Thunder-13 year old lab- Not eating/ looks awful

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by rodriguezpoultry, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    Thunder, my beautiful, rambunctious, 13 year old labrador, is failing. I fear it's his age, but his spunk is still there. His body, keeps deteriorating. He has no look in his eyes that says "it's almost over", he still has the look from when I brought him to my house 13 years ago.

    We've been trying to get weight on him, but he's not eating as much. We had to switch back to his "normal" feed as the raw feeding, cooked feeding, Eukanuba and Diamond all made him throw up and have his pancreatitis attacks. The vet says it's just something to expect with elderly dogs...their bodies will go down before they will. I just can't give up. If he's not willing to, I'm not willing to. Today, he was running, rolling and jumping in the snow. Truth is, he shouldn't have even been able to walk. He looks like a skeleton.

    Is there ANYTHING I can do to get his appetite back up? He's a walking skeleton...but is still so lively. He used to be 84 lbs. and looks like he's down to 60 something. His pancreatitis just makes everything come back up. He pooped while I was there today and it did not look good. It was like projectile diarrhea. It was brown and was VERY mucousy. There was hardly any chunkage at all in it, if any at all.

    He is housed indoors for the winter. It's simply too cold for his hips to endure being outside except to use the bathroom and to play.

    Something like this, but in the snow:

    "Yes, I AM king." [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  2. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    When my elderly dog has problems I give him a tsp of probios in something usually alittle milk if I cant get him to eat. It settles his stomach and later he is usually able to eat. I am a firm believer in probotics for myself as well Started taking it 2 years ago and was able to stop all my stomach meds.
  3. dfunnyfarm

    dfunnyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Sorry I don't have any advice for you. Just wanted to say I understand, and I will think about you and Thunder.
  4. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Has your vet suggested anything to help sooth his stomach? My older dogs are sometimes put on pepcid or a veterinary prescription for their stomach. Is he still drinking well? or has his water intake increased during this weight loss?
  5. lemurchaser

    lemurchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    Try boiled chicken or hamburger and white rice. It will firm up his bowels and has enough calories in it, and most dogs really like it. Otherwise try adding that gravy stuff you can get at petstores (it looks like its in a ketchup bottle), dogs get really addicted to it, and it can be used in small amounts so it won't upset his tummy.

    Other ways to add calories are eggs, oil, or cooked meats. I would keep things bland for now though. Feed him as often as possible too.

    Best of luck with him. Can you get him to a vet and see if there is anything more you can do. Can you add a GI settler or protectant? What about adding prednisone to increase apetite? Sometimes a little help can buy months of quality life.
  6. wing it

    wing it Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2009
    long island
    sorry to here about Thunder. I have an old cat (19yrs) that is skin and bones but still trys to be the young cat she onen was. Hope things get better for you and Thunder
  7. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    We've tried giving live culture yogurt, just tsp of it will make him throw up. I'm not sure why? We have pills for him to take if he starts throwing up and won't keep ANYTHING down, but this is more of him not eating and not have an interest in eating. We haven't switched dog foods since we found one that won't make him throw up. We can't feed him ANY canned meat and the gravy stuff makes him throw it back up.

    His water intake is normal, not too much. He was outside running for a good 20 minutes and only took three laps of water from the 5 gallon bucket...then it was back to rolling in the snow. We usually give pepto for immediate results, but this does not seem to be a sudden onset. It's more of a gradual lessening of consumption I guess. But how does he have all this energy if he's not eating and taking in calories. Usually, especially if the body is eating muscle, he'll slow down a bit. He's more energetic than he's been in quite awhile. He has a constant supply of food now because we want him to eat as much as possible. We take it away to try and entice him, but that doesn't seem to work either. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the good thoughts guys. I just didn't think it would have to come to this so soon. [​IMG]
  8. abooth

    abooth Chillin' With My Peeps

    I gotta tell ya you need to get that diarrhea under control. He will lose so much fluid he will get dehydrated. I would try to soak his food in water to help get some liquid in him. Also cheese can help firm up his poop. Cottage cheese is famously gentle on the stomach and dogs usually like it. It will help the diarrhea. Fluid in the GI tract is mostly absorbed in the colon, I suspect that is where your trouble is. Can your vet give you something for the vomiting. There are def meds out there to keep the plumbing moving in the right direction. Good luck. I love dogs.
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I'm sorry for you and Thunder. It's tough to see the body give out before the spirit is ready. [​IMG]
  10. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Has your vet done bloodwork to check for kidney failure/infections? If he hasn't done a full blood panel, have him do it. How is your dogs breath? Have you noticed any kind of odor that make you feel queasy when you smell it? I am wondering...I don't want to scare you but it sounds like what my Great Dane was like when she had kidney failure. Does he eat? If he does, does he throw up afterwards? How about water...Drink a lot or not much?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by