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Our 7 year old doberman has recently stopped eating his food. He's a very trained and obedient dog and when we tell him to eat, he goes to his food dish, sticks his face in it and then looks to see if we're watching. If we are, he'll take a bite or two and then slowly back away and retreat to his room. We can't really afford a vet visit right now because our other doberman just had major surgery and it set us back quite a bit. We thought it might be because she had surgery that he wasn't eating, and that he knew she was sick. But she's 100% recovered and he's still not touching his food. Any suggestions or ideas to what's wrong with him would be great! We're getting worried.
Thanks!
 

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sufferin succotash
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It's impossible for an internet forum to tell you what might be wrong with your dog and why he's not eating. IMO your dog needs to see a vet to rule out medical issues.

Also, why would you want your dog to be intimidated to eat, if you're watching? To me, this isn't obedience, it's fear. :confused:
 

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Why do people ALWAYS take things out of context? You were absolutely no help. I was obviously asking if anyone else ever experienced these issues. I'm sorry we're not all rolling in the dough and can afford back to back vet visits. How rude of you to assume we abuse our dogs. You don't know jack about how we raise them or the dog's personality so you and your assumptions can piss off thank you.
 

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Seriously, calm down.

If your dog is not eating, there is something wrong. Could be a million and one things and it IS hard to diagnose over the internet.

When my dogs don't eat, they either have an upset tummy or they have ingested something they shouldn't have.

The last time my dog didn't want to eat, we found out he swallowed a sock and needed emergency surgery.

Please take your dog to the Vet. If you cannot afford, perhaps you can apply for CareCredit (CareCredit Veterinary Financing for Pet Care, Pet Surgery, Vaccinations & Other Veterinary Medicine Procedures) or take him in to a lower-cost vet for care

Low Cost Metro-Area Veterinarians - Denver

Good luck and I hope he will be okay. It's not fair to withhold treatment because you can't afford it. FIND A WAY. I even offered my engagement ring as collateral when we were hit with the surgery bill. Thankfully, the Vet was willing to work with us on payments. If you're close to Castle Rock, call the Douglas County VCA to see if they will agree to payments.

Veterinarians in Castle Rock, CO | VCA Douglas County Animal Hospital
 

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joie de vivre
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Well, my girls aren't seniors, but the only times I've ever experienced a dog who won't eat it's been one of 2 things. They're sick and have no appetite (could be any number of things - stomach bug, obstruction, toothache, etc.) , or they're really stressed out. It's hard to say.

Can you call your vet at least for a phone consult? I know my girls' vet will do that for some stuff if it doesn't seem like an emergency and she'll suggest some stuff to do at home with orders for what to watch for and when they need medical attention should it worsen.

I also like CoDobe's idea of possibly applying for Care Credit. I've known several people who have used it and it can be a life (and bank) saver sometimes.
 

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sufferin succotash
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Well, sorry it wasn't the answer you were looking for, but it is what it is. Could be a myriad of issues; teeth, obstruction, cardio issues. Again, only a vet can make a proper diagnosis.

Why do people ALWAYS take things out of context? You were absolutely no help. I was obviously asking if anyone else ever experienced these issues. I'm sorry we're not all rolling in the dough and can afford back to back vet visits. Learn not to be such a dick in your response to things. How rude of you to assume we abuse our dogs. You don't know jack about how we raise them or the dog's personality so you and your assumptions can piss off thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you brw1982, I unfortunately dont have the credit for care credit, I've tried before. I've been unemployed for a while now so money has been tight and there really isnt any extra. Not to make a sob story out of this, but we are $500 behind in rent due to our other doberman's emergency surgery and now the 1st is getting close. There's seriously no extra money. Not even for payments. We dont have any possible room in our budget to add any vet payments. We'd seriously go without for our dogs but we've been there a while now so I just wanted to see if I could seek some advice on a forum because I've had good luck with them in the past. Our doberman is fine in all other aspects, he still plays with our other dogs, and he'll eat treats crunch or soft no problem. The only thing he wont willing eat is his food. Everything else about him is completely normal and fine.
 

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How long has he been refusing to eat? Is this a new bag of food? In 2007, when so many dogs died from melamine in the food, many dogs initually refused the bad food only to be encourage by their owner. Is your other dog eating the same food? How are his stools? Whats his energy level? Honestly, it could be so many different things. Oftentimes, lack of appetite is the first signal you get before things really go south. Please try to get him to a vet soon, it could he his heart, liver, pancreas, obstruction, bad or aroken teeth. Has he thrown up, appear bloated? If you have just dropped a wad of cash at your vets, maybe he will let you make payments on this. I am sorry you are in this situation.
 

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Sorry to hear that but I have to agree vet visit is the best thing and probably the only way to get a diagnosis. Sometimes it's better to get in earlier if it can get serious, so you catch it beforehand. Less money out of pocket that way.

I in no way wish to sound harsh and I'm sorry for your situation. On the other hand, if you think you may not be able to care for them, you might consider if rescue can help you out and turn one or two into rescue. I'd just hate to see him end up suffering. You obviously care for him very much.
 

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Thank you LindaH. He acts completely fine other than not eating. His stools seem normal, they don't look any different than normal, he hasn't been throwing up. He doesn't look bloated. Honestly, when I think about it, he's acting like he used to every time our female goes in heat. He always refuses food when she's in heat but she's fixed now and I thought it might be from her surgery and open wounds but she's all healed up now and he's still acting that way. We thought he was just worried about her. All our dogs eat the same Nurto Large Breed dog food, what the vet recommended to my bf when he first got them. We never change their food. My bf suggested it might be time to switch to senior dog food and we were going to try that when this bag ran out. When we can afford the visit we will absolutely take him, it's just hard not being able to right now.
 

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I also meant to ask - will he eat anything? If I'm concerned, I will try various things to see if my dog will eat at all. High value treats maybe? Chicken, leftover steak? it gives me an idea how bad they might feel :)
 

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joie de vivre
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I also meant to ask - will he eat anything? If I'm concerned, I will try various things to see if my dog will eat at all. High value treats maybe? Chicken, leftover steak? it gives me an idea how bad they might feel :)
Good point! When one of my girls goes off her food I always try offering a little chicken and rice to see if A) they'll eat it, and B) if they digest it okay.

I like to give chicken and rice because I always have some on hand - so it's quick for those unexpected times - and it's bland so it's unlikely it will make them feel worse.
 
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I would recommend against going to a senior food as that is just an excuse for many dog food companies to cut protein levels when older dogs actually need increased protein levels due to a more inefficient digestive system. What about the heat? Dogs often naturally but back on amounts and loose weight due to summer heat, but they dont totally stop eating for long periods. Nutro seems to get their share of compliaints on a consumer complaint site, tho I havent checked on them lately. So many foods have been on recall, I am hesitant to suggest another food right now. Will he eat a bite of raw meat? What about smoke from the fires, could that be stressing him?
 

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I also meant to ask - will he eat anything? If I'm concerned, I will try various things to see if my dog will eat at all. High value treats maybe? Chicken, leftover steak? it gives me an idea how bad they might feel :)
Yes, for sure. He'll eat the milk bone treats no problem and we've tried slices of chicken and he gladly takes those haha That's why my bf thinks it's either him worrying about our female or he just decided he didn't like his food any more. He's a very strange dog, very strong personality. Nothing else about him has changed. He's still a very happy, active dog in our little pack.
 

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I would recommend against going to a senior food as that is just an excuse for many dog food companies to cut protein levels when older dogs actually need increased protein levels due to a more inefficient digestive system. What about the heat? Dogs often naturally but back on amounts and loose weight due to summer heat, but they dont totally stop eating for long periods. Nutro seems to get their share of compliaints on a consumer complaint site, tho I havent checked on them lately. So many foods have been on recall, I am hesitant to suggest another food right now. Will he eat a bite of raw meat? What about smoke from the fires, could that be stressing him?
That's an extremely good point, we've had a much hotter than normal summer so far and we don't have an AC in our home. We keep it comfortable with fans and opening windows on the shady side of the house but it has been a little hotter this year. He hasn't stopped eating 100% he just eats bites through out the day, sometimes he finishes it at night and sometimes he doesn't. The smoke hasn't really affected where we're at. He's been doing it a couple weeks, started just a few days before our female's surgery and now she's been fully healed about 3 days (as in no open wounds) she's still on orders to take it easy and he's still doing it. My bf says he likes the wet dog food and we might try that a while, but it gives him horrible gas. But he will eat it.
 

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Gads, I hate using my phone! By the time I get my thoughts posted, 2 or 3 peeps have thought of and posted similar.lol Okay, sounds more like food. Try getting a 5 lb bag of Innova, Merrick, Blue Buffalo, and see if it agrees with them...do a gradual switch. Check the food section for all on recall. I would avoid Taste of th Wild, ANY DIAMOND PRODUCT, Solid Gold, Canidae, Natural Balance, some Wellness...thats all I can think of right now.
 

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mine won't eat if he had the cat's food
good luck
let us know what it is
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok great! Thank you so much for your help Linda! Here's a picture of our Mickey, and our other two :D Mallory and Anubis. Thanks for your help everyone, if the food switch doesnt help we're going to do our best to get him to the vet for tests.
 

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I agree about switching the food. I personally LOVE Merrick, and so do my pups. One of my favorite things about it (sounds stupid), but some of the "flavors" can make a gravy if you add a little warm water. I do not do it with every meal but the dogs love it.

What were you feeding before? Sorry if you stated and I missed it.
Keep us posted! :)
 

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They're eating Nutro Max Large Breed right now. But I think with your guys' suggestions we'll switch. It might help a lot and I like the foods that produce gravy when you add warm water, they think they're getting a treat and they like that :D
 
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