Hi and please help me if you can? Introductions

Discussion in 'Presa Canario' started by Debbz171, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. Debbz171

    Debbz171 New Member

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    Hi and please help me if you can?

    Hi, My name is Debbie and I've joined this site so hopefully someone can help me out with my 2yr old Presa, Bailey as I'm at my wits end what to do with him, and I am thinking the only option I have left is to rehome him, which would break my heart, but I have to do what's best for him.

    A little bit of history as far as I know, I 'rescued' Bailey at 11 months old, he was very emaciated, very wary and nervous, but happy and very boisterous at the same time, not even house trained. As far as I can work out, I'm his 4th or 5th owner (depending if you include the breeder) and he has been abused by one or more of his previous owners, the first few weeks I had him, on walks he would bark at and cower away from any man that came within 50 yards of him, and he also runs away from his water bowl when I go to refresh it, even now, after nearly a year being with me.

    The problem I'm having with him that is worrying me is his eating. The people I rescued him from had him on aldi's own wet and dry food which I put straight in the bin and put him on Iams Large Breed, within a few days his stools became solid and have been pretty much fine since. When I first got him I couldn't get the food into him fast enough, he was literally knocking the bowl from my hands and within a few months his weight gained from 24kg to 37kg in October last yr when I got his boosters. Since then he has stopped eating properly and if I'm lucky he eats half of what he should be in a day.

    He stopped eating his dry food last October and since then I have tried everything, gravy, chicken, scrambled eggs, tuna, meat stock, wet food, other dry food, nothing works. I tried tough love like the vet said and he went for 5 solid days without eating anything other than his training treats (tiny bits of sliced hot dogs) when he was out on his walks. He's now at the point that he won't even touch food till after his 3rd walk of the day around 6-7, and that's only if it's on the floor when he comes back, which is usually what I've tried to feed him at around 3 after his 2nd walk.

    I've tried everything and am at my wits end. I think the problem is me, that he's not happy with me and he's bored. He very rarely plays in the house now and I don't have a garden, though I do take him out in the fields to play with his ball, even that doesn't help 99% of the time. He was weighed again in April and hasn't gained any weight since October, he should be between 45 & 50kgs by now!! I don't want to rehome him, but the only thing I can think of for why he's not eating properly is that he's not happy with me, and that's not fair on him.

    I would really appreciate if anyone has firstly actually read all the way through this (sorry!!) and if they can offer me any advice at all ?? Even if it is, yes, he's bored with me and would be better being rehomed. Thanks
    Debbie

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  3. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    What tests did the vet run before advising 'tough love'?
  4. Debbz171

    Debbz171 New Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    None, they just checked his temp etc,felt his stomach asked questions, but I told them I'd made him liver and gravy and since then he wouldn't touch his biscuits. That basically I'd spoilt him so to just be more stubborn than him and eventually he'd eat, bu he went 5 days so I gave in. Now he'll eat a bit of something once or twice but not after that.
  5. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    CaroleC and GsdSlave like this.
    From what you say, he is eating and his weight is now steady. It could be that what he is eating is filling him. From the photo's he doesn't look obviously underweight. It's hard to say without seeing him whether he looks underweight or not, of course.

    I don't think you are doing anything wrong and I doubt very much that this is your fault in any way.

    As it seems he is lethargic as well as losing some interest in food, personally, I'd take him back or to another vets for a second opinion.
  6. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    Has he actually lost any weight between October and now?

    You say he should now weigh between 45 & 50kgs, all dogs are different It's better to go by body condition rather than weight and the adult weight ranges are only a guide, a lot has to do with genetics and the dogs build rather than weight.

    Have you tried splitting his meals into smaller amounts and feeding 2/3 daily?

    I agree with the above see another vet and ask for some tests to put your mind at rest.
  7. Debbz171

    Debbz171 New Member

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    Hi guys, thank you for your replies. Between October and April when I last had him weighed he hadn't lost any weight but hasn't gained any either and the vet said he was still slightly thin around his waist. He did start eating better after April, but it only lasted a few weeks and only if I shredded chicken through his biscuits and added the chicken stock, but even that now he turns his nose up at and he's only eating late at night. I've always fed him twice a day and have also tried smaller meals 3 times a day, he just won't eat during the day.

    I'm going to try the vets advice of 'tough love' today, and if he doesn't start eating properly I'll take him back next week. If there's nothing physically wrong with him then it has to be down to me, that he's not happy with me or bored.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my post, i'll keep you updated.
  8. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    GsdSlave and CaroleC like this.
    Another thing to consider is allergy/intolerances.

    Many dogs seem to know what is and isn't good for them

    Just for an example, my girl is very allergic to chicken. Even the smallest piece gives her chronic stomach pain, but not all allergies/intolerances result in pain that you can see. Dogs are very stoic creatures.

    Just something else to take into consideration as it's not always obvious
  9. Malka

    Malka Member

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    I am not actually sure what I have just read but dogs "thin around their waist" is normal. Unless you want an obese dog.

    And if a qualified vet ever mentioned "tough love" to me I would run away with my dog as fast as I could.

    If you had a human baby and your doctor/paedriation said "tough love" would you accept that?

    Are you sure the vet is actually qualified?
  10. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    I don't think his lack of appetite is anything to do with how happy he is with you. Dogs can survive in terrible conditions without losing their appetite - in fact, when dogs are reared without love, food can become the only thing that they are interested in. He could even be enjoying the extra attention that not eating brings.
    It is stressful having a dog that will not eat, and it might be worth a follow up visit to the vet. A blood test should let you know whether there is any reason for concern. I have had two Cavaliers that were a poor eaters, one was given a course of vitamin B12 injections, though I can't say that they really helped her. She did start to improve as she matured, and though very healthy and active she was always leaner than the rest of her family. The other was a bought in male who turned out to be a natural vegetarian - he went to live with vegan friends and flourished!
    Chris's suggestion of an allergy is worth investigating. Apart from the type of protein not suiting, there can often be a problem with grains. As test feeding can be a lengthy process - even when they are eating well, - I think I would be tempted to try a grain free kibble with either salmon or lamb as the protein source. Have you tried seeing what he does if you just scatter a handful on the floor and leave him to it? This might work for his night time feed.
    For his early meal you could try balls of raw meat, or some of the wet tray foods - even if you have to post it into his mouth. I find the Naturo trays, (Tesco stock it), always smell really good. In tinned food, the original Butchers Tripe, or original Chappie seem to remain popular.
    Please let us know how you go on.
  11. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    The ‘Tough love’ approach is often recommended for picky eaters, it can work for some dogs but not others.

    Gsd’s can be picky eaters, I’ve been there and its soul destroying, and yes I tried tough love but only for a couple of days but it didn’t work, I tried mixing all sorts into food, that would work for a few days only,I found mixing green tripe/grated cooked liver or fish oil helped. There are some days they would eat everything in the dish other days, just pick at it, then sometimes wouldn’t eat at all, but were always active and healthy.

    Vet tests all came back clear and I remember my vet saying some dogs are just not food centeredand as long as he was healthy and not loosing weight not to worry.
  12. Malka

    Malka Member

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    But Vee - you cannot do the "Tough Love" with a human picky eater baby or they will die.
  13. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    I was a very, very picky eater as a kid (still am).

    The doctor advised my mum to do exactly the same tough love approach. It didn't work, but I always was a stubborn little brat :)

    The theory is good, the practice is far from perfect
  14. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Chris - a picky eater as a child is not the same as a picky eater as a baby. The former will somehow survive. The latter will die.
  15. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    This dog is two years old. He isn't a baby.
  16. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Therefore the dog must be eating. I know I used a human baby as an example but it was just as an example.

    I apologise if I was misunderstood.

    My daughter would not eat vegetables but my son loved them. Different strokes for different children. It never bothered me what they would or would not eat, and both grew up loving vegetables. It happened.

    But the dog, if not losing weight, must be eating otherwise it would starve. I honestly do not know. Please forgive my ignorance.
  17. Bev paul

    Bev paul New Member

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    Hi Debbie, some days mine will eat and there is days she won't they are very fussy eaters it's just a case of finding something they can't resist. Try and find a butchers near where you live and see if they can get you some tripe not the white tripe what humans can eat but the horrible smelling tripe as mine love it but can't have to much of it as it puts to much weight on them. Your boy looks like my girl same bonny face and chest markings. She is 53kg.

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