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Hi everyone,

Apologies if this is in the wrong forum - I don't know if it should fall under Health / Food or what.

Basically, I adopted a Yorkie X from the city dogs home about a month ago and he's estimated to be around 10+ years old. He has a lot of health problems which hasnt been helped by the fact that he was found as stray. I adopted him knowing he probably wouldn't live a long life but I wanted him to live the rest of his years in comfort.

When I got him he weighed 3.3kgs and was very emaciated. He has 2 teeth left on one side of his mouth which need removing (but I don't think he would made it through any anaesthetic procedure due to his health) so I've decided to try and feed him up before letting him undergo any surgery. He also has cataracts and an eye infection which is now almost cleared. Aside of this he also has problems which aren't currently affecting him as such - benign tumour on his bottom, heart murmur etc.

For the first few days of having him he wouldn't eat and I put this down to him being in a new environment / not liking the food etc. After 2 or 3 days he started eating but ONLY out of my hand and never out of the bowl (despite me changing the bowl from ceramic to plastic to metal etc). I put this down to his past; maybe being a stray he was used to being hand fed or eating off the floor; or even his original owner was an elderly person who fed from their pocket.

By about Day 6 of having him I noticed he wasn't eating anymore, had a horrible cough and runny nose. I guessed he had caught kennel cough so I took him to the vets and as he was in a bad way they admitted him overnight for IV fluids, IV antibiotics, and to be force fed, having bloods etc. This really put me out of pocket but I was willing to pay because I believed that once he overcame all this he could still live a fair few years in comfort.

I had him transferred to another vet the next day as it was cheaper to be treated there and they sent him home with me on oral antibiotics and high calorie pureed dog food to be fed through a syringe and electrolyte powder to be mixed with his water. He has been back on average once a week since I had him and I've seen no improvement.

Its a real struggle to syringe feed him as he spits it out. He only gets about 40mls a day if we're successful. I've tried feeding him fresh chicken, ham, beef, scrambled eggs, weetabix and pretty much anything thats on my plate. He refuses every time. I'm so confused though as he follows me into the kitchen and sniffs around the cat dishes and even licks his lips after being syringe fed sometimes. Its like he's hungry but just WONT eat. I've tried leaving him alone with the food, sitting next to him, forcing him to eat it and NOTHING works. I've wormed him but thats not made a difference.

He sleeps a lot but I guess thats because hes not got much energy but when he's awake he will walk around the living room, wag his tail and he doesnt mind being handled or having a 5 minute walk. He doesn't whimper in pain.

I love him to bits and really want to get him better but I wonder if I am fighting a losing battle, or if I'm being selfish in force feeding him. I've left him for 3 days without force feeding him and he still won't eat from a bowl or my hand and because he's so underweight I don't want to starve him so I end up syringe feeding again.

Is there anything else I can try? Do I stop syringe feeding and let nature take its toll? I go back to my vet all the time but he cant actually give me an answer as to whats wrong with him and its costing me a fortune and I'd hate to think I'm doing the wrong thing by my dog. I'm just confused because aside of his medical problems he seems like a content (albeit a bit reserved at times) dog and if he doesnt want to eat, shall I leave him to it?

Any help or advice appreciated. Sorry for the long post!
 

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hi my dogs putting me in the same situation he has GME and menigitus
all i can say is that you have done everything possible for this little man
and like me you have a hard decision if it helps im off to the vets later to
see what they advise
good luck your both in my thoughts xxx
 

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I can't really help you make the decision, but I wanted to address something. Please have him humanely euthd. Do not let him starve to death. I'm sure you had no plans too, but the wording made me say something.

Best of luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies.

BrittanyG - I would never let him starve to death, so I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I just wondered if I was doing the right thing by force feeding him and whether I should stop doing that (and ultimately take him to the vets to be put to sleep).
 

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Try feeding him from a small flat plate like a salad plate. Pepper wouldn't eat his food from a bowl, and a flat plate did the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He had blood taken and the results only showed that he was slightly anaemic.

I will try a small plate this evening. I'd love for that to be the solution!
 

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How is he with drinking water?
Will he lick something off his nose if you put a tiny bit on it?

Make sure your syringe feeding his properly and not giving him too much at one time.

At the clinic I work at if we have an animal that is refusing food, we tend to try really stinky cheap food to jump start their appetite. Most times, even our most sick doggies couldn't resist a teaspoon of Pedigree. We would take a tiny smear of it and wipe it on top of their nose (not in the nose, on top) and most times they'd lick it off and start looking for more.

But, that may not work for your little guy. It sounds like eating may cause him pain. I know you said he has two teeth left that look like they need to be extracted, but how are his gums? Are they inflamed or sensitive?
 

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How is he with drinking water?
Will he lick something off his nose if you put a tiny bit on it?

At the clinic I work at if we have an animal that is refusing food, we tend to try really stinky cheap food to jump start their appetite. Most times, even our most sick doggies couldn't resist a teaspoon of Pedigree. We would take a tiny smear of it and wipe it on top of their nose (not in the nose, on top) and most times they'd lick it off and start looking for more.

But, that may not work for your little guy. It sounds like eating may cause him pain. I know you said he has two teeth left that look like they need to be extracted, but how are his gums? Are they inflamed or sensitive?
I agree with trying the cheap stuff. I don't know what they put in it but every species seems to like junk food. As my/my parents old dog went off his food (eating less and less until hardly any at all for days) we tried cheap stuff. I think it's even worse than pedigree but at least he is eating. I don't like that he is eating junk long term but it is better than starving to death or being miserably hungry.

Also those teeth may be hurting him enough to make him not eat. They may have to come out sooner than later...
 

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It sounds like eating may cause him pain. I know you said he has two teeth left that look like they need to be extracted, but how are his gums? Are they inflamed or sensitive?
I'm wondering why the vet hasn't also investigated that? If he has teeth that need to be extracted, it makes sense that he'd have gum pain. Maybe also consider a second opinion as well.

I don't know if someone else has already asked, but will he drink liquids?
 

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I'm wondering why the vet hasn't also investigated that? If he has teeth that need to be extracted, it makes sense that he'd have gum pain. Maybe also consider a second opinion as well.

I don't know if someone else has already asked, but will he drink liquids?
I think the reason the decided to wait on the teeth was because the dog didnt seem healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Without knowing the exact shape of the dog its hard to say what is personally do for sure, but since it seems like the amount of pain he's in seems to be why he's refusing food, then I might go ahead and risk the anesthesia.

Poor little guy. Hope he starts to feel better soon.
 

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Have you tried canned catfood, most dogs I know would do anything for eat ;-)
 
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