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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22459
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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We have a flat coat retriever 8 years old who has lost her

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Hi we have a flat coat retriever 8 years old who has lost her appetite. and seems depresed. She has been to the vet and had blood tests looking for any vsign of cancer or anything else and the results came back clear. She has also been tested for lungworm that was also clear.
We gave her some worming tablets a week ago because it was due and within four hours she perked up and was looking for food. and she was more like her normal self. This lasted for about three days and then she started to go backwards again. she seems ok apart from that still wants to go out etc. She had an operation a month ago to remove a fatty lump on her tummy and a tiny lump on the pad of her front left leg whidh turned out to be cancer but not the normal aggresive type of cancer that usually goes for flat coats Any ideas

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she been off food?

Is she drinking normally?

Any vomiting, retching, gagging, lip licking, or gulping?

Any diarrhoea?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could she have eaten something she should not have (ie bones, toys, rocks, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Did her vet start her on any symptomatic care to try and get her eating?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

she has been off food for approx 3 weeks

she is drinking normally

no vomiting, retching, gagging, lip licking, or gulping

no diarrhoe

her gums are pink and are dry and sticky

there does not appear to be any discomfort tenderness or tensing if you press her belly

she had a pulled a dead rebbit from the hedge about a month ago and we could not take it away from her

She has also had a habit from a puppy of chewing stones

the answer to your last question is no

Thank you Dudley,

First, I am glad to see she is drinking, but would be concerned that she isn't taking in enough. This is because those dry sticky gums are a sign that dehydration is creeping in. Therefore, first and foremost, we need to encourage her to drink more. Especially since dehydration is often what makes dogs feed poorly. So, we want to offer fresh water, flavor it with low salt chicken broth, or consider syringe feeding fluids to keep her intake up. Just to note if we do need to syringe, her daily requirement is going to be ~48 ml per kilogram of her body weight per day. Furthermore, your vet can dispense electrolyte oral rehydration solutions (ie Lectaid) to use for her to get both fluids and electrolytes (which she will be lacking from her anorexia) in her. And of course, do note that the total volume needs to be divided into a number of offerings per day.

Otherwise, we have to consider the root of her appetite loss. Now its good that we haven't any vomiting or diarrhea, but the appetite loss alone raises concerns of nausea here. Furthermore, if her bloods were normal but she has these 2 additional concerns in her history (as the rabbit would be a possible foreign body but also bacterial GI bug source and the stones will mean we again have to think about foreign bodies here), I'd say that we may need to think about symptomatic care +/- an xray to get to the bottom of this before she wastes away.

In regards ***** ***** care, further to hydration support, we need to rule out nausea. To do so, you will want to ring her vet about potentially trialling her on an anti-nausea medication (ie Metoclopramide, Cerenia, etc). Also, if a GI bug is suspect at all, then antibiotics may also be worth considering at this stage. As well, you could also consider trying her on an antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose) to just see if you can get her more open minded about eating.

Once that is on board, you will want to try and see if you can get her eating (as you surely have). If she hasn’t been keen to have her favourites, then I would advise also trying to tempt her with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis, notable Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity. Hopefully, we will see her eat a wee bit better, otherwise syringe feeding may need to be started. And in that case, if we need to syringe feed, you can use a calorically dense diet (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, Clinicare Liquid diet) or even water down wet puppy food to get some nutrients into her.

Overall, Lucy's anorexia has been going on for much too long. The lack of nutriton and start of dehydration are going to be weighing on her and making her feel weak and depressed. So, we need to take some aggressive steps to make sure her stomach is settled and that we are getting nutrition/fluids into her. So, we need to consider the above care. Furthermore, if her bloods were normal, then further diagnostics (ie xray, ultrasound) would be the next step to make sure there is no cancer but also that there isn't anything in her GI triggering these signs. And the sooner we pinpoint the cause, the sooner we can address this for her and keep her from wasting away.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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