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Suggestions for appetite improvement . . . or do we give up?


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Our Shih Tzu/Silky mix, Ziggy, has been living with Cushing's for several years. We've been following a holistic approach, giving him supplements recommended by our vet.  He's also 12 years old and has arthritis, so we have pain meds that he takes as needed.  We give him both the supplements and meds with his food and/or with treats.   In the past few weeks his appetite seems to have disappeared.  Previously, he was obsessed by food and never passed up a meal or treat.  Now he sometimes doesn't eat his breakfast until lunch time (when DH tosses a little something extra into his bowl), and even then he often doesn't finish it.  He has become suspicious of treats and sniffs everything before trying it.  If there's a pill inside the treat, he'll refuse it.  (We've tried everything - commercial treats, chicken, beef, hot dogs, etc..)  His water intake has also increased, which is typical for Cushing's.

DH keeps insisting we need to "make a decision" about Ziggy; my reply is that Ziggy still has good days and still gets enjoyment from life - going for walks, watching the bird feeder, etc..  The main issue is that Ziggy won't eat, which DH takes as a signal that Ziggy has given up the fight.  I'm not so sure.  Although he has bad days there are also days when he obviously feels good.

Anyway, back to the subject:  Can anyone suggest something to jump start his appetite?  He typically gets Taste of the Wild kibble with a tablespoon of pumpkin and some cooked chicken.  At this point I'm willing to try anything.  Is there anything you can recommend that would be irresistible?

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My suggestion is to drop the commercial kibble and give home cooked a try. Why not give Rosie’s diet on the forum cooking recipe  a try. You have nothing to lose. I know both of our dogs like beef heart or chicken hearts (small amounts.) Are his teeth ok..a bad tooth can being eating to a halt also....are his pain meds causing tummy issues?

It sounds like Ziggy is still interested in life, and in the end that’s most important.

Edited by Sam I Am
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Thanks Lynn.  We considered that his teeth may be the issue but it doesn't appear that he has any dental problems.  He'll gladly eat the homemade chicken jerky I make for him, which is tougher to chew than any of his kibble.

 

 

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I think he is telling you the kibble is not up to his standards.😛Try some real food...the stuff we humans eat....I bet his appetite will rebound. 

Edited by Sam I Am
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Time for a reality check (on my part).

The morning of the day that we had to euthanize Buffy I posted something similar.  Buffy had been eating very little and I was looking for suggestions to boost her appetite.  I now realize that the same thing is happening with Ziggy and, despite all my best efforts, he's telling us something.  The good days are fewer and farther between, he often seems unable to find a comfortable position in which to settle, sometimes paces at night, sometimes refuses to join us on walks, etc..  I believe that Nattie also senses that Ziggy is failing, which is something I can't adequately explain in words but nonetheless is obvious.  

Ziggy will be getting "human food" until he begins to refuse that, too, and then we'll do what must be done.  What a good boy he has been through it all.

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These are the hardest times. Ziggy is in a good place -- he is in the best place with you and DH and Nattie to give him protection and comfort if he needs it and peace if or when he needs it. 

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We all go through that...the doubt...the guilt...we love our animals and it’s so hard to see them fading. Big hugs HH...

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