Jump to content
BC Boards

Border Collie that wont eat


Recommended Posts

My border collie is 4 and over the past 6 mos has begun to loose some weight. We have tried increasing his food intake, changing to a high protein, low carb food (solid gold) as well as a lamb and rice. He will eat it a couple of times and then refuses to eat. He will only eat when I stand over him repeatedly telling him to eat. The vet told us he needs to gain weight because you can feel his ribs and his backbone was starting to tent. he is mixed 1/2 border, 1/4 golden and 1/4 lab. But he really is a border and has all the traits of a traditional border. He herds, has high anxiety, and always needs to be by our side.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

 

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

Has you vet done a workup (bloodwork, etc.)? I have had picky eaters, but they have been that way from puppyhood. Any adult dog that has a change in eating habits should be examined by the vet, including bloodwork, to see if there's an underlying organic cause to the weight loss and inappetance. Generally those things don't just happen out of the blue. If the vet has given your dog a clean bill of health, then that's another issue entirely, but first you should look to health-related causes, IMO.

 

J.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would second Julie's advice in having bloodwork done. Basic bloodwork can give some information which may lead your vet to have more extensive/comprehensive bloodwork done that might provide you with some answers.

 

I know I'm not saying it well but basic bloodwork can provide indicators that may point your vet in the right direction to get the information that will help provide a diagnosis and, hopefully, an effective treatment for whatever may be causing the problem.

 

Of course, a thorough physical exam would also be helpful.

 

Very best wishes!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll third that. For a previously healthy 4 year old dog to go off his feed and lose weight like that is not usual. Get a blood panel done and do some digging. If your vet seems blase about it, then talk to another vet, but get this done. The sooner you know, the sooner you can put your mind at rest and choose a course of action.

 

Wishing you the best of luck! Please do let us know what you find out.

 

~ Gloria

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most every dog I have had has been picky eaters. But for Ladybug I had given her vitamins that you get from vet, which worked and also are you free feeding? Because i have found that when I pick up the food they will usually eat it when I put it down again, however, I feed twice a day. Also,I have tried giving a small snack to stimulate appetite.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most every dog I have had has been picky eaters. But for Ladybug I had given her vitamins that you get from vet, which worked and also are you free feeding? Because i have found that when I pick up the food they will usually eat it when I put it down again, however, I feed twice a day. Also,I have tried giving a small snack to stimulate appetite.

After ruling out any physical problems, I agree with Cassidy. No free feeding. You might try adding toppings, such as a small amount of shredded cheese, etc. Sometimes, with our current guy, when he turns his nose up at his food, I "prime the pump"--give a small piece of food to get his juices flowing. However, he's ten years old (best guess) and I think his appetite may not be what it used to be, but he isn't losing weight either, unlike your dog.

 

You mention he won't eat unless you stand over him. I understand the frustration and worry when they won't eat and the temptation is to urge and coax but that just seems to stress them out. I've learned to put the food down, tell him it's okay to eat, then go about my business in the kitchen without watching. A few minutes later, food is gone.

 

Good luck. Both my dogs have been finicky eaters. :rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites

The most erratic eater I had was a dog that came to me as a youngster with giardia and hoockworm. We treated him right away and took care of those issues but had no idea how long he had been infested (he was 12 weeks old when we got him).

 

He would gobble down certain things, eat well for several meals and then go off his feed for several meals, seem eager to get his dinner but then act like he just couldn't bring himself to eat it, and would additionally have digestive upsets (not nausea but gas and diarrhea). We spent several years trying to find food that would agree with him, and finally had bloodwork done after an episode of vomiting blood and seeing blood in his stool.

 

Basic bloodwork showed liver and kidney values that were off. More extensive bloodwork showed digestive issues including malabsorption of Vitamin B. Just when that last bloodwork came back, he took a turn for the worse and passed away, with massive blood loss from his bowel.

 

So, when I hear of a really picky eater, I try to advise checking for parasites (including giardia, which I did not mention in my post above) and doing bloodwork. Mine was an isolated case but we were heartbroken to lose him, and might have avoided the issue if we had had bloodwork done sooner and found a course of treatment that would have worked for him.

 

I'm not trying to be an alarmist as most picky eaters are just picky eaters, and good management along with the right food can take care of the problem. But if sharing my experience saves just one other dog, it would be worth it.

 

Best wishes!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sudden onset of not eating/weight loss bears looking into as others have suggested.

 

I've fought to put weight on Brodie practically since I brought him home as a pup. I tried Cynthia's satin balls and they work well in the short term. Maintaining the weight without continuing to feed them is a problem for me and Brodie. He simply had to be convinced to eat his regular serving dog food.

 

I had a duh! moment and decided to try mixing in about a 1/3 of a can of high quality canned dog food with his kibble. Ladybug and Robin get the other 2/3rds I can't say he's getting fat, but he is putting on weight and he licks the plate clean every feeding - sometimes he'll even eat kibble in the morning without the topping. It's easy, relatively inexpensive and the really good stuff doesn't smell like I remember canned dog food smelling - which was why I resisted.

 

I still add tempting treats to his diet. He seems to be always hungry and particularly craves carbs I bake a potato the microwave or make a few extra mashed. He is one of those metabolic wonders that can eat everything and not gain an ounce. At least his ribs are a bit padded now - and he's eating all of his ration.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...