you are trying everything to help.

Samantha Stephenson :

Some of the problem could be that she is still adjusting to a new home and environment and may need some coaxing or retraining to help with walking on the leash and getting in and out of the car. You can do this by finding a treat or piece of food that she really likes and only giving it to her when she is walking on a leash or use it to bribe her in and out of the car.

Samantha Stephenson :

I would be concerned that she needs her teeth cleaned and some teeth pulled. This can be very painful and cause them not to eat. If it is painful every time she chews then she will be very picky. I would get a dental done for her with her veterinarian and see if that makes a difference first. Once her mouth is pain free then you can work on the training part.

Samantha Stephenson :

Royal Canin food is very good food but I wonder if it is a combination of depression and mourning plus a painful mouth.

Samantha Stephenson :

I have two Chihuahuas myself and unfortunately they are prone to dental disease so good dental care is important. Dog's mouths are like our hands..they use their mouth for everything so if it is painful then it can change their personality or cause them to act strangely.

Customer: Hi veterinary cleaning is not an option as she has a heart murmer and my friend left no provision for her care and this procure could cost $600+!
Customer: what is confusing is sometimes she will eat the food I hand feed her and then she will refuse. She is very stubborn and disobedient - my friend got her from a breeder at 4 yrs to be a companion to the late Toby a fabulous easygoing and living Yorkie who slept with my friend. Beckie did not get the same attention and I observed in the last six months of my friend's life that Zsa Zsa wasn't eating and was getting thin and I used to go in in the evening and hand feed her! I have health problems and am finding her very draining. I may look for someone who can cope with
Samantha Stephenson :

Well, it sounds like you are in a tough situation. You need to do what is best for you. I understand that a dental is expensive and a risk with a heart murmur but sometimes the benefit of the teeth cleaning outweighs the risk of anesthesia. Having to hand feed can be very exhausting. Do you have someone that can take her for you? I really think that getting her teeth cleaned will help. I have been amazed at how different some animals act after their mouth feels better.

Samantha Stephenson :

She can be trained to be better obedient..but it will take a lot of effort and time.


Thank you very much for this. Sorry for delay. I had problems with my emails! I had to do some tough love with her. I felt so frustrated so instead of sleeping with me in my bed, she had to sleep in the front room in her little dog bed! Her behaviour has improved a little. Its catch 22 for her because if she won't eat kibble her teeth will just get worse and she will lose the rest. Eating mush albeit very good quality wet food will compound the problem. It is very comforting to hear from a kind vet who has experience of this breed. The reason I know the cost is that a friend of mine had her dog's teeth cleaned by the vet and it cost £600! Why it costs this much, I expect you could explain, it sounds barking mad to me! Very best wishes, Tracey

Samantha Stephenson :

Yes, some dental cleanings can be astronomical. It really depends on how much needs to be done. The majority of the cost is the anesthesia. If all that needs to be done is a cleaning under anesthesia..usually it will run around $250 but if you have to pull a lot of teeth and do dental x-rays then it can easily climb up there into the $600-$800 range. It also depends on where you go..some vets are more expensive than others. It really is a time thing..routine dental cleanings usually run about 45 minutes but with pulling can easily take almost 2 hours so that is where the extra cost comes in. I know canned food isn't ideal for the teeth but if it allows her to eat better then for now..go ahead and feed it to her.

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