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Barkley's Mystery Illness

Discussion in 'Diseases & Illnesses' started by Ann, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    Several months ago, I posted asking for suggestions for Barkley, who had suddenly become a picky eater. The past few months I have tried every conceivable type of food you can think of...kibble, canned, stewed, freeze-dried, home-cooked, baby food, people food, right down to the dreaded supermarket stuff. Over the months he got worse and worse. He would eat something for one day, maybe two, and then refuse it. I have an assortment of dog food in my basement that's big enough to stock Walmart. Nothing lasted.

    We tested him for everything, from an ultrasound for gallbladder to a urinalysis for kidneys, thyroid testing and extensive bloodwork. All were fine. His vets were stumped. And the eating got worse. I sat on the floor spoon feeding him for half an hour while his housemates gobbled their meals in under a minute. He was getting less than 1/4 cup of day of food and losing weight. He even began refusing cookies.

    I prepared myself to say goodbye, knowing that this has always signaled the end with my dogs in the past.

    Finally, two weeks ago, in one last-ditch effort, I bought some Dr. Becker Appetite Booster...tiny pieces of meat that you sprinkle on food. I tried it on some of the kibble I had that he'd refused. To my shock, he ate it! Every. Last. Crumb. That was two weeks ago. He's been eating that way ever since. He's gained the weight back, and he's perky again!

    His vets and I are gobsmacked. We have no idea what brought this on or what solved it. I've waited to post, afraid the new appetite wouldn't stick, but it has. He's eager for meals again and happy. The hunger strike has ended, and I am so grateful and relieved! Should I credit the appetite booster? I have no idea. I can't imagine that turned the tide, but it must have helped. For anyone who goes through this -- and I know many of you have -- it's worth a try. You never know.
    Chris, Sandy in CT, ghggp and 5 others like this.
  2. KarenCurtis

    KarenCurtis Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    YAY BARKLEY!!! Are you sure he wasn't staging some kind of protest? In these political times you never know- he could have gotten the idea from watching the news.
    RikyR, ghggp, Hanne and 4 others like this.
  3. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg Mb
    That must've been so frustrating for you Ann, to try so many different foods with no success and all the tests! I know they say a dog won't starve itself but clearly they've never met a picky Sheltie before!
    Fingers crossed that he continues to eat with gusto!
    ghggp, Caro, Sharon7 and 4 others like this.
  4. Wendy C

    Wendy C Premium Member

    May 30, 2019
    Paris, Ontario CANADA
    lol Karen, I almost spit my tea with that one! Hey wait...didn’t you have a tea party there? ;)
    Sandy in CT, ghggp, Hanne and 2 others like this.
  5. KarenCurtis

    KarenCurtis Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    Yes that must be why I thought of it!
    Ann likes this.
  6. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    Ann that is so odd. Don’t you just want to ask what the heck he was thinking?

    I’m so glad you found a solution!
    Calliesmom, Ann, ghggp and 1 other person like this.
  7. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Southern California
    I can completely understand how frustrating and sad it must have made you feel. I guess it's the old saying, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" that comes to mind here - just so happy for you that SOMETHING worked and he's back eating normally. Hope you can work your way through all that back log of food!!! :lol:
    Ann, Calliesmom, ghggp and 1 other person like this.
  8. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Guess you can start working on your stockpiles of dog food now!
    And buy a bunch of that appetite stimulant :)
    Calliesmom, Ann, ghggp and 1 other person like this.
  9. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    That it so weird, and so scary.
  10. Hanne

    Hanne Premium Member

    Nov 13, 2014
    Ann -It must be so terrible that you want to buy / do everything to get your dog to eat and nothing helps

    it would ruin my quality of life :cry:

    That said,
    I really understand what a great joy / relief it must be when you hit the right food :fl
    Sharon7, Calliesmom, Ann and 2 others like this.

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