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Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:38 am
by maxs_mommy
Max went off feed..which is a sure sign of the apocalypse. He went off his dog food specifically. We feed Primal beef with pureed carrot and scrambled egg mixed in. I called his vet, who happens to be at a agility trial this weekend but was gracious enough to let me have her cell number. She took him if the trilostane, put him on the 5mg emergency pred we keep on hand and we'll do blood work on Monday to re-assess. His last bloodwork showed almost too much Cushing control, hence the steroid. After the pred (9 am) this morning he ate his normal breakfast portion (~5oz of diet) plus a 1.5 oz meatball of 80/20 raw ground beef. Tonight he ate about 2.5 oz of diet then turned his nose up around 8pm. I came home about 1 am, feed him ½ c. whole milk yogurt plus 4oz 80/20 which he ate greedily but still wouldn't touch his food with yogurt mixed in. Then he had diarrhea, that was my fault. He is drinking water and eliminating in his normal patterns/volume.

He will be on pred for the weekend at least, so I may be able to get some diet into him. Can he subsist on 80/20 and whatever else I can get into him or am I doing some irreparable harm? Could I split the pred dose to before meals to help him eat? He is going in Monday, I just have to make it to then. Other options to feed? He is strictly grain free but carbs are not out of the question.

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:58 am
by Jeano
I wish I could help. Sofia has a different problem with renal failure and not wanting to eat.
I don't know what Cushings requires, but have you tried baby food? The apple and chicken is quite delish and pure.

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:10 am
by maxs_mommy
Cushing's itself isn't food specific, too much adrenal (cortisol) suppression trying to balance the Cushing effects (= medically induced addisons) leads to lethargy and loss of appetite. Pred is the "antidote".

I hadn't thought of baby food, I wonder if he'll eat that. He likes the pouch ones, I use some of the fruit ones when I need easy dispensing treats so it's not a far stretch.

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:07 am
by connie
Eggs are my go-to. Scrambled eggs with cooked oatmeal or cooked rice cereal, very bland but good digestibility. Nothing you feed him for a weekend will do irreparable harm, it is okay if he is on an 'unbalanced' diet for a few days. I have fed 'unbalanced' diets to rescue Shelties for a few weeks, to get them to where they can eat a better diet, and no harm was done.

He probably likes the taste of the yogurt, but dairy isn't sitting well in his stomach. He also might handle turkey better than beef right now; turkey meatballs?

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:01 am
by JudyL
Does his Cushings condition require him to eat frequent meals so that missing meals or fasting is harmful? Sorry I haven't experienced that condition to know! The orange fluffer has gone as long as 3+ days without eating during some of her hospitalizations, but she sure was eager to eat once she got home! It's definitely a balancing act with these dogs when they get to the point of having associates of certain flavors with their GI upsets.

Like Connie said, I wouldn't worry about a completely balanced diet for a few days. Are there any other brands of canned food that you get small cans of to try for the near term that would suit him and not cause allergy flares? I'm thinking something that he would like the flavor of that you could supplement with some added calories from whatever carbs that he can have?

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:12 am
by Jen
I don't know about Cushings and you've already received good tips, but I do know Roscoe's and Nicky's vets and the bearded dragon forum experts and my grandma's doctor have all recommended "calories in any form" when they've each gone off food for a while. It seems not to be a species specific bit of advice. :hmm:

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:19 am
by JudyL
Sorry, I just reread your post about the Cushing's treatment is to suppress the adrenal gland so less cortisol is produced & treatment is the pred so that you are trying to balance the amount of steroid in him. I agree with Jen about getting calories in him, whatever it may be that he'll tolerate and won't aggravate his allergies.

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:48 am
by MaisyPancakes
I'm no help with the specifics re: Cushing's, etc., but in terms of simply getting him to eat, you could also try changing up the temperature (warm, cold, etc.), receptacle (hand, bowl, dish, bare floor), location to see if that makes any difference. Argh, how worrisome—hope he eats very soon! :( I have high hopes for canned food, especially if he's usually fed home-prepared.

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:30 pm
by JudyL
Adding to Nana's suggestions of changing it up, texture can also make a difference to some dogs. If it's super moist, you can make it into something similar to semi-moist treat nuggets by spreading it thin in a skillet or by baking it.

Freezing in a Kong like a treat is another idea.

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:53 pm
by LisaT_II
For us here, warmed is good. And jazz doesn't like leftovers :rolleyes:

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:38 pm
by emmas_mom
Food is a continual battle with Mitzi, who is in renal failure (and also has colitis), but I also go by the principle that any food is better than none after a certain length of time. Mitzi gets very ill if she goes without food for 24 hours, so if she is off her food I will use whatever it takes - starting with the healthiest alternatives and moving to less healthy ones if those don't work. My fall back is her prescription Mirtazapene, dissolved in a little water then mixed with powdered kelp and coconut oil and syringed into the back of her mouth - it works like a charm, but only if I don't use it too often. Twenty minutes after the mirtazapene, she is gobbling down her dog food once again.

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:42 pm
by maxs_mommy
Thanks for the reassurance that he's not going to keel over from an unballanced diet for the weekend. I've gotten more ground beef and some baby food to use as a fall-back.

His diet is hit or miss. I split his 5 mg pred dose into two doses, given approx 30 minutes before a meal. Last night he's eating his dinner portion plus some left-overs with the normally added carrot and egg taken out like it's the most amazing thing ever. He ate breakfast too. Tonight he wanted deli roast beef and cheese to the point of a drool puddle before the steroid dose but turned his nose up at dinner. Gave him the 2.5 mg steroid dose and he chows down on his actual dinner. The steroid has been helping him get over the dinner aversion and given him more energy than he's had in a while. We actually went on an almost mile walk today, which has become fewer and farther between because he's been sleeping so much. I thought, once he ate with gusto after the carrot and egg were removed, that it was something in those two things but tonight he turned up his nose at the food until the pred. He will eat other things with gusto. I'm torn about whether to withhold out-of-meal treats to entice him to be hungry for meals or to just get calories in him. He will eventually eat but this is a dog who would quiver when you got the bowl out of the fridge and race you to the meal spot to put his bowl down. We had to put his racing antics on cue ("Go in!" Commence dog running through the house) so we didn't trip trying to get to his food down. It's disconcerting.

Re: Feeding help!

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:09 pm
by LisaT_II
I've had a couple of dogs on baking soda therapy and it really helped their appetites and what appeared to be over acidity. Worked better than the drugs... just used about 1/4 teaspoon in a fat syringe with water, water to bicarb about 2:1.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... lysis.html

https://www.kidney.org/news/ekidney/apr ... da_april09