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Won't Eat...Need help bad

by Marsha A.

I have a rescue maltese that has just gotten over a three week illness with Pneumonia, and she will not eat. The vet said today that she is well, but has just either lost her will to eat or is greiving over a lost owner. I have tried the following and she is not eating.

Cooked chicken (baked, boiled, fried) liver (boiled) hamburger (baked, boiled, fried) Steak (baked and grilled) canned dog food ( several brands ) dry dog food (I took her to PetSmart to try samples)

I can only get her to eat a few bites by begging and hand feeding. She will chew the food up, turn her face away and spit it out.She really has me stumped, she is still losing weight and I am worried sick about her.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Have you checked your dogs teeth? Perhaps there are decayed teeth This could prevent her eating

Hi Marsha---have you tried canned cat food? I know this is NOT usually a good idea, but desperate times, desperate measures. Hope your little resuce baby is better soon.

CHEESE BISCUITS Misty's Treats Dog Biscuits--Cheese Flavored Yield: 1 batch 1 c Oats, rolled 1/3 c Butter 1 c Water 3/4 c Cornmeal 1 tb Sugar 1 ts Bouillon, beef 1/2 c Milk 4 oz Cheese, cheddar; shredded 1 Egg, beaten 3 c Flour, whole wheat Boil water. Combine oats, butter and water. Let stand ten minutes. Stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, milk, cheese and egg. Mix well. Add flour, a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition to form a stiff dough. On floured surface, knead in remaining flour until dough is smooth and no longer sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. Roll or pat out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with bone shaped cookie cutter. Place 1-inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Originally from Josie Minerich, Denver Post. My dog is very picky, and won't eat any of the treats I buy for him. I made these this weekend and he went crazy for them! -Patti -Patti

Marsha, I don't have any suggestions, just a word of encouragement and appreciation for all your work. It just came to mind that our Toby will eat better for my husband 9 times out of ten, than for me. Maybe other family members might get a better response out of her for some reason. My best wishes and prayers for your little one. I was thinking of e-mailing you regarding ideas to start rescues--I am still burdened by this, but it sounds like you have your hands full right now. I will put it on hold for now. Best of luck to you!

Marsha, Lucy was in a bit of misery following her spaying and also would not eat; fortunately only for a day or so. I bought chicken cat food (I think Amore or Fancy Feast--it had sliced/chunked chicken) and similar sliced beef and fed it by hand. I held her in my arms on the bed and cuddled her and fed her tiny piece by tiny piece. She didn't eat a lot of it, but enough to make sure she got something. Don't know if this will work. I hope that you can turn the tide for the foundling. I'm pulling for her. Can you get some of that Nutri-whatever in the tube into her? Maybe she will lick it off your fingers. I am sure you've had much more experience with this sort of thing than I and know what to try, but hopefully you will get some good input here. Take care.
-cathy brown

Marsha, When I first brought my rescue home I experienced the same thing, She simply would not put ANYTHING in her mouth for the first 48 hours. I too tried everything,including some ones suggestion from this site to try the commercial baby food meat sticks. I was beside myself. So I consoled myself by simply paying constant loving attention to her during this time period.Eventually it was the baby food sticks that she went for(tiny pieces,kinda mashed on my finger),then to Iams chicken canned food,and now to Iams regular. I think they must go through some 'shocky' period,you know they must suffer terribly emotionally being moved to totally unfamiliar surroundings. Hang in there, we all know that you are doing your absolute best.

It's possible that he's still ill and it just hasn't surfaced yet. Recently my little elderly Max lost one fourth of his body weight and I was sure we were nearing the end. But...I started giving him (hand feeding) one half of a peanut butter sandwich every evening. I had to spread it very thin or he'd choke and I had to hand feed in very small bites. He recovered all of his lost weight and perked up like he's found the fountain of youth. Now, he only gets it if he has eaten his dog food.

Thank you for all of the suggestions, and encouragement. I did have her teeth checked, as I thought maybe that could be the problem, also I thought maybe a sore throat, because she spit the food out, but the vet checked everything, did stools, cultures, blood, and said that she is well. I have not, however, tried cat food. I am going to get some and give it a try. She ate a bite of bacon and a bite of baked chicken, and a few bites of ham today, but that was all. I am force feeding her and giving her Neutra-cal and another prescription supplement hat will keep her alive until we can get her to eat. I am also going to make the bisquits. I might try them myself, they sound pretty good. I will let you know if something works.
-Marsha A.

Have you tried baby food? When my dog was ill, he would not eat anything but canned baby food (the vet recommended it). He especially liked the lamb! Good luck!

I'm glad to hear that you are force feeding your dog some nutrition. I have found that appetite is a good indication of how a dog is feeling. I have never had a well dog that would not eat eventually. Even a "picky eater" will not starve itself. Since you have tried all different tastes, I doubt its a preference probelm. I have found that when force feeding an ill dog, all of a sudden it will start eating on its own. There have been times when I've had to make "meat balls" and force them down a dogs throat and then one day, they'll just start chewing them -- to my relief! Of course appetite is not the only indicator of health, how is her attitude, stamina, etc.? One thing to bear in mind is that you can make a picky eater out of a dog by offering it many different foods (accompanied by a worried look). Good Luck.

What kind of meat balls do you make to force them to eat?How do you force them to eat? I have heard people doing this but have no clue how and what is done.Thanks

Have you tried pouring alittle bit of maple syrup on top of the dog food? This is just to force your baby to eat and not meant to form a habit. (My vet recommended it and it worked).

When I first brought my puppy home she went through about 48 hours of shock. She wouldn't eat ANYTHING. Canned, moistened dry, people food (liver, hamburger, oatmeal, cheese, you name it). My vet suggested I buy jarred baby food (the mashed up beef stuff) and boiled rice. She wouldn't try that either. Finally out of desparation, I gave Chilli about two inches of a mashed up banana. She gobbled it up so fast I almost missed it! I know bananas are as a rule not the greatest thing for the plumbing, but it worked. After after that, she would eat the baby food. Please keep us posted. Wendy P. & Chilli
-Wendy P. & Chilli

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