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  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    Default Have I Made The Right Choice?

    Okay, Sir Moose had been picky eating since back in Nov. He just would not eat kibble after 2-4 days. We had him on grain free TOTW, and so changed him to a different flavor. Ate it a few days and stopped. He had always eaten dry kibble in the morning, kibble with a little home cooked sturky stew in it at night. No problem with eating the morning dry until Nov. He stopped eating morning, but ate all at night. Well, after we went thru that wieht the 2ed flavor of TOTW, we tried Rachel Ray Nurish. Same thing, fine for a few days, then no morning kibble and then pick out the human food and just a little kibble at night. Went to Purina one. he liked it a little longer, then stopped. Went to Pe3digree which is what his previous owners had fed him for 4 years. Same thing. Then we went to Iams.

    Took him in with ear infection in Dec. and he was down to 95 pounds, but they said it was actually better for him to be a little leaner at his age (about 9 1/2). We found the tumor on his foot and it taken off about 5-6 weeks ago. He was down to 85 pounds. We have always had blood work done before surgery or dental on all our dogs. His blood work came with liver enzymes 4 times higher than they should be, and his whit count was a little low. My vet thought it was hepatitis, even tho he didn't have but a couple of symptoms. Also, he appeared to be retaining copper in his liver. He put Sir Moose on Royal Canin Hepatic kibble ($99.99 a 26 pound bag) and Ursodiol to clear outhis gall bladder. That was $220 at Walmart, but I got a coupon and we got it for $150 at Walgreens. If he gets it again I will get it from Diamondback Vet. drug company for $44. He was also put on a stomach med for 4 days which was $73. Obscene prices for meds. They said for me to soak the kibble until it was soggy as that wold easlier on his stomach. I did and he ate most of the first night. After that, he would not touch it soft. I had hand fed him because ofhis earing a cone.l

    I tried the dry and he weld eat a few bites and then walk away. I found myself carrying around a bowl with kibble in it to try to get him to take a few bites. He would take one or two and walk away and I let hijm. Would try later. He was not eating a cup of food a day. Was told not to feed him ANY kind of human food. Took him in two weeks later and he was down to 82 pounds. Oh, he had manged to pull stitches out even with cone on. Had to start wearing a sock to keep from licking it as he would lick and lick. Anway, did another round of blood work and hiw white count was good and liver enzymes were only 3 times normal. But he continued to eat less and less. Last Wed he ate about 1/2 cup and Thursday no more than 1/4 cup. Nothing Friday morning or afternoon. His ribes, spine, hip bones are poking thru (cant see them but sure can feel them). He still insisted on his walks be Jerry did say he ws walking slower.

    I had asked on my golden retriever forum and the pyr forum on FB about dogs with liver disease and what they were fed. I got several replies with foods and supplements. I had been researching them and on Friday I decided Ihad to feed him something he would eat. He was just wasting away. I boiled some chicken breasts, choppe them very small pieces, boiled some rice and a few small potato pieces in some of the broth, when done added about a tablespoon of cheese and some of the chicken. He ate every bite of it. Sat. norming I did rice in broth and then a raw egg cooked in broth--he ate every bite. Supper the rice mixture, only I used some carrot chips. Last two nights have cooked 1/2 apple, rice and a few slices of zucchini in broth, added a little more cheese and chicken. Not a grain of rice left in bowl. For breaks last two mornings--cooked oatmeal and added a pat of butter, a tad of honey and some milk and an egg done in chicken broth. All eaten. AND he has been eating cottage cheese (about 1/2 cup) in the middle of the day. Last night I had a spoon full of boiled rutagagas left and I gave them to him with about 1/4 cup of cottage cheese about 9:00. Clean bowl.

    We had to take him in yesterday becase we discovered he still had a stitch in his foot. He was 81.9 pounds. He had been eating so little for a week since he was 82 pounds and then just 3 full days of eating a lot and was down less than half a pound. I feel he had problem lost more since he was eating so little, but had putt a few pounces back on with whathe is eating now. I am gradually increasing his meals every few days as I am sure his stomach has shrunk so much.

    I have researched fruits, =veggies, meats, that are low in copper (almost all dairy is) and that is what I am cooking for him. BUT I also need a good supplement. A couple whose dogs have liver trouble said they use Nature's Logic Food Fortifier. I am looking into that.

    But question, did I do wrong by taking him off a food he would not eat and cooking food for him that is low copper and good for him? We have already seen an increase in his energy level. He is much more animated and happy. The decrease in energy had been so gradual we had not noticed it. I told my vet what I was doing and he said go for it, we couldn't have Sir Moose just shrivel up. I am keeping him on the Ursodoil until we get another blood workup done. Also considering milk thistle.
    Jerry and Moose

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Rena450's Avatar

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    So sorry to hear about Sir Moose and all that you are dealing with. My last Golden, Oakley, had elevated liver enzymes show up on blood work one time. Just a bit over the normal range, but, never less he was getting older and I didn't want it to get worse.

    After doing some research and reading an article about probiotics and digestive enqymes. I started Oakley on Dr. Mercola Digestive Enzymes. The digestive enzyme, Lipase, breaks down and digests fat. This means there is less fat for the liver to deal with and therefore less stress on the liver. Was hard to say if this helped or not (because I heard levels can go up and down), but, his level did go down next time he was tested. I ended up putting him on Probiotic Miracle ( a powder form)because he always had an issue with hot spots in the summer (and this was supposed to help with this as well). I now use Pet Ultimates Probiotics for Dogs for my pyr, Lyric. I purchased both on Amazon. ( they both have great reviews). Vetri-Science is a brand that has great supplements, they have probiotic capsules as well as bites ...... both of which just happen to be on sale on the Chewy website.

    Here's a great article on probiotics and enzymes:

    http://products.mercola.com/healthyp...zymes-for-pet/

    I would have done exactly what you did to get him to at least eat something, put on some weight and increase his energy. I just read your recent thread reply about Sophie and Shaggy (I had to pull out the kleenex) and all you did for them .... you are a good, caring mom and doing all you can for your fur baby. I hope he keeps feeling better ..... whatever you are doing is working. Keep us posted.

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    Truth be told, I think this is a discussion that is best had with your vet. He has years of training and experience that the majority of people on dog forums just don't have. He also has access to Moose's medical records, and knows how to interpret his lab results in ways that even the best-meaning dog lovers on the internet can't.

    If it were me, I would call or email my vet before making any changes to his diet or giving him any supplements.
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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Sir Moose has lost a significant amount of weight and will continue to lose more if he doesn't eat. That would be enough for me to do home cooked to encourage eating. But I've fed home cooked as part of my dogs' diet for many years so I am very amenable to doing it. When Bro was diagnosed with bone cancer in July, 2015, I immediately took him off all processed foods. He ate home cooked for an full year until we had to let him go in July, 2016.

    I have a friend whose doberman lived with liver disease for several years and she fed home cooked.

    If you decide to stay the home cooked course, just make sure you do all the research you can, and maybe find a online group of owners of dogs with liver disease to get hands on info.

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    I have conversed with him about it. Sir Moose was eating less and less of the Hepatic food, and wouldn't even touch the canned. He never ate ONE BITE of that food from his dish, only what I cajoled him to eat from my hand. I put it in his dish and he never touched it. I finally got desperate when he had dropped from 105 pounds last summer to 82 pounds. My vet did say feed him whatever he would eat, we couldn't just let him shrivel up. I spent a lot of time today cooking for him. I boiled two chicken breasts and took the meat off the bone and cut it up. I also boiled a pound of lean grown chicken. I boiled a good amount of butternut squash in chicken broth. I also steamed some asparagus, mostly for us, but a couple of spears for him for tonight. And then I baked treats Add to dictionary dogs with liver disease, high copper content. For supper he had the rice cooked in chicken broth along with some zucchini and then I added two steamed asparagus spears and some of the butternut squash, about 1/8 cup of the cooked ground chicken and some of the chopped chicken. He cleaned his bowl and then licked the floor in case he had missed any. I just gave him one of his treats and he got it chewed up and was looking for another. When he was on kibble, he would walk away from me most of the time when I tried to get him to eat. Or he would eat a couple of bites and then walk off. He was miserable, he moped except when it was time for his walk and Jerry said Sir Moose had even slowed down. I don't think we had a choice. His entire immune system would be weakened if he continued to go without food.
    Jerry and Moose

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar

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    I don't see a problem with home cooked food. My only concern would be him getting enough vitamins and nutrients out of it cause it is believed that cooking vegetables and such they lose the nutrients along the way. Maybe you can look into Dog Sure and see if that would be okay to give him with his liver problem and if it is mix a little of it into his food to guarantee that he gets all the vitamins and nutrients that he needs.

    You aren't in your way of thinking. I did this same thing for years for the JFO's cat. She was on a raw diet for awhile then she couldn't stomach that anymore and was losing weight so I cooked her food and added Cat Sure to it. She made it to 22 years old and was really healthy up until the last month or so. You do what you have to do to get your pet to eat is how I feel on the situation.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    Years ago, when Sebastian was recovering from one intestinal issue or another, and was generally pretty picky about what food he would and would not eat, I asked his vet about cooking for him, and she said essentially what Tsunibear brought up - that home-cooked food made it difficult for them to get all of the nutrients that they need.

    Obviously, in your case, Moose eating something is better than him eating nothing. However, with Moose still showing signs of impaired liver function, it is very important that his diet gives him the nutrients that he needs without placing any further strain on his liver.

    I did some looking around, and think that this website may have some good resources:
    aavn.org/nutrition-resources.pml

    If you were in a larger city, I would suggest consulting with a veterinary nutritionist in person, but I'm not so sure that there is one in your area (that might be worth a phone call to your vet). However, the website I shared has links to websites that will evaluate his diet and make sure that Moose is getting what he needs. There are also links to veterinary offices that will do phone nutritional consults.

    As far as supplements go, I would still advise checking with a vet or nutritionist before giving him anything over the counter. It could be that everything that you are thinking about giving him is 100% safe, but supplements can sometimes interact with prescribed medications, and limit their ability to help him.

    The boys and I are sending much love and healing energy to you, Jerry, and Moose.
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  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Christi's Avatar

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    I agree with SM on this, I happen to have a liver issue and I have to be exceptionally careful about the foods I eat, the supplements I take along with many other things. I would for sure check with your vet before giving any supplements especially. Most anything we take into our bodies has to be processed through the liver and although the supplements you mention are indeed good for human liver function it may not be good for dogs, as they have different enzymatic processes than we do. The best suggestion I can offer is to try making the Spots stew recipe, its from Halo foods, and is supposed to be very healthy, although again I would consult the vet, and dogs are generally lactose intolerant, and dairy has fat, which needs to process though both gall bladder and liver, I am extremely limited on dairy because of that.

    https://www.petcha.com/dog-food-comp...s-stew-recipe/

    http://www.thewholepetdiet.com/andi-...he-real-story/

    I use this as a bounce off for the homemade food I feed my dogs with kibbles. Sometimes I will change the veggies so that I can use fresh and as you know the squash is not always available, and I also change the proteins with Moose, I would use boneless skinless breast, with the whole chicken there is a lot of fat. With this food as its written you should not need supplements, this is supposed to be nutritionally complete. Now I am not a nutritionist so I am not stating that as fact, but that is what Halo says.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-fo...g-food-canned/ this is the review on the canned version, personally I would cook it myself, using organic ingredients and possibly leave the garlic out. I don't add the garlic to mine, because there is a little too much controversy about it.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    I have looked and researched, looked and researched to work in so many factors. He needs low copper. So I had to find which foods is low in copper. I went thru all the different liver diseases and he doesn't have but one or two of any of them... weight loss and lack of appetite. No excesslive water drinking or peeing, nice solid poops, normal temp. etc, et.

    I boil the chicken breasts and then remove skin and bones and put them in trash and cut up the chicken. Oatmeal was recommended so I will cook some oatmeal for him in the morning and add eithr some of the chicken a poached egg. Add just a tad of honey and a little milk to the oatmeal. Then about 1/2 cu of cottage cheese with a little chicken added. For supper I cook rice in chicken broth (I save it from the chicken breasts I boil) along with veggies that vary--chopped broccoli, potato pices, apple pieces, squash, carrot chips, green beans. He cleans his dish every meal.

    I ordered organic milk thistle from Chewy along with vitamins. He gets 3/4 teaspoon of milk thistle in his two meals and is suppose to get 2 viatmins, but I am only giving him one. Oh, I also dry egg shells and crush them and add to his breakfast. We hae not aken him in for weight check yet, but plan to do that next week and see when vet wants to do another blood workup. But Sir Moose has more energy now than he has in a couple of months. If he is in the house he is so interested in food that while I am cooking, even for us, he is watching my every move. If he is outside I just have to yell EAT when I have his ready and he comes running. We really thought it all over and decided better a short time loving and enjoying life than a long time slowly starving, no energy, no intrest in things and it was sarting to reacy that point. We had not realized that he had lot so much energy until he got it back.
    Jerry and Moose

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    Glad to hear that Moose's appetite is improving and he has more energy. It can be hard to notice the subtle changes in their behavior sometimes. I missed a number of things with Lily when she came down with Valley Fever. They hide their sufferings so well...

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