Dog ate chocolate?

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Dog won't eat.

Species: Dog
Breed: golden
Age: Less than 3 mon
HELP!

Starting I think Thursday or Friday Max ate but was easily distracted. I'd have to lead him back to the bowl.

He seemed to be drinking more.

Saturday morning he sniffed his food and didn't eat it.

I brought him to emerg. Examination was normal. Drew blood and urine. Gave him Subcut antinausea.

Brought him home. He finished his food.

To get him to eat his lunch and dinner I had to resort to tricks. Warmed it up. Changed the bowl. Broke it into smaller quantity. Added pieces of Pill Pocket.

Brought him back to emerg. X ray showed nothing. Blood and urine completely normal.

Gave him femotidine and metro for a week.

Stools normal.

This morning I had to include pill pockets to make him eat.

Activity level, alertness and playfullness very high. Still jumps onto counters, plays tug of war, etc.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Well this is frustrating! I am sure it is very unusual for Max to refuse food like this, and I do believe that it is something to be concerned about.

Given Max's history I am worried about a foreign object in his intestines or stomach even though his xrays were normal. Not everything shows up on xrays so if he has eaten something that was made of cloth for example it may not have been seen.

If Max were my case I would likely be doing a barium series of xrays next. This will help us know if there is a foreign object.

Here's another thought though...how old is Max now? Is it possible he is teething. This happens around 4.5-6 months of age. If his mouth is sore then he won't want to eat. This usually doesn't last more than a couple of days though.

Have you tried offering him soft food? Or even watered down food?

But again, knowing Max's history I think it is a good idea to take him back for some barium xrays.

I really hope he is ok!

Dr. Marie.



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Customer reply:

Hes 7 months. All his teeth are in now.
He doesnt refuse hard treats. I have tried to soften his food. Doesnt make a difference.
Hes not had any signs of vomiting at all.

Quantity of food going in is still 6 cups a day. Stools still normal. No soreness on palpation. As a matter of fact he still lies down on his back with his torso twisted sideways.

Do you think the femotidine will do much? I dont think metronidazole will since it effects lower GI.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, so he is still eating 6 cups a day, but reluctantly? If he is eating that much food then I am not as worried.

Definitely continue with the famotidine and the metronidazole. The famotidine is quite good for helping with stomach upset by cutting down stomach acid production. The metronidazole is really good at helping with intestinal inflammation. So, if there is any intestinal cramping that is causing him discomfort then this will help.

So, given the new information that he is still eating but just not as ravenously as usual I am comfortable with waiting for a couple of more days to see if things are getting better or worse.

Hopefully we will see improvement soon!

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

Yes, once I pour the food he will come to me for pets like he doesn't notice the food, sniff it then walk away. Ive had to resort to warming it up, putting water in it, changing the bowl. All sorts of tricks. Last two meals required me to mix pill pockets in it to make him eat. But he did ingest 6 cups of dry p/d a day since Thursday(which is his regular amount). And his stools are more or less normal.

Hes had a little more gas than usual (but it's so subjective). Food and gas pockets showed in the x ray. They sent in a stool sample.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

OK. I think, Jay, if he is not eating his normal amount, or if things have not improved in 2-3 more days then I would recommend another visit. Otherwise, keep doing what you are doing and he should improve.


Hope he is better soon!



Customer reply:

In your experience, do you think it's just a GI upset? Could it still be a partial blockage with no vomiting? What are the chances it's something more serious? What else could it be?


Totally off topic, but did you ever think of installing a chat client?

Many services (Rogers for example) have chat windows. It's so much more efficient than waiting for emails, reopening the site, typing a new message each time. Also it will save any misunderstood messages that have to be clarified. People may even pay an additional fee for this convenience. I would.

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is tough to answer without examining Max, but I do think that GI upset is quite likely. I had a similar case to this last week. The only other thing I could think of would be something like back pain, but then you would be noticing him being mopey, so I don't think this is it.

You know, a chat client is not a bad idea! I will look into this!

Thanks Jay,
Dr. Marie



Customer reply:

Back pain? HA. Hasn't stopped him from jumping on the bed or up on the counter.
I just threw a handful of food in the dish and he's eating it now. It's crazy.


Good luck with the chat client. I think that would take your site to the next level!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

See, all Max needs is for you to talk to me and then he gets better. LOL!

Hope you guys have a wonderful day.



Customer reply:

Take care and thanks.

Jay


Customer reply:

Just an update.

Brought him to vet Monday morning after having to coax him some more to eat. Exam showed nothing. Offered him treats at vet and he ate about 15 of them then jumped on the counter before I moved it away..

On advice, put lunch out for 20 min then took it away. No bite.

Put dinner out for 20 min then took away. No bite.

Brought back to vet to get Medical puppy digestion meal - try changing foods.

Came home and Max finished his original p/d from before.

This morning he ignored breakfast until I threw a few on the floor then he ate about half the food.

Seems he wants to eat but something stops him, will try the new food tonite. If not that, ultrasound?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hmmm...this is a puzzler. Ultimately it will be up to your vet to decide which test to do next but if Max was my patient I would be doing a barium series next to see if there is something in his stomach. It doesn't necessarily have to cause vomiting but can cause him to feel full so he doesn't want to eat.

Let's see how he does with the new food.

Your vets must be puzzled too!



Customer reply:

Won't a dog eat new food just because it's new


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Maybe...maybe not. I have seen some dogs who go off of their food because the food was moldy or had tiny grain mites in it. (This can happen even with a really good brand of food). If this is the case then he should eat the new food and keep eating it.

But, if he doesn't eat the new food, or if he eats it well for a short while and then reverts back to not wanting to eat again then I'd be worried that there is something going on.



Customer reply:

Certainly is weird. Last night He ate it all with no incentives after skipping two meals. This morning stopped at half



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Did you try the new food yet or was it the p/d that he only ate half of?



Customer reply:

Haven't opened the new food as yet.

It's almost been gradual.

Monday-Wed he was less enthused approaching the food (which I thought was due to the pet sitter teaching him to stay before eating).

Thursday, Friday he at the food but was easily distracted. Stopped, came for pets, then I brought him back.

Sat, Sun required pill pockets to eat.

Until this he always at 6c a day.

It wasnt until Monday that he only ate half with the pill pockets. But after the vet visit finished it.

Monday he skipped lunch and dinner because no treats?

But after vet at 9 he finished the 2 cups with no treat.

Im stumped Maybe he does hate the food. Or, something is growing in him?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Again, I would say try the new food and see how things go. Next step, if he's still not right is some barium xrays to look for an object in his stomach.



Customer reply:

Haven't opened the new food as yet.

It's almost been gradual.

Monday-Wed he was less enthused approaching the food (which I thought was due to the pet sitter teaching him to stay before eating).

Thursday, Friday he at the food but was easily distracted. Stopped, came for pets, then I brought him back.

Sat, Sun required pill pockets to eat.

Until this he always at 6c a day.

It wasnt until Monday that he only ate half with the pill pockets. But after the vet visit finished it.

Monday he skipped lunch and dinner because no treats?

But after vet at 9 he finished the 2 cups with no treat.

Im stumped Maybe he does hate the food. Or, something is growing in him?


Customer reply:

Just following up, may not be partial obstruction.

True, I could only get him to eat 1 cup at 7 am.

At noon he stopped at 1 cup then puppy sitter changed bowls, ate another cup.

For dinner he ignore the meal. I threw a handful down. 20 min later it was gone. Threw 1 cup down, 15 min later its gone. Threw another cup. Wasn't until 20 min later I fed him a couple by hand that he ate it all.

All with no treats.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It sounds like Max is eating a lot of food when you add it all up. It's possible that there is nothing wrong with him but he is simply through his heavy growth stage of life and therefore needs less food.

If Max is bright, not vomiting and still eating some food then I wouldn't be too worried. However, if he starts to vomit or if he does not want to eat at all over an entire day then I would be more concerned.



Customer reply:

Next time it's parakeets.

After I wrote that, between obedience training and 3 filled kongs he ate a 3rd cup for dinner.

I think he's just being weird.

Thanks for listening

Jay



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome! Too funny about the parakeets...I won't be able to help you at all if you get one of those!

Don't forget that everything else Max eats contributes to his calories as well. What are you filling the kongs with? It really does sound like he is eating plenty!



Customer reply:

The diet is very restrictive (assuming he eats it or displays a desire to). 6 cups of p/d per day measured out.

Every couple of nights, fill a kong with 2-6 medi-treats.
Twice a week, a carrot or apple.

No people food.


Customer reply:

He Eats!

Since Wed lunch Max has been eating his 3 meals a day without any incentives.

Though he does stop halfway through dinner and needs to be lead back and primed by placing a few kibbles on the floor to get things rolling again.

The metro even seems to have solidifed his stools a bit.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Excellent, sounds like things are looking up!



Customer reply:

Max turned 7 months Jan 2, 2011. He has his adult teeth in. Can he chew on those smelly bullwinkles yet?

Thanks,

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I don't have a problem with him having chew toys. I do want to make sure he is totally recovered from whatever caused him to be off of his food lately before we give him any new treats though.

When you do decide to give him some start with just one (or even part of one if that is possible) and wait a few days to see how his intestines will handle it before you give him any more.



Customer reply:

True. Things are still unpredictable. He sniffed at his breakfast this morning and went to sit by the door. An hour later I coaxed him to finish by placing food on the floor around his dish.

Same for lunch, though yesterday he polished off lunch and dinner.

I'm considering changing foods.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

That's not a bad idea.

It's also a good idea to take him in to the vet's just to get weighed. If he is gaining weight through all of this then I am even more inclined to say that he is just maturing and his appetite is slowing down.



Customer reply:

From last Friday to Monday he seemed to gain 1.5 lbs (on two different scales). I'm beginning to lower his food from 5.5 to 5 cups which should help shrink his stools and make him more comfortable.





Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Good plan!



Customer reply:

So given that it seems "less likely" to be a blockage (Saturday morning he passed 3 very large stools between 8am and 9:30, we went walking in the snow for 2 hours and he came home and polished off 2c lunch and 2c dinner within 3 hrs of each other), what food is a good food?

I was at PetSmart and the Royal Canin rep suggested Large Breed Puppy. Chicken meal but 32% protein.

You also suggested Iams.

If he was your 7 month old golden what would you feed him?

Thanks

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

If he's producing this much stool and not vomiting then no, it doesn't sound like a blockage.

The three foods that I consistently recommend are Iams, Royal Canin, and Science Diet.

There are many different kinds of each of these brands, but any of the adult formulations would be good for a 7 month old dog.



Customer reply:

I see, so you'd recommend taking him to an adult formula as opposed to the large breed puppy formulas which supposedly go up to 1 yr?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Yes, it's only recently that adolescent food became available. Personally, I don't think there's that much difference between those and the adult foods.



Customer reply:

Great thanks. Royal Canin even has a Golden Retriever specific food (supposedly cuts down on enlarged hearts and hot spots).

Thanks

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome. And yes, I do think that the Royal Canin breed specific foods are very good.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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