GSP 1-yr old not eating consistently Questions

Discussion in 'German Shorthaired Pointer' started by MelShzela, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. MelShzela

    MelShzela New Member

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    Melly

    GSP 1-yr old not eating consistently

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if any of you have experienced this:

    For the past 4 months, our gsp pup has been pushing her food bowl around and refusing to eat almost daily. Originally, we fed her three bowls a day starting at two months up until we started having this problem at around 6-7 months (she is now 13 months). Had her on a puppy diet and fed as accordingly, but she sometimes would refuse to eat. At 6 or 7 months started becoming a more prevalent problem, so we switched dog foods, in the appropriate manner of course, to see if that would solve the problem. It came right back after she got used to it when fully switched. Now, before you answer with "Deal with it-- she'll eat when she wants, " she lost 4 pounds from month 11 to 12. That was fine, until we started seeing her spine in an unhealthy way. So, I don't agree with the "leave it be" mentality at that point. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, I also don't agree with switching foods to the whim of a picky dog, caving in, etc. I have to basically force her to eat at least once per day by putting food in her mouth and put my hand around the muzzle to prevent her from spitting it out. I just don't want to have to force my dog to eat for the rest of her life. Another note, I have spoken to her vet, and he gave me the "leave it be" lecture, which, again, was fine until I started to see her spine in unhealthy ways.

    Some other details that could be important :

    We have a black lab mix that we adopted about two years before we got this puppy. She is a sensitive dog with separation anxiety that also stops eating from time to time. Once we put food in her mouth however, she'll eat. As puppies do, our gsp ate some of our lab mix's feces when she was 2 to 3 months, so my thinking is that our lab's potentially not great gut bacteria was spread to our gsp, who now goes through the same thing.

    In looking into it, it looks like dogs bred specifically for scent ability tend to have the problem with weird or smelly foods, their bowl, etc. We have changed her bowl, so nothing there and we are now on a third food type.

    I should mention that we choose the foods carefully based on protein content, crude fat content, and ingredients. We also do not have as set of a feeding schedule as I would like, so that may have something to do with it as well. She gets a monthly dewormer, her daily mental and physical exercise, is up to date on all shots, not spayed, etc.

    Anyways, it's a complex problem, and I've tried to lay out all details. If I have missed anything please let me know.

    Hope someone has some insight to some potential solutions. Thanks!
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  3. mjfromga

    mjfromga Member

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    MelShzela likes this.
    My previous dog was like this. There would be times when he would refuse his food outright. He never ate a LOT even when he did eat. There weren't any health issues discovered and turns out he was just extremely picky. He would only eat Pedigree canned food and only in chicken flavor and often not even the entire can.

    That's what he survived on for almost his entire nearly 16 year life. He was skinny all his life and his weight did sometimes go up and down. He would not eat most raw foods except beef and he oftentimes didn't want it either. Beef isn't so great for dogs anyway.

    I tried the force method with him. It didn't work. He starved himself for 5 days rather than eat something else. He begun to lose weight (that he didn't really have to lose) and so I gave up. I didn't think it was right to try and force him beyond that point.

    I would have blood panels done and another full vet exam and go from there. My dog was just extremely picky. He wasn't sick or unhealthy and he lived a long life... He was just extremely picky. Unfortunately I didn't have any solutions except to feed what he would eat decently.

    If she is not spayed... I've heard females in heat can go off their food. Not sure how relevant that is since this issue is sort of ongoing.
  4. MelShzela

    MelShzela New Member

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    This is extremely helpful. I feel like she might be similar to your previous dog-- I've just never experienced such a picky animal. We'll definitely be doing the blood panels as well. Thank you!
  5. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    Many years ago I had a good friend whose Gsd wouldn’t eat properly out of desperation she started ‘force feeding’ and had to do so for rest of its life, so I would be careful.

    Picky eaters are tough,ive been there and its very worrying, I found green tripe mixed in with the food helped, It could be she finds the food boring, have you tried soaking her food in warm water or just adding a little water in, then mix in some cooked grated liver, tuna or green tripe, some tinned food ect:

    I know people, who have added some tinned cat food, which seemed to do the trick.
    How many meals is she having per day.?
  6. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Personally, I would experiment a bit with food after I was confident there wasn't a medical issue.

    Something else to consider, is she worse after worming? A remote possibility the wormer you are using doesn't suit
  7. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Pork1epe1 likes this.
    Dogs that won't eat are a nightmare!
    I have had two, both Cavaliers, which wouldn't eat. The first was Minta, a homebred bitch who would only eat one frozen meat product, (no longer available), and ginger biscuits! She never carried enough weight for show, and had hyper-sexual behaviour when in season. My vet suggested that I mate her in the hope that this would provide the boost that her body was craving, and reluctantly, I did so. She produced one bitch, and two dog puppies, after which I had her spayed. Surprisingly, she turned out to only have one ovary, but I had no further problems with either her weight or her appetite.

    The other was Jazz, a promising male that I bought in for show. He ate normally as a youngster, but his appetite began to fail at around six months, so he only ever got to a handful of shows. By twelve months, I was so desperate that I was rolling his food into balls and putting it down the way you would give pills, which I hated having to do. A little later, a friend who had lost a dog which I had bred, offered him a home. This was a vegetarian family, and they decided that they would try feeding Jazz an entirely vegetarian diet. I have to say that he never carried a great deal of weight, moulted continually, and was highly sexed, (I would have had him castrated if he had still lived with me). Nevertheless, he loved his veggie diet, and lived to a reasonable age for the breed before escaping and meeting his end in an accident - tracking down a bitch in season!
    This is only my own experience, but I do wonder how much influence hormone levels can have on appetite?
  8. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Maybe I am just lucky in that I have never had a dog/puppy/child who would not eat, but I would never have force-fed either.

    As I say, maybe I was just lucky, but none of the puppies I bred ever had "don't want" food when they were being weaned. Same as my children, they ate what they were given. Maybe it is because that was the way things were done then?

    Lexi and Pereg were quite happy on kibble although Pereg was much happier when I changed her to raw and would not eat kibble any more, and of course Tikva has been on raw since she was weaned. So having never had a picky eater I do not have any other advice to give than has already been given.

    @MelShzela - As for your GSP having eaten some of your Lab mix's faeces when she was 2 to 3 months - my daughter was in an orthopaedic hospital from the age of 13 months, initially on high traction, and had usually been given her breakfast by one of the nursery aides before I managed to get there. And every morning I used to ask "what did my baby have for breakfast?"

    So what did she have one day? The contents of her diaper!

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