Author Topic: Learning how to force-feed my dog  (Read 26970 times)

Offline Jepne

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Learning how to force-feed my dog
« on: September 06, 2013, 08:57:36 PM »
This is our fourth day knowing our dog has Blasto  - what a name!!  I too am so thankful for all the information you all have put on this forum.  I have been taking notes onto a word processor page and highlighting things like '1 T ACV, oregano oil' etc.  Instead of worrying, I feel like I can do something. 

Today I discovered I can force-feed my dear obedient dog by putting his very liquid food in a turkey baster which I put inside his mouth at the back so the food goes into his cheek cavity, then he swallows it at his own pace.  What a God-send that is, as I do not see him drinking any water nor eating more than a couple hundred calories a day. 

I do not know how much I can force-feed him - I guess he will put up a good fight if it is too much.  I just gave him half a cup and decided to let it rest a little bit, then will give him more before we all go to bed.

I put into some chicken broth some soy powder, ground flax, bentonite clay (Redmond).  It must taste awful but he is such an obedient little guy and looks into my eyes the whole time I am gently squirting it into his cheek.

He is pretty perky for someone who is 'sick as a dog' and we are thankful we went to the vet as soon as we saw something wrong.  His lungs were pretty white though there was some black on the x-ray. 

So I am combing your posts, gathering information and am so very much encouraged.  Our vet pretty much encouraged us to not put up a fight, but we thank God often for these two Border Collies - they have been such good companions out here in the country and seem to enjoy life so much.  They will be lying out in the sun, watching the landscape, then suddenly both will jump up and take off at a full run after something they heard in the woods.  Sometimes I look down into the forest and I see them running after something - it is just too much fun and to give up without a fight seems so wrong.

My husband noticed something wrong last weekend, but they had gotten into the worst skunk smell they had ever had, so they could not come into the house and I did not notice anything until Monday.  We got him to the vet Wednesday morning.  On the way home we stopped at McDonald's for a grilled chicken sandwich and he ate all the meat!  Yesterday he would only eat some Melba toast - they said it would be up and down.  I pray he will continue to let me feed him.

Again, thank you all!!  By the way, we live just over the river from I'Falls, MN, and 45 minutes West in Canada.  Our vet said there had been 8 cases in Emo this summer.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 01:43:30 PM by Jepne »

Offline Algonquin

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 07:25:37 AM »
Just to give you another idea, we got A/D and critical care cans of food from the vet and did two things. The first round of Blasto we liquefied it and did the cheek routine but this time I mixed it in with some pancake batter - made the pancakes ( a little brown) and Zeke ate them up! He is MR. PICKY . It is so much easier and more calories. I did have to break it up for him and put the first two pieces in his mouth but he ate the rest on his own. Don't forget Boost or Ensure - Zeke tolerated it very well but have read about other dogs getting diarrhea.  I swear it saved him the first time. Raw meat is another option - today's menu is stewing beef! 

Are you using Sporonox? If so make sure you give it with a fatty food. For the first month Zeke was on it I used a syringe and gave him a buttermilk chaser. I have not seen it mentioned here for a while but it was highly recommended by Lolasmom.  Also, agian if you are using sporonox you can get it delivered to a US address from Big Mountain Drugs in BC for a fraction of the price from the vet or Walmart.

When Zeke was discharged from Guelph in Sept 2011 (round one) the vet said to make sure we used the brand name Sporonox - you can read lots about it here - and to limit his exercise for a few weeks. Although Zeke had been swimming and walking in the water since being diagnosed this time he really does not exert himself. This morning was the first time he actually went for a walk and one km was enough.  The cooler weather is certainly a blessing down here.

Good luck and hang in there.

One day at a time!

Offline Jepne

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2013, 02:00:53 PM »
Thank you Algonquin.  Encouragement realy helps!!   

The lane is an eighth of a mile long - and we go halfway down.  I don't call or command him to follow. . . hmm. And then, as I got close to the house, they both disappeared into the woods.  What do you think?

I got one cup into him today so far. A mixture of chicken and broth, flax seed, soy, a little yogurt, a little diluted apple vinegar, some bentonite and charcoal.  I gave him his Sporanox, a vit E a multivitamin, a 250 Silybum Milk Thistle.   This aft - yes, the livers I will try and some more of the mixture, diluting it a bit more.   Liver will be desert.  I will bring the chicken livers up  as soon as I finish this and thaw them.

When we go by the store tomorrow I will look for Boost or ensure, and get various canned dog meats.

Yes, we have Sporonox - the beaded kind - $155 for a month's supply - we are in Canada but have both Canadian and US addresses.  Does that price sound good?  I saw some US prices that were higher - goodrx was one of them.  He is getting 100mg - a 17 kilo Border Collie.

He seems to be very hot.  Has anyone tried aspirin to bring fever down?  He's looking a little glassy-eyed.  He has no lesions - it seems to be only in his lungs and he is not making coughing sounds  - a little heavy in the breathing now and then.

Thanks again so much.  I would like to play solitaire and pretend it is not happening, but to the freezer I go - thanks again.


Offline Jepne

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2013, 02:03:15 PM »
So you discovered squirting it into the cheek also?  I talk and stroke his face, and if he does not  start to lap it down, I separate his teeth thinking that allows the food to get into his mouth and then he starts to lap. 

Offline wiscnorthwind

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2013, 04:40:46 PM »
Jepne,

Here are my thoughts on the subject of allowing a dog with Blasto free exercise off leash...and your experience today just drives the point home for me.  What would happen if your dog did not come back?  If a dog is really sick, sometimes they take to ground.  I believe one person posted some months ago about losing their dog and later finding him dead under a bush weeks later.  Or, what if someone thought he was a stray and picked him up and took him to Animal Control or worse, kept him in their home with no one knowing that he had Blasto?  IMO, allowing them off leash is pretty risky unless you have a completely fenced area.

My personal choice it to keep my dog on leash until we beat the Blasto.  Currently Vada is the only one off leash on a limited basis, and she is now 4 months post treatment...the second time around.  Nik will continue to be leash walked (I use a long line) until he is 3 months post treatment.

Regarding aspirin...yes, I used crushed adult aspirin for both Nik and Vada's fever with my vet's blessing....crushed because Vada didn't seem to break down the enteric coated ones well initially, and sometimes she'd vomit them up whole 7 hours later.  Dogs metabolize aspirin differently than people so don't give it with the same frequency...its typically given every 12 hours, but its always safest to double check with your vet.  Nik was on aspirin for quite a few weeks because his temperature consistently went over 105 without it.   I found the ThermoPet No-Contact pet thermometer (Amazon) to be invaluable when monitoring their temps.

Here's a link...  http://askville.amazon.com/aspirin-safe-dogs/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=37594

Hang in there!

Offline Jepne

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 02:22:29 PM »
Wiscnorthwind - Thank you for the advice, encouragement and the link. 

This morning he would not take anything in but about 4 tablespoons - but this afternoon I tried him on various wafers and he chose a graham cracker - and then when I piled chicken on it, there was no stopping him.  Yes, I should get him some dog food at the vet`s when I go to town this week.

I gave a wee bit of an aspirin this morning as well as 50mg naproxin anti-inflammatory he was so hot last night.  Maybe that helped him want to eat today. I also need to search how much food and liquid they take.  He ingested 2 cups yesterday and I went to bed thinking he might surely die on so little - but today when I thought of the weight and size of a dog compared to us, maybe two cups was not too bad. I need to do some research on that.  He did seem better this afternoon. 

When I said he took off into the woods, I took it as a sign he was feeling pretty good.  He and the other guy, Bowzer, live in the woods here - pretty far from animal control - but if he were more critical, I would want to keep a closer eye on him - you are right.

Thank you - now to read the article on aspirin.


Offline Jepne

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 03:07:38 PM »
That was a helpful article on aspirin - thank you!

From ehow dot com on water: 

As a guideline, a 10-lb. cat should have roughly about 1 cup of water per day and a 40-lb. dog should have about 4 cups. But it also depends on temperature and activity. Puppies require more water than adult dogs and kittens more water than adult cats.

Pouring water from a squeeze-type bottle into the back of the throat can work for pets that are dehydrated. While doing so, blow gently into the pet's face so that swallowing will occur naturally.

If your pet is not drinking to the point that he's dehydrated or it's a result of a medical condition, seek veterinary attention immediately. The vet may have to administer fluids and electrolytes or prescribe an alternative such as Pedialyte (a water/sugar/mineral mix), which may have to be administered with a medicine dropper (there is also Pedialyte for Dogs). However, NEVER give your dog or cat Pedialyte, electrolyte-infused water or add sugar to the water without your vet's permission.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_4595450_dog-cat-drink-water.html#ixzz2eLEFJFBJ



My daughter the nurse told me that sugar feeds funguses.

Offline bettyb

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 03:18:00 PM »
Jepne-I highly suggest you contact your vet about giving Naproxen. As far as I know you NEVER NEVER NEVER give that. Only a buffered regular aspirin! Would hate that that would harm your dogs recovery!

Offline Algonquin

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2013, 05:41:49 PM »
Is your boy on prednisone? If not he probably should be - it helps with the inflammation and also with appetite. It has its drawbacks but short term they are easy to deal with. 
I found it very helpful to have a Mira Vista test, it gave us a quantitative value on how quickly/slowly the fungus was being combated.  It also takes away the guessing game when it comes to the final stages of the disease. 

Read everything you can here, it is a wealth of information. I am not sure if you are in a Blasto hotspot or not but in many cases the pets owners end up knowing more than the vet as it is rare in many locations. 
One day at a time!

Offline wiscnorthwind

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2013, 07:01:09 PM »
Its heartbreaking when they're so sick and not eating on top of it.  Since I had to force feed Nik for an extended period, I chose our highest calorie kibble (Timberwolf) that I had on hand and crushed it, then added enough liquid to make it easy to feed. I fed him small amounts off and on throughout the day.  My dogs also both like liver sausage (braunschweiger). Nik also was given frequent water changes, with added ice to encourage drinking...he's always disliked warmish water and with his high fever he preferred it cold.

As mentioned prednisone can sometimes help with the initial inflammation from die-off, but its not a long term fix due to its suppression of the immune system.

I agree with not using Naproxen for dogs...there are safer things to use. 

Algonquin, you and Zeke continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Offline Jepne

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 11:28:40 AM »
Thanks for all your comments and help.  I was able to get in to talk with the vet yesterday and she said no Naproxen - and that Aspirin 200mg twice a day would help with the inflammation.  So that is what we are doing.  I bought the foods they had there  which she recommended, also some grocery store dog meat  - and while I was gone, my husband gave him two Milkbones which he devoured. 

He loved the canned meats and seems to eat mostly at night - though he ate a little canned meat this morning.  He looked much better Sunday, but yesterday and today pretty much the same. 

I will ice his water and see if that helps.  He has only lapped water yesterday and the day before.   I forgot to ask about Prednisone - I agree - short term.  I am concerned about him getting over this first couple weeks.    ??

I read to have that Mira (?? can't see your post here)  test in two weeks -  thanks for the reminder - it is only a week from then!

I am not letting him stay out by himself now - in fact he does not seem to want to go out at all.

I hope all your dogs are doing well!!

Offline wiscnorthwind

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2013, 12:55:16 PM »
Do keep an eye on how much he is drinking, especially if he continues to run a fever.  Thankfully my guys drank well, it was the food that was the issue.

We're all here to help, so don't hesitate to post your questions/concerns.

Deb

Offline Jepne

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 08:15:51 AM »
Good to hear from you, Deb.  In the following, I am thinking out loud, there is no demand on anyone to  answer all my thoughts, but, as you know, I am very glad for the help - I just don't want to come off as demanding everyone's attention.

Today we are one week into the diagnosis and Sporanox itraconasole.

Yesterday he ate well, including dry kibble (a first) mixed with canned meat, then in the evening threw it all up. 

So, an  hour later fed him 2oz of water with a little of the vet's canned meat diluted in it - and some carob and he seemed to like it - the carob because I remember it being soothing to the stomach.  So I gave him a chunk of regular canned meat and he wolfed it down.  Every once in a while he makes a loud wretching sound but nothing comes up.

Two hours  later, again, the same, with 2-3 chunks of canned meat and he licked the spoon, as well as in the middle of the night and this morning.  So my thought is small amounts of water and canned meat every two hours or so and 'listen' to what he seems to want.  Perhaps the dry kibble he ate yesterday was too much, considering how little water he takes in, so I will soak some and break it up and mix it with meat today. 

Did not want to try some dramamine type pills we have unless I heard from others here, or the vet about it after my Naproxin faux.  And am not so sure he is nauseous, perhaps it is just the large amount of food yesterday that made him throw up.  It was his first time.

I did watch his wagging tail as he stood next to his son, Bowzer, and they wagged at the same speed!

His breathing, at times lately, sounds like Mr Bean - low and growly, but only for a minute.  I guess that is the dead fungi trying to block his airways?  His breathing is fast.  He takes at least five breathes to the other dog's one, then he'll pant a bit. 

So 2oz of water every two hours - by nighttime that would be about two cups - enough?  I read four cups a day is recommended but depending on their activity, and he is not active.  If he will sit up  and take more than 2oz, I will do that, and, remember that the food has water in it. OK. 



 


So 2 oz of water with meat and carob,

Offline wiscnorthwind

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 10:33:48 AM »
I'm betting the dry kibble contributed to his vomiting...it is much harder to digest due to its density...especially if he's already somewhat dehydrated.  If you want to continue to use it, either pre-soak it, or crush it as I did for Nik, and mixed it with a bit of water or low sodium broth.

I've not heard of giving Dramamine to dogs specifically for illness or drug-related nausea, but since its used for motion sickness, so I suppose it might be helpful.  I would definitely talk to your vet as there may be some contra-indication or a better method of dealing with the nausea if it continues. 

Vada had a week or so of intermittent vomiting after eating her first week or so of treatment.  It did resolve as she started to improve.

My feeling is that your current regimen is good, with free access to additional water if he feels thirsty.  You can pull his skin up in a tent to see how quickly it returns to normal to judge if he's dehydrated.  Also keep an eye on the color of his gums, as well as frequency and color of urination.

Someone (sorry I can't remember who) had posted some time ago that their vet had given them instructions to contact their office if the dogs respirations exceeded 55 BPM.  I thought that was a very sensible thing.  So you may want to ask your vet what they consider to be an emergency status that would necessitate your bringing your dog in for supportive care...such as oxygen or prednisone.  That way when you monitor your dogs temperature and respiratory rate you won't worry unnecessarily...and will know what to do and when.

This link may help...  http://suite101.com/a/is-my-dog-sick-how-to-check-a-dogs-vitals-a88860 
(As a side note...with two sick dogs I found a ThermoPet no contact digital thermometer to be invaluable!)

Sending healing thoughts your way!

Deb

Offline Jepne

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Re: Learning how to force-feed my dog
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 02:19:55 PM »
Thank you Deb.  I have kibble soaking right now - it is like rocks.  I should have made sure it was well-soaked yesterday - I thought just mixing it with meat would suffice.  I have much to learn.

When he threw up last night the thought came hammering in that maybe it's all over and we should consider. . .  Now I read y'all's posts and see that it is to be expected that that will happen and it puts a whole different perspective on it.  The discouraging thing is that he is not eating voluntarily today, but, it goes up and down, back and forth, as you and many others have said.

Thanks for the link - I will read it.  I am pretty sure he has been breathing more than 60 an hour since I first took him in a week ago.  Hmm.

I just cleaned the kitchen and found some plastic utensils and cans and jars for mixing my little concoctions for him. I hear it is not contagious but I don't want to take any chances.

I probably need to continue checking for dehydration these days that he is not drinking - thank you for the reminder!

Bless you, and thank you so much for the encouragement!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 02:27:10 PM by Jepne »

 

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