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Hello everyone!

I've been searching Google about this problem but can't find an answer. Then I got an email about recent posts and was glad to be reminded of this forum!

Okay, so I've got a problem with my 8 year old chihuahua, Bella. She hasn't been eating regularly for several months. We've taken her to the vet, and her blood work has all come back normal. It was discovered that she had some bad teeth and an abcess above one canine tooth, so she had 5 teeth (including that one canine) removed a couple weeks ago. But they didn't find any other problems (such as in her stomach, kidneys, etc.)

But we still have a problem getting her to eat sometimes. Bella is very weird and picky. I have tried different foods (like the fancy stuff you order online), but she won't touch it. I have been giving her Primal freeze dried nuggets (beef flavor) for about a year. I put a little water on it, stick it in the microwave for about 8 seconds, then smash it all up. She won't eat it if it's too wet, so it has to be the right amount of water. Some days she'll eat it, and some days she won't. I've tried adding beef broth, and she'd eat that for a few days and then not. I got a special dog beef broth topping I found at the pet store - she wouldn't touch the food with that on it at all.

Our vet had once suggested an expensive prescription diet for sensitive stomachs (just in case that was problem they couldn't detect), but of course we can't afford to really give her that, and it was a hard kibble, so I assumed she would not do well with that with missing teeth (she was missing a few teeth (I think in front) before she got these other teeth pulled. At the most recent dental, she had a canine and a molar removed, along with some in front. Well, I did get the next best thing before the dental, something for sensitive stomachs and skin, made by the same brand as the prescription but not as expensive. I'd put a little bit of that in the bowl next to her freeze dried food mixture. And she would eat that a little. Then not. And it goes on and on like this and drives me crazy when she won't eat....meanwhile she is running back and forth to me, with that begging face (or jumps up and does her begging dance that she does), and to her food bowl. I put food in it, which she doesn't eat but continues to run back and forth indicating she is hungry.

She isn't showing any apparent signs of being in pain. I can press and rub all over here, no sensitivities. No diarrhea, no vomiting. She is lazy and lays around a lot, but she's always been this way. Not acting abnormal in any way.

Last night, I was so worried that I got down and stuck a piece of the kibble (it's tiny for toy breeds) in her mouth. I didn't shove it down her throat and make her swallow it. She got into her cage (that's where her food bowl is and stared at the food and me. So I picked up one piece put it in my hand and held it out to her. She licked it and it was gone. I praised her. I continued this (one or two pieces at a time) for about 20 or so pieces, praising her each time. It's like she was inhaling it, no chewing just straight lick it and swallow it. Then I said, Okay, maybe you can eat the rest by yourself. And she did. Today? Nope, no luck with eating out of the hand. I don't mind hand feeding her. I just want her to eat!

She isn't overweight or overeating. I've been trying to feed her when she indicates she is hungry, which is usually in the morning and in the evening.

I don't think she is in any pain, far as her mouth goes. Her dental, when she had the bad teeth and abscess, was on 9/1. She doesn't show any signs of pain or sensitivity anywhere else. Another thing the vet mentioned was her possibly having luxating patellas, but I can play around with and press all over her legs (so can the vet) and no indication of pain or discomfort.

*EDIT: Yes, she is drinking water. And she goes around a lot looking for crumbs that my youngest child may have dropped on the floor....

This has been driving me completely insane! Please help!

Thanks in advance,

Rushell & Bella
 

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I've had 2 chis w/similar eating behavior. Once I took the first to the vet b/c she didn't eat for 3 days ...after xrays & a workup it turned out to be gas! My vet said to force feed a little wet food & water in an eye dropper to help whet her appetite & move the gas bubbles thru. That worked, but thru research I also discovered that chihuahuas can get an upset stomach in between meals which makes them not want to eat. Now if my chihuahuas won't eat I give them pepto bismol to settle their tummies. Next I give a little chicken stage 1 baby food. If they eat it up they get their normal food for the next meal. I haven't had to go back to the vet for eating problems since.
If we aren't at the pepto bismol stage but still not eating, i take all the food away and ask for a really easy behavior like sit or shake, then give 1 kibble as a reward. By the 3rd or 4th round, my dogs will be eager to eat straight from the dish. Good luck!
 
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