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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-20-2020, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Loss of appetite

Hardee is a male rescue. His normal weight is around 63ish lbs. We think he is 7-8 yrs old per North Texas Doberman Rescue. A few weeks ago I noticed he began getting less interested in food. He would be excited when I brought his bowl out to feed him but would give the food a sniff then walk away. Sometimes he would come back and eat and other times not. I started adding some bone broth to each bowl and he went back to eating it up. After a few weeks of this even that didn't seem to be working as well so I tried canned food. He had 9 teeth extracted before I got him. I was managing him to eat some but it took lots of encouragement and calling him back to his bowl. At this point I brought him to a local vet who looked him over drew blood for a full panel and did a check for parasites. Per the vet everything came up good. He suggested going all in on the canned food and add some boiled chicken breast. This helped a bit. Between the 2 feedings he probably got about half his daily calorie requirement to maintain weight.

At this point he suggested we take upper and lower x-rays. Those came up clean. Clear lungs and no masses to be seen. He suggested trying entyce to get him to eat. That was earlier this week. I have to say so far it has worked fairly well. It seems to last about a day and about 90 minutes after administering it he will eat. I can give him his evening meal and he will eat that. By the morning he is back to being disinterested in eating.

A few other notes, his stool is solid and I haven't witnessed him vomiting at all. Other than slight decrease in energy his behavior hasn't changed. Still loves walks and loves to run, bark in the back yard and do his version of guarding the house when inside (barking at anything that walks by). There is an area nearby where I can usually let him run off leash a bit and he can still run there and seems to enjoy it as much as ever.

So far other than him not wanting to eat due to the heat the vet has no ideas.

As of last Friday he was down to about 59lbs so he is losing weight.


I have fed him blue buffalo grain free dry food from the first day we got him and until this started he inhaled it and maintained a healthy weight. I tried the canned blue buffalo grain free stuff. This is just a personal preference as I don't believe dogs should be eating grain filler in their food.

I don't want to have to keep giving him a stimulant to eat for the rest of his life as I don't believe it's natural and seems like it will just do long term damage. I love the guy dearly but feel like I am at a crossroads here. Letting him starve until he has to be euthanized seems cruel also. Fortunately I'm not on a shoestring budget. I'd gladly spend what I have already spent over the last few weeks over again if it meant him getting better.

I'm in the DFW area so if the best suggestion is try another vet I'm open to recommendations though the guy I am using seems to genuinely care and is doing the right things in the right order.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-20-2020, 08:55 AM
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Is he neutered? Sometimes a girl in heat around will cause the boys to lose appetite; they have other things on their minds.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-20-2020, 09:03 AM
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Welcome to DT Brad ! Un-less I missed something - you took him to the Vet - ran all tests - came back good = a good thing - x-rays = good , it sounds like you are taking the right steps - But you have did everything right - But I did not see that you tried to switching foods to se if that helped - This is just me - but I have never been a Blue Buffalo fan , but like I said , that's just me . If he was my dog - I believe I would try something different ( food ) and see what happens - remember to mix the new with the old food slowly - blending it , then keep increasing the amount of new .

Best of luck !

Doc
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-20-2020, 09:46 AM
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I am not a particular fan of any of the grain free foods. Having watched enough coyotes rob small corn fields of ripe corn (while I was sitting on a bluff above the corn field waiting for a track to age) I think that grain of any kind is found in many wild canid's diets.

And there have been other recent findings that suggest that a number of micronutrients are provided by grains in the diet that aren't duplicated by lentils or potatoes or other legumes as substitutes for the carbohydrate in commercial dog food.

But that's kind of beside the point, since what you want is for the dog to eat. One of the problems with Dobes is they are very smart and very good at training people, especially when it comes to food and since you've kind of made the effort to check for possible physical causes of the non-eating I think I'd go along with EICN and try a change of food.

But I'll add a word of caution--I would not keep changing the food--you'll find yourself with a dog who'll eat one food for a few days or a few weeks and then demand something different.

I've been feeding Dobermans for a long time--got my first in 1959 and for a good many years now my go to food has been Purina Pro Plan Focus generally I feed the Sensitive Skin and Stomach (not because of anything going on with my dogs but because fish and the food is a salmon and rice formula) has the highest digestability rating with chicken coming in second. And for the record I never feed lamb--I've tried it several times over the years and I find that my Dobes don't do well on it. Only took about 6 weeks before their coats started looking terrible and their stools were soft and mushy.

Is it only breakfast he's turning his nose up at? I ask because in one of my failed attempts to change breeds I had an Australian Shepherd--lovely dog played with the puppies when the adult Dobes just wanted to kill them because they were such pills. One morning he came in with the Dobes for breakfast (he was around 3-1/2) and looked in his bowl and basically said "no thanks--not hungry". For 6 or 7 years after that he ate dinner and I gave him a little extra but just as suddenly as he stopped eating two meal a day he came in one morning and was begging for food. Who knows? He went back to eating two meals a days until his death at nearly 13.

And while I don't keep upping the value of extras in meals I do always include extra stuff. Breakfast for the dogs around here is kibble (and most of my adult dogs eat approximately 2 cups per meal--less in the summer and a bit more in the winter) but they get a spoonful of yogurt or cottage cheese with breakfast and with dinner they get a hard boiled egg and sometimes a spoonful of meat. Mostly the meat isn't canned food--but that's only because a lot of dogs don't handle it well. So if I find a bargain on ground beef or ground turkey I'll cook a pound of that with enough water to make it kind of a sloppy joe consistency freeze about 1/2 of it in small containers refrigerate the other 1/2. Or if chicken hindquarters are on sale (which happens fairly frequently in one of the markets I shop at--I'll buy a pack of two. Put them in a pot, cover with water and simmer for an hour or more until the meat is falling off the bone. Cool, remove bones save the broth. Chop the meat put the broth back in and pack into small containers (it'll usually fit into small cottage cheese containers--freeze three and thaw as necessary and feed a heaping spoonful with dinner.

Good luck on this--there is hardly anything more frustrating than trying to get an animal to eat when they can't tell you why they aren't eating.

dobebug
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-20-2020, 09:58 AM
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Good point about the extra's Bug - sometimes I will add some NO - Salt Green beans to his food - Oh god he loves them - for what ever reason - I tried some one time - I might as well had a hand full of grass from the yard = no taste .
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-20-2020, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.

He is neutered and while I'm not aware of any females in heat nearby I'm going to guess that's not it because it's not like he's begging to stay outside.

In regards to food I went straight to what I thought would have been the easiest on his stomach which is chicken breast and while he ate some I saw only minimal change in food drive. It's like he wants to eat but when it's put in front of him he decides never mind.

In regards to food we always had mutts growing up, had one that only ate canned food and later another that only ate dry stuff but never really switched.

The statement about dobies being able to train humans is right on and something I have been wondering about. He is incredibly intelligent and you can definitely tell he learns new behaviors easy which is really what my first thought on all this was. They are great at learning things you want them to know and do but also seem just as good at learning how to get into trouble. I have to believe though that the drive to live would win out over some sort of behavioral thing at least if he was healthy.

I'm going to give the Purina Pro Plan focus for sensitive skin and stomach a try. I should be able to pick some up today and see how he does on it. I'm absolutely no expert on canine nutrition so any advice there is appreciated. I anticipate him eating supper since I gave him the entyce this morning but tomorrow should give me more info.

If anyone else has advice I'm all ears.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-20-2020, 11:39 AM
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Was he in a foster home at the rescue? If so, how long? I would probably just give it a little time since he's still in the honeymoon period in his new home. I would try the tough love approach, take his bowl up after 10 minutes if he decides not to eat and he can have a chance at the next meal time.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-20-2020, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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He was i a foster home for about 3 months as best as we can tell. We have had him for a year and a half however. It was a year last December. I think I know what you mean about the honeymoon period though. It seems like it was a good 9 months or so before he really settled in.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-20-2020, 02:11 PM
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My dogs thrive on Proplan. I wish you good luck! Sounds super frustrating.

Bug has great advice.


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 07:05 AM
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I don't know WHY - I didn't think of this yesterday , but it hit me last night , I have seen this before here on the not right farm . But as some of our Dober's got older , they did get more picky ! The main reason , as the bag of dog food got lower , the slower they ate it ! Kadin is getting that way now and he's 5 . Open up a new bad of food and he can't eat it fast enough , But why ? I think that after we open up the bag - it is open to the air and it starts to get stale , sort of and then as the bag gets lower , there is crumbs - or fines in it . For Kadin as the bag gets lower , I have to open up a new bag and mix it with the older food and he gobbles it down . I always buy the bigger bag offered - most times it will be 30 to 32 pounds - I told my wife - I think I will start ordering a smaller bag and see what happens - it wont fix the crumbs in the bottom , but by using it quicker , it should be fresher . Just a thought .

Forgot to say - as the bag gets lower - this is when I have start adding some NO Salt green beans .

Doc

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 09:47 AM
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How skinny is he at this point? You said he's lost weight--is he looking almost emaciated, or just getting thinner?

When you do switch foods, do it slowly, especially if he's showing any signs of a delicate IG tract. Take a week or two to make the switch--a little more of the new food each day, a little less of the old.

Mornings seem to be the meal he's least interested in? Sometimes dogs who go a long time between the evening meal and morning have a little bit of an upset tummy in the morning. Could that be a factor? I doubt if that is the main problem, but if he's not eating much anyway, it's possible that an upset tummy makes him even more disinclined to eat.

Another additive you could try is an extra 1/2 sardine or so with each meal (water packed, no salt)--perhaps an extra smelly thing might tempt him. e.e You can even pour the water they are packed in over his food if he seems to like the flavor.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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I started the Pro Plan Focus for sensitive stomach last night with some chicken breast mixed in so it wouldn't be completely new to him. He ate it all but I had given him a dose of the Entyce that morning so it's not a good test. This morning I gave it to him again with 2 eggs mixed in. He turned his nose up to it and walked away. I went ahead and gave him another dose of the Entyce and about 45 minutes later he was eating. The Entyce seems to be bothering his stomach but it's keeping him eating. Lots of gas, but he's eating and not losing weight. With the total calories I'm giving him each day he should start gaining back to a healthy weight. Going to keep this up for a few days lowering the dose of Entyce each day and keep giving him the Purina to see how it goes. I'm hoping I can wean him off of the meds and while getting back in the habit of eating.

In regards to the bottom of the bag thing I don't think that's it as he mostly is rejecting even freshly cooked chicken without the medicine. Next step is to have the wife reach out to the local doberman club on facebook and see if they can recommend local vet. Going to be patient and give him some time though.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 09:57 AM
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The Doberman Club of Dallas is a very active club. Doberman Pinscher Club of Dallas - Home


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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 10:42 AM
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Brad - I will add one more thing , I really hate to bring this subject even up - But did your Vet do a really good job of examining him ? Like in feeling his gut area for things that are not suppose to be there ? Like a tumor ? Or a ultrasound of his tummy - intestinal area ? Our Ali girl did a lot of what your boy is doing , Slowly quit eating , took her to the Vet , Her regular Vet was off that day , but we felt she needed to be seen - That Vet did a good exam of her and took x-rays of lungs and some of her gut area , Said she did not see anything wrong , but for us to come back in in 4 days to see Doctor H . and we did ,Doc was checking her gut area , and then we made eye contact - I could read his eye's and it was not good , then I asked him what he found , he had me knell down and placed my hand on a small mass , he then looked at the x-rays and told me she needed a ultrasound - tomorrow . I made the call to the VCA and they could not work me in - So I made it for a emergency room call and pay the extra to get her in the next morning - Ended up she had cancer and it was very aggressive kind .

The reason I tell you this story is - I will always wonder what if ! What if we found it sooner than latter - she showed no signs , till she quit eating .

So sorry for the doom and gloom , but felt that , anything I or we can do to help out a Doberman , then that's the way it is .

Best of luck

Doc
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 11:29 PM
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Did the vet do a complete blood count on your dog? That's how I found out about the high liver counts on my 2nd dobie. Had to put her on script dog food but she got her appetite back almost immediately. Tried all kinds of dog food with her and she would just sniff and walk away. But she ate the script right away. Good luck on your quest.
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
How skinny is he at this point? You said he's lost weight--is he looking almost emaciated, or just getting thinner?

When you do switch foods, do it slowly, especially if he's showing any signs of a delicate IG tract. Take a week or two to make the switch--a little more of the new food each day, a little less of the old.

Mornings seem to be the meal he's least interested in? Sometimes dogs who go a long time between the evening meal and morning have a little bit of an upset tummy in the morning. Could that be a factor? I doubt if that is the main problem, but if he's not eating much anyway, it's possible that an upset tummy makes him even more disinclined to eat.

Another additive you could try is an extra 1/2 sardine or so with each meal (water packed, no salt)--perhaps an extra smelly thing might tempt him. e.e You can even pour the water they are packed in over his food if he seems to like the flavor.
He had only lost 4 lbs when I took him to the doc, when the eating actually stopped it was a sudden enough change for me to decide to take him to the vet. Honestly no real signs of a delicate GI tract in the past he would eat just about anything you gave him.

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The Doberman Club of Dallas is a very active club. Doberman Pinscher Club of Dallas - Home
Thanks for some reason their site wasn't working last week but seems to be working now. I'm going to reach out and see if they have and recommendations on a vet that sees alot of dobies.

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Brad - I will add one more thing , I really hate to bring this subject even up - But did your Vet do a really good job of examining him ? Like in feeling his gut area for things that are not suppose to be there ? Like a tumor ? Or a ultrasound of his tummy - intestinal area ? Our Ali girl did a lot of what your boy is doing , Slowly quit eating , took her to the Vet , Her regular Vet was off that day , but we felt she needed to be seen - That Vet did a good exam of her and took x-rays of lungs and some of her gut area , Said she did not see anything wrong , but for us to come back in in 4 days to see Doctor H . and we did ,Doc was checking her gut area , and then we made eye contact - I could read his eye's and it was not good , then I asked him what he found , he had me knell down and placed my hand on a small mass , he then looked at the x-rays and told me she needed a ultrasound - tomorrow . I made the call to the VCA and they could not work me in - So I made it for a emergency room call and pay the extra to get her in the next morning - Ended up she had cancer and it was very aggressive kind .

The reason I tell you this story is - I will always wonder what if ! What if we found it sooner than latter - she showed no signs , till she quit eating .

So sorry for the doom and gloom , but felt that , anything I or we can do to help out a Doberman , then that's the way it is .

Best of luck

Doc
It is something that has certainly crossed my mind, in fact it was one of the first things that crossed my mind, with his age it's a definite possibility. If it doesn't seem to be a food issue I'm going to be looking for a second opinion.

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Did the vet do a complete blood count on your dog? That's how I found out about the high liver counts on my 2nd dobie. Had to put her on script dog food but she got her appetite back almost immediately. Tried all kinds of dog food with her and she would just sniff and walk away. But she ate the script right away. Good luck on your quest.
My understanding is that this was part of the full panel because when he called out what he looked at, liver was one of them and nothing looked out of line.

I'm now 3 meals from Sunday morning's dose of Entyce and he wanted to eat this morning fingers crossed his evening meal will go just as well.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 11:48 AM
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i'm thinking maybe he has a tooth abcess again, have they checked his remaining teeth? have you tried some raw/ we give a raw beef back bone every few days. we take off the loose part and retrieve the ones when they are bare. We also feed kibble with warm broth.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 11:56 AM
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It is something that has certainly crossed my mind, in fact it was one of the first things that crossed my mind, with his age it's a definite possibility. If it doesn't seem to be a food issue I'm going to be looking for a second opinion.


Now this is just me thinking here Brad - But for peace of mind - I think I would go ahead and get that second opinion soon . Like I said , with Ali - it just hit her and if we had found it sooner - the Vet thought she could go threw a operation and be ok if found sooner , she would have most likely recover to 100 % .

Best of luck !
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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i'm thinking maybe he has a tooth abcess again, have they checked his remaining teeth? have you tried some raw/ we give a raw beef back bone every few days. we take off the loose part and retrieve the ones when they are bare. We also feed kibble with warm broth.
After having his teeth cleaned at the vet and everything he had to go through there I'm really good about brushing and inspecting his teeth regularly. I don't want to have to put him through that again if I can help it. Vet also looked at them. With the poor guy losing 9 I'm doing all I can to stay on top of them. The ones he has left look great.

He is now 4 meals down since the last dose of Entyce. That makes three meals down of the Purina that was suggested. So far so good. I have put a splash of water in the bowl as I have read it enhances the smell. I'm cautiously encouraged. His stomach seems to be more settled and we aren't having to burn a bunch of candles. Though that started when I was administering the Entyce, no Entyce no gas.

I'm waiting to hear back from the doberman club about a vet.

I truly appreciate everyone's info and advice.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2020, 07:08 AM
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Keep us up-dated Brad

Hope he keeps doing well
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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2020, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bradntx View Post
After having his teeth cleaned at the vet and everything he had to go through there I'm really good about brushing and inspecting his teeth regularly. I don't want to have to put him through that again if I can help it. Vet also looked at them. With the poor guy losing 9 I'm doing all I can to stay on top of them. The ones he has left look great.

He is now 4 meals down since the last dose of Entyce. That makes three meals down of the Purina that was suggested. So far so good. I have put a splash of water in the bowl as I have read it enhances the smell. I'm cautiously encouraged. His stomach seems to be more settled and we aren't having to burn a bunch of candles. Though that started when I was administering the Entyce, no Entyce no gas.

I'm waiting to hear back from the doberman club about a vet.

I truly appreciate everyone's info and advice.
I'm glad to hear that he seems to be turning a corner on the eating, I always put a little warm water on kibble it does enhance the smell and palatability--my dogs will inhale kibble with nothing added including water but that only happens by accident. The other thing I'll mention since I forgot to put it in the first post I put up for you. Sometimes a big full bowl of food presented to a dog who is not eating well is evidently overwhelming. Over time I've learned to cut back a little on food if that was going on. Seems to be counter intuative but when I was dog sitting a bitch who had recently had surgery and wasn't eating well I found that if I cut her food back by a 1/4 of a cup of kibble she would clean her bowl but if I gave her the full amount about every other meal she'd take a couple of bites and that was it. After two days of slightly smaller meals she was ready to eat her full amount for both meals.


Something to keep in mind. And we'll just keep our fingers crossed that he's making a turn about.

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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2020, 11:39 AM
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I'm glad he is starting to eat better - hope it keeps up!
As a note, I'd also look at doing a Cardiac ultrasound and 24 hour Holter also. It can be hard for a regular vet to find heart disease, but DCM can also cause appetite loss.
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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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quick update, good news, he is still eating, and finishing everything. No entyce since sunday morning. I have been backing away and just letting him eat instead of constantly encouraging him like I was last week and it seem sto be working
. I have noticed that he is getting excited when he realizes its time to eat. He's not devouring food like he did a year ago but it's much better than last week. I also notice he seems to be getting a little more energetic and wanting to play again.

On the downside I still haven't heard back from the local doberman club about a good dobie vet. They just have a form on their site for info to fill out which I did Sunday morning I believe, I would have hoped someone would get back to me by now. If anyone knows someone in the dobie community in the DFW area please pass their info along.
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 07:02 PM
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The people I know in Texas are mostly breeders and I have the problem of knowing little enough about the state that I have no idea what towns are in the general vicinity of DFW. But I looked at the Chapter Club officers for the Dallas club and noticed that Lynn Eggers who is the AKC delegate for the Dallas club is also a breeder (she's in Grapevine and her e-mail address is [email protected]) You can get a phone number for her from the DPCA listings for Texas of breeders.

Good luck but I'm really glad that your boy is eating better--you might want to check the calories listed per cup for the Blue Buffalo kibble you were feeding and compare it to the ProPlan Salmon you are feeding now. Canned food is primarily water and not very calory rich. The ProPlan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach (AKA salmon and rice) is 429 kcal per 8 oz cup.

Again--good luck hopes he keeps eating well so you don't have to worry about it.

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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 07:13 PM
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Mallori Scott of Aura Dobermans is near Dallas, I think. I believe her email is listed on the club page as the specialty chair, or you could contact her through her breeder's page: https://www.auradobermans.com/index.html.

Do keep in mind that all of these people are probably busy with their own dogs, and your question likely didn't seem urgent, so it may take a bit of time to get back to you.


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