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Those of you with Senior Dogs: Did your guys/gals experience a big change in appetite as they grew older?

Wesley -- who'll be 10 on April 15 -- is shifting his eating patterns pretty radically.

His deal was always two bowls per day -- a little wet and mostly kibble -- and two poops per day.

Now? He's starting to skip meals. A breakfast here. A dinner there. The bowl will be either totally ignored or somewhat picked through but not even 1/4th gone.

In every other aspect, he seems okay. Typical senior. Sleeping most of the day away. Moving well, though. Climbing stairs etc. THOROUGHLY enjoyed the snow -- Romping, schnuffling, rolling.

There *is* a Bull Terrier in the neighborhood who I suspect is in heat? Maybe Wesley is lovelorn???
 

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Tucker is 9 and I haven't seen any changes in him with anything yet. Thank God. I hope it's just the Bull Terrier, Dan.
 

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How long has he been skipping meals? If it's every meal and he's really not eating much at all, I'd be afraid he's not getting enough food in him?

Could it be that either the wet or dry food changed their formula slightly? I know that throws some dogs off completely and they don't like it.
 

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This was the first sign that Brodie had cancer but I just didn't know it. I took him in and he was anemic but still didn't get the full picture until he stopped eating completely no matter what I cooked for him. I hope it is not that but if you have not changed food, then a vet visit might be in order.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This was the first sign that Brodie had cancer but I just didn't know it.
!!

Wes is due for another chest x-ray in March, following up on the removal of a cancerous toe in Nov/Dec.

I never thought about a link to his eating.

It's probably been a month. It certainly isn't every day. But definitely increasing in frequency. I never thought about his overall caloric intake because it seems so high. He gets a number of cookies throughout the day -- probably more than he should -- plus a small bit of lunchmeat 2x a day with his pills tucked inside. But his weight continues to be good.... At least, I *think* it's okay....

Oh, man.

He is doing something weird w/his food when he does eat, too: For a little while, I was masking his meds into the bowl in whatever leftovers we had at the time (a meatball, for instance, or a small piece of roast beef). He'd smell the pills and walk away from the food entirely. So I stopped medicating that way and took to hand feeding, which has worked. But it's like he's been suspicious of the bowl ever since. He'll remove one tiny bit of kibble, put it on the floor beside the bowl, nose it around, and then eat it. Maybe. Or he'll nose it around and leave it there. We've had to clean up the mat that his bowls sit on a number of times over the past few weeks, now that I think about it.....

Oh, man.

He's due back @ the vet for vaccines. I think I'll make that appt sooner rather than later.

...

oh, man.
 

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My old Brownie had to be "forced" to eat during her last year. I had to hand feed her to make her eat, otherwise the food would be left untouched. She was fat and never lost weight. I think she just got fed up of kibble because she would eat other nicer things.

She lived to 12, had hip displasya, but in the end it was her terrible separation anxiety after our other dogs passed away that ended up with us making the decision to put her to sleep
 

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Jasper will be 13 next month and..touch wood...he has the same appetite as the day he came home as a pup, reading your last post Dan. have you tried feeding Wes in a different bowl, like you said, he may just be overly suspicious that you have hidden his meds in there.

I hope it turns out to be nothing at all to worry about and he is just becoming a little more finicky in his senior years.
 

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Shanny will be 11 on Friday and she's never walked away from a meal. Maybe he's getting too much? Dunno. If mine ever walked away from a meal I'd have them at the vet. Even Boomer ate like a Lab up until the day she died.
 

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He is doing something weird w/his food when he does eat, too: For a little while, I was masking his meds into the bowl in whatever leftovers we had at the time (a meatball, for instance, or a small piece of roast beef). He'd smell the pills and walk away from the food entirely. So I stopped medicating that way and took to hand feeding, which has worked. But it's like he's been suspicious of the bowl ever since. He'll remove one tiny bit of kibble, put it on the floor beside the bowl, nose it around, and then eat it. Maybe. Or he'll nose it around and leave it there. We've had to clean up the mat that his bowls sit on a number of times over the past few weeks, now that I think about it.....
Of course! Is this about the time he started with the change in eating habits? Buy a new bowl and see if that works. I bet that's what it is.
 

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Dan, I think a vet visit is in order too. Change in appetite can be just a phase, or it can be a warning sign of any number of things.

Do try the bowl switch and see if that makes a difference, though. :)
 

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My Bess lived to within a few months of being 14 years old. In my tribute to her in JL's Rainbow Bridge, I wrote

At the last, she still showed an interest in food, pricking up her ears and putting into her eyes the most plaintive, pleading gaze when there was any possibility of a snack.

Hope it's the bowl


 

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Shanny will be 11 on Friday and she's never walked away from a meal. Maybe he's getting too much? Dunno. If mine ever walked away from a meal I'd have them at the vet. Even Boomer ate like a Lab up until the day she died.
So did Samson ! His appetite only changed when he had a gut blockage and this only lasted as long as his surgery plus 1 day and he was back to his almost normal self until the day that he crossed the bridge.
 

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Gin is 12.5 years old and continuous to have a ferocious appetite - she would eat all day if we would allow her to. She receives 1Cup of food twice a day, plus the daily allotment of treats. The only time that Gin had ever refused food, we took her to the vet and she ended up having emergency surgery to remove part of her intestine.

I would definately make a vet visit and have an overall health check-up done.
 

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I would try new bowl, new food and maybe new location. If koko missed a meal...I would know something was wrong. It's like kids, if one is laying down quiet vs. playing and screaming, you know something is wrong. Has she always had a hearty appetite? I think you know what your gut is saying...take her to vet. Better to be safe than sorry...
 

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My general rule is that if a Lab misses a meal, something's really wrong. But as we know, there are Labs who are less food motivated than the general rule. How food-crazy is Wes normally?
 

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Clancey is 12.5 and started to have this picking style, leaving some kibble in the bowl issue, mostly because I was feeding him his meds in the bowl and in treats.

Clancey understand - hates pills of any kind or description and has been know to spit the pill out and consume the tasty treat.

We stopped doing it when the pills ran out 2 weeks ago and now he is back to normal. He no longer inhales his food but there are no morsels left behind.

Good thoughts for Wes Dan.
 
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