Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What do you do with a Picky Eater?

All her life, for about 10 years, my dog was a "Swiss Watch". 
Very regular, very predictable, very regimented.
Most of that reflects my own philosophy of life. 
Things have a pattern, and you get the best results when you stick to them.

Now she's getting old.  Not just older, but she's acting old.   The walks are slower, she gets creaky when she gets up, and she won't go as far as she did before without rolling to a stop for a smiling rest.

When I got her I was told "Purina Lamb and Rice and limit the treats".  We did and we had for the most part a very healthy run. 

Recently she began to leak at night.  First a spot on the mat, then puddles.  I know now that if I wake up at night to the steady rhythm of "LickLickLickLick", I've got something to clean.

The vets put her on a "Renal Diet".  She won't go near that stuff.  Refused to eat it, I gave in and put her old standby out for her to eat.   She picked at that.   Clearly a dog who doesn't eat well is having other issues.

I tried softening the renal diet with some pork gravy but that spiked her salt levels and she drank a lot more water.   That created more puddles.   So we threw our hands up, backed off the renal diet, and went back to the old standby full time with water softened in the microwave.

That worked for about a week until she bored of that.

Panicking we tried some soft dog food varieties.   Good results for a day or so until she started cutting back her meals.

This sort of thing always happens on a holiday.   Over the Labor Day Weekend, she cut back on her food until Saturday she practically ate nothing.  Sunday the food that I offered her was ignored. 

While all of this was going on, I was cooking eggs.  I set up a pot of eggs and hardboiled them.  Knowing that dogs will eat the things, I kept them for after the morning walk.

We got back and she ate some of the dog food that she seemed to like so we didn't give her more.  

After noticing that she hadn't ate all that food, she was getting wobbly.   You see the old adage is nonsense.  "A Dog Will Eat When They Are Hungry" is only for "normal" dogs.  Mine has always been exceptional, and when they get old, their needs changed.

So she got the eggs, and devoured them. 

I spent the entire day in the kitchen Labor Day making boiled chicken, boiled eggs, steamed rice, and a few things for us.  By the time I was through, I had fed her 800 calories of rice, chicken, and eggs, as well as a few cookies, tablespoons of yogurt, and a few things that escaped the pot and landed on the floor.

Clearly she was hungry but not eating.

So today a trip to the vet is in order.   This picky eating continued to this morning where a bowl of Rice and Egg was only half eaten.  I pulled out the big guns and fed her a cup of rice and one chicken breast and she ate that like it was her last meal on Earth.

The trip later this afternoon will tell me more.   I may have a quiet house tonight minus one dog kept "For Observation".   Through it all she's acting normal, happy and Perky.   If a twelve year old dog can be described as perky, I guess mine is.

So why do I share all of this?   Easier for me to get my thoughts down on a blog so that if I need to remember it, it's in one place.   May as well, I have all this technology at hand, I can use it to my benefit.

"Lets Go!  Ride!  Car!"... and when we get there, I'm glad I can still lift her!

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