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Unread 05-18-2012, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default Dog with kidney problems won't eat

We are at a loss as to what to do. Our 4 year old Kings Charles Cavalier has just been diagnosed with kidney failure. He is lively but WILL NOT EAT!

He has always been a fussy eater which is why I mentioned this to the vet when having his nails clipped. After bloods, urine samples and a scan they concluded that his kidneys were not right.

He is on Antepsin and tablets for this condition but is losing weight. The vet said we must get him to eat but HOW?

We have tried chappie, kidney food, human food and several dog foods. He may eat a teaspoon at a time but no more. He has now started to push the bowl away when we present food to him. Remarkably he will eat gravy bones (the treat ones)!

Any ideas as to what we can do would be appreciated. we do not want him to starve to death.

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Unread 05-18-2012, 01:46 PM   #2
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Hmmm, IIWM, I'd be chopping up some of the gravy bones that he WILL eat into small pieces and mixing them well with the food that's actually good for him!

If he's anything like Kenzie he'll go digging for the 'good stuff' and eat the rest along with it. He's not capable of picking out just the little pieces and leaving the rest.

What are the different foods that you've tried him on so far and for how long did you try each before giving up on that one? The reason I ask is because the 'pro's' around here will be along soon and I know they'll want all that info...

BTW - welcome to the forum! We're a great bunch to hang out with.

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Unread 05-18-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Sherbs, welcome to the forum! What kind of food are you currently feeding him? What kind of treats?

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Unread 05-18-2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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Try soaking it in water then zap it in the microwave until just warm to the finger. That's what we did with Lucy when she was having this problem really badly. It got extra liquid into her too.
By the way folks Lucy is doing fine these days
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Unread 05-18-2012, 01:59 PM   #5
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Cat Kidney Health | Pet Renal Problems | Dog Kidney Health | The Honest Kitchen

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Unread 05-18-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for your replies. Billy was on James Wellbeloved dry food before his probs. He has never eaten well, we thought he was a fussy eater but now think he has had kidney probs since birth. We gave him just chicken at the vets instruction before moving him on to a wet food so that he keeps getting moisture into him. Vet suggested chappie - he sniffed and walked away tried for a few days same thing happened. He ate a few spoonfuls of homemade chicken rice and veg in gravy but after a day or so he gave up eating that and walked away at the sight of it. We have tried James wellbeloved wet food - we have zapped it in the microwave to warm it up and tried to entice him to eat by putting the gravy on our fingers and getting him to lick them. Again sometimes he will eat about a spoonful but then nothing for days on end. he has lost over a kilo in 4 weeks and at a starting weight of 7.5 kilos he don't have much to loose!

I will try crunching up gravy bones in food............

BTW he has no treats as he is not eating his real food!

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Unread 05-18-2012, 03:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
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BTW he has no treats as he is not eating his real food!
Even treats have nutritional value!

At that kind of weight loss IIWM I'd be more inclined to feed him anything nutritional that he's willing to eat and worry about what's considered 'real food' and what is 'treats' later!!

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Unread 05-18-2012, 04:15 PM   #8
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We did think about this but the vet keeps on saying he needs a balanced diet. We are inclined to feed him anything he will eat - dog food or human food. We are trying to do our best for our little boy. He has just had 3 gravy bones but turned away when they were buried in his dinner! Me thinks he is a smart dog! I will try more gravy bones tomorrow as it is almost bed time. I know he is ill but he could last a long time if they kidney failure is managed. It's good to have real people to chat to about it. Thank you!

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Unread 05-18-2012, 05:52 PM   #9
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Another idea is boiled eggs and watery rice. It's important to keep the liquid coming. Maybe boil a chicken and keep the broth and mix the unsalted ( very important) with rice.
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Unread 05-19-2012, 03:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techie View Post
...By the way folks Lucy is doing fine these days
techie
That's great news!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenzie'sMom View Post
Even treats have nutritional value!

At that kind of weight loss IIWM I'd be more inclined to feed him anything nutritional that he's willing to eat and worry about what's considered 'real food' and what is 'treats' later!!
I tend to agree, given the weight loss. Loss of appetite causes continued loss of appetite. If you can spark the appetite, then you can adjust the quality of the nutrition once you've got him eating.
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We did think about this but the vet keeps on saying he needs a balanced diet. We are inclined to feed him anything he will eat - dog food or human food. We are trying to do our best for our little boy. He has just had 3 gravy bones but turned away when they were buried in his dinner! Me thinks he is a smart dog! I will try more gravy bones tomorrow as it is almost bed time. I know he is ill but he could last a long time if they kidney failure is managed. It's good to have real people to chat to about it. Thank you!
This is not entirely appetite loss due to renal failure, I'm sorry to say. If he's always been a finicky eater, then he's holding out for the goodies, some, too. Because you have an acute situation with the current state of his illness, you can't really address that, at the moment. You are not doing him any favors by feeding him human foods, scraps or leftovers. Human diets tend to be higher in salt and sugar than is good for healthy dogs, much less dogs in renal failure. If you do use human foods, then use them as small toppers for a base of a canine diet.

Because he has little appetite, whatever complete dog food you try for him needs to be using a high-quality protein, such as chicken or fish, and it needs to be nutritionally dense so he still gets significant nutrition though eating less. If I were you, I'd be considering something from Arden Grange or Burns. Feed canned foods warmed, and dry foods moistened with warm liquid (no hotter than about 100F in either case).

For sparking the appetite with nutritionally dense possibilities, check our Dog Food and Treat Recipes forum for Liver Soup, Satin Balls (or Fat Balls), Liver Cake, and Tuna Cake. Consider the homemade wet/canned food. Consider toppers such as a shaving of hard cheese, tinned sardines packed in oil, tinned tuna, salmon, or mackerel, but not kippers, which are too salty. Slivers (very thin) of liver sausage or liverwurst or braunschweiger, or one of the meat rolls made for canine diets.

The liver soup recipe is one used to spark appetites as a last resort in foster and shelter dogs, and it has worked well for me.
Quote:
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Another idea is boiled eggs and watery rice. It's important to keep the liquid coming. Maybe boil a chicken and keep the broth and mix the unsalted ( very important) with rice.
techie
This, combined with the treats, might work very well. Eggs are a very high-quality protein.
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