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Starving Dog won't eat.

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Starving Dog won't eat.
  • I found a stray lab/pitbull cross, emaciated. My vet kindly checked heart and lungs for me. Recommended, blood tests to be sure of condition, $400. Which I don't have. 2nd alternative, I am attempting to build him up in strength before I turn him in to a Rescue org. or SPCA as I can not keep him. But I have had her for 24 hrs. She still will not eat. I have offered kibble, wet canned food, chunks of roast beef, left overs from the table, but will not eat anything.. She drinks quite a bit of water. I have seen one instance of diarhea. She is quite calm, not afraid. Last night wanted up on the bed with us to sleep. (Didn't happen) So is not too nervous to eat.??? I can not watch this dog starve to death. What should I do??

     

    He's drinking water here, not eating :(

  • You did the best you can, and you did a great job by taking the dog in. Now, I would turn the dog over to the SPCA. They have more resources and funds and experience with neglected dogs. The dog could have organ damage from being so thin for who knows how long and will need the blood tests, etc.

    I will keep the pup in my thoughts and prayers for a recovery.

  • There could be lots of things going on -- I would try soft food instead of kibble (there could be teeth problems) and I would try feeding the dog on the floor on a plate or paper plate, not a dish/bowl. 

    Will the dog eat anything from your hand?

    Have you seen the dog vomit?  The reason for the blood work is good -- this dog could have been abused (and could be afraid to eat) or it could be sick -- a dog in renal failure may be sickened by the thought of food and they may vomit everything they eat. 

     

  • The vet told me that a dog in this condition would be put down at the SPCA, but yes If I can't get her to eat in the next 24 hours I will likely have to give her to them.  Thanks for your input.

  • calliecritturs

    There could be lots of things going on -- I would try soft food instead of kibble (there could be teeth problems) and I would try feeding the dog on the floor on a plate or paper plate, not a dish/bowl. 

    Will the dog eat anything from your hand?

    Have you seen the dog vomit?  The reason for the blood work is good -- this dog could have been abused (and could be afraid to eat) or it could be sick -- a dog in renal failure may be sickened by the thought of food and they may vomit everything they eat. 

    I tried soft food ("wet canned food"), on a plate, on the floor and from my hand.  She is very sweet and gentle but wouldn't eat still.  I haven't seen the dog vomit, just the one instance of diarhea.  Thanks for the help.

  • Since the dog is drinking water work with that, flavor the water with human food, dog food, dry or wet, just get some nutriants into the dog.  A dog in this state has lost the hunger urge and it needs to be restimulated.

  • Painter

    The vet told me that a dog in this condition would be put down at the SPCA, but yes If I can't get her to eat in the next 24 hours I will likely have to give her to them.  Thanks for your input.

    Oh...They won't even try to help her? Have you contacted them and asked? How about rescues?

  • As emmaciated as this boy is he could and most likely is in pain. The joints and muscle are obviously profoundly deprived. The inflamation and the malaise he has to be suffering under may be more than he can bear. I know that when I am in a pain cycle it is enough to drop a grown man , the worst of is is always the nausea that is underlying the pain. While he may not be retching or even act as if he wants to. Chances are pretty high that his stomach is twisted up into knots and eating is no longer an option.   A body starved so completely begins to fail in multiple organs. A hungry dog will eat, a dog in this condition ...may be done wanting only to have his pain stop.

    I can relate to the pain you have to be feeling.  Upon seeing someone hurting so badly and having them offer no aggression, no anger you are torn between the anger you feel at who ever allowed this innocent soul to get to this point and the frustration of not being able to "fix' the problem.

    Years ago...  I was dropping things off at the shelter.Blankets and bleach. Towels and toys that the dogs there could use. It is a crummy shelter. Not because of the staff but because the people in our area were fine with having only a kill shelter... Money was not put into ill dogs. They were simply moved up in the order of euthanization.  It was considered a kindness . I had tried so hard to avoid ever going down the rows. But once in a while I was pressed upon to help guess the breed or care for one when the vet was not availble.  They had a litter of spaniels, they should easily find homes we agreed, fluffy and rolly polly they were not to haunt my dreams for years and years.

    Blackie was a Pitt in the run next to them. He was about 3 years old and had been deliberately starved by the former owner. The intention was to make him aggressive and nasty. They had beaten him, taken him down to a dog very much like the boy you are trying to help.Looking into his eyes I knew I had to do something. I was able to have his labs done but the outcome was tragic. He was filled with heartworms.  Back then the treatment was as bad as the parasite.  The dog had to be strong enough to tolerate the load of cyanide that would be dumped into his system and as starved as he was there the chance for survival was zero.  I cried for an hour and then pulled myself together. Blackie came home with me. I fed him until he could eat no more. Praising his gentle nature and sweet, sweet attitude.  As a family we bathed him and did his nails. Brushed his coat and polished it until he shone with a soft cloth. He was hand fed more tidbits and brought on to my bed where my daughters read to him and even my husband who was furious with me for bringing him home came to understand this was not an adoption, it was simply giving the boy the kindness he had so deserved.  He clung to us wanting only to please and each time a new person came in he braced himself for the blow that he knew would come, it always had... My Rhodesians came closer and closer and finally lay side by side with him. Offering him their warmth and stregnth.  His vitals were weakening.  Close to morning I made sure my daughters understood that he was not going to make it. That the acceptance ,love, gentleness and touching were all were could give him.  At 8:00 we , as a family went to the vet. My daughters missed school , my husband went into work late.  We held this dog we had known for less than 36 hours, we whispered praise and prayers and we eased him acrossed the bridge.  Even our vet cried.  He refused to bill me for the visit.

    If I could find the Breeder who abandoned him to the "home" that abused him so terribly in the hopes of making him tougher and meaner, the  hallmark of a bad A** Pitt Bull.... If I could find them .... heck I have no clue what I would do.  I know what I would still like to do.  The ignorant moron who abused him was sub human, worth less than dirt on my shoes. But The Breeder who wanted this litter, who whelped it and then sold them with no regard as to where they would end up.... in my mind and heart they are so very much worse.

    If you can find it in your heart to just understand this may be the best day of the poor dog's life. Your hands may be the only gentle hands he will ever have known.  Why he came into your life may be as simple as you have enough heart to unselfishly give him a few gentle moments in alife gone badly.  Instead of dying on the street, being too ill to find clean water or shelter he will at the least be in a calmer and safer situation.

    Life is not always fair, sometimes.... the best any of us can hope for is a gentle hand, or to be that gentle hand.

    Keep your chin up and know you have made a difference in this dog's life.

    Bonita of Bwana

     

     

     

  • Keeping in mind that this dog might be full of heartworms and intestinal worms, you could try some Nutri-Cal (pet store).  It is a high calorie nutrient paste that can be put between the cheek and the gum.  It is sticky enough that it is very hard to spit out, so it is basically force-feeding.

    Foods you could try are jack mackeral (grocery store) and tripe (pet store/feed store).  They are very stinky, but that is what makes them good foods to try.

    If (big if) you can get the dog eating, Fenbendazole (Safe-Guard or Panacur) is one of the safest, gentlest dewormers on the market.  Safe-Guard granules are OTC and your pet store (or feed store) may carry it.   Safe-Guard does come in a liquid, but you would have to mail order that.  You could ask your vet for liquid Panacur and not be dependent on the dog eating. 

    Even if you put some weight on the dog, if she tests positive for heartworms, the shelter will probably put her down.  It is a matter of finances - save one dog or save multiple dogs for the same $$$.  You could call around and try to find a no-kill rescue, but you will be lucky to find anyone who will take her.  You can use www.petfinder.com to list rescues in your area (scroll down on left).

    When all is said and done, there may not be a way to save this dog.  She may be too ill and/or to far gone.  Do what you can and give her love.  Love is what she needs most

    You obviously have a big heart to be caring for this dog at all.  Thanks for taking care of her.

  • Almost forgot - If she does start eating, feed multiple, very small meals to start with.  Gradually increase the size of the meals.  Don't let her eat a lot at one time until you are sure she can keep it down.  Feed some yogurt to help the digestive tract build back up the proper bacteria.

  • Thanks everyone, i will try all of your suggestions.  I feel better having other peoples input. She is such a nice dog.  My daughter managed to get her to eat kibble in the living room by sitting down and hand feeding her one piece of kibble at a time. Then she did eat some from the bowl.  That was a great relief.  I had tried the same thing earlier with no luck.  So we have some progress.  I think this is a great hurdle to have crossed.  Hopefully she will be able to recuperate.  Thanks again,  I will keep you guys posted.

  • Best of luck to you!

    remember to take it slow, she may be too nervous to eat, it happens. Don't let her eat too much at one time - her body is not used to having food, and will not be able to handle large amounts of foods.

  • erica1989
    Don't let her eat too much at one time - her body is not used to having food, and will not be able to handle large amounts of foods.

     

     Great point; feed small amounts several times a day for awhile. I'm so glad she's eating; please keep us posted. It was so kind of you to take her in; bless you. 

  • Painter
    My daughter managed to get her to eat kibble in the living room by sitting down and hand feeding her one piece of kibble at a time.

    Fantastic!  She might willing to lap up some Nutri-Cal now.  That stuff will stimulate her appetite.

    When she is eating enough to mix in Safe-Guard granules, you really need to worm her.  Those pests can steal much of the food she is eating.

    Safe-Guard (link) will get most common types of worms, but not flea tapeworms.  If you see little pieces of "rice" in her stool, she has tapeworms and D-Worm Tapewormer (link) will take care of that.

    If you get yogurt, make sure it has "active live cultures".  Even better you could get a more concentrated form of those probiotics (good bacteria) - just look for freeze-dried acidophilus in any drug store.  Taking that stuff 2-3 hours after each dose of an antibiotic will help to keep the antibiotic from messing up your digest tract, so it is a good addition to your medicine cabinet, too!

  • Well!  We have a somewhat happy ending.  I found the original owners.  Apparently the dog was left in the cab of a pickup.  She jumped out the open window in a parking lot, and we must have picked her up only a few minutes later.  She is so thin because she has been fighting cancer for 3 years.  She has had both her thyroid glands removed, and now has lung cancer.  Her liver is suspect as well. {Which is what my vet had suggested.) She is medicated twice a day, so her owner was very anxious to get her back quickly. He actually gave her the meds on my front steps before even coming in the house.  She looks terrible but as I agreed with her owner, she is still showing that she is enjoying quality of life. My daughter managed to get her to play with a stick in the back yard.  She likes to roll on her back in the grass, and her facial expression shows she is not suffering.  I assured him that he will know when the time comes to take final action.  Bebe is now home.  Thanks to all of you for your support and concern.