Monday, November 11, 2013

Sweet (sick) Emily

After we were sedated at the Vet today.

As sick as it may sound, we treat Emily as if she were our first born. We don't treat her like a baby, but we definitely care for her like she's our baby. When she's happy, I'm happy. When she's hungry, I'm usually hungry. And when she's sick, I'm sick.

When we first brought Emily home back in April, she ate like any other nervous puppy would. Once a day and it wasn't much. The more comfortable she got with us, the more she ate and she was doing well. Around June, we decided to change her food to something that we thought was healthier. We gradually made the change (like you're supposed to) and her stomach just didn't agree with it so we went back to her old food. She ate great and never had an upset stomach. Fast forward to a couple months later, and she suddenly became a very picky eater. We were in the middle of a move so we just assumed it was stress. It was a good day if she ate just one cup of food or half of her food bowl.

Finally settling into our new house, it got worse. Again, we thought it was stress and fed her as much as she would eat... which was barely anything. A month goes by and I start adding chicken or turkey at the bottom of her food bowl just so she would eat something. I thought what most of you are probably thinking, if she's starving, she'll eat it. But when several days go by and you can hear her tummy rumble at night you know something isn't right.

A week ago, she stopped eating all together. She was in bed by 5:00 p.m. and her nose wasn't cold or wet. That's when the vomiting started. Since her stomach was empty it was just stomach bile (all over our kitchen floor). She was acting completely normal in all other aspects of her life. Wakes me up, wants to go outside, cries for a walk, chases every squirrel and bird, naps, runs around the yard, and whatever else she does to keep herself entertained. EVERYTHING was normal, except for her diet. She also refused any bone to chew on, which is very unlike her. So, I call the vet and make an appointment.

$500 later, and she's diagnosed with food allergies. We're put on the "Prescription Diet" soft/dry food and deworming medicine (just in case) and nausea pills. The vet did blood work to make sure it wasn't parvo and x-rayed her tummy to see if something was stuck in there. Everything came back negative, thank goodness, and I was able to take my healthy pup home.

That night she ate everything she was supposed to. "Food allergies it is!!!" we thought since she was doing so well. That next morning, she wasn't having it. She wouldn't even get near the food. I left it out just in case she changed her mind. That night, the food still hadn't been touched so I gave her some chicken instead. Of course she ate it. That next morning, same thing. So I just gave her soft food and she ate it like she hasn't eaten in 3 months. I gave her more soft food and she ate it all AGAIN. I haven't seen her eat like that since she was a baby. It was wonderful.

24 hours later, I wanted to add some dry food again since, ya know, we just paid $70 for it. She ate it all, but an hour later threw up all of the dry food on our carpet. She didn't chew any of it and it came up that way. I called the vet today A) wondering why she all of a sudden doesn't like dry food and B) if I can return this $70 DOG FOOD. She asked if she could look at Emily's stomach again and do another examination. 7 hours and $300 later, nothing. We know nothing besides the fact that she only likes soft food.

"Well, just feed her soft food Maxine" is easy to say, but we still have a lot of questions that are unanswered. Why isn't she chewing her food? or chewing on her favorite bones? (her teeth are perfect according to the Vet) Why did she stop eating her food? Why did we just pay $700 for NO ANSWERS. Because she's our child, and we want to know what's wrong with her. 

She's asleep right now, sedated actually, and it breaks my heart knowing something is wrong we just don't know what. Maybe if I put it out on blog land someone else can relate? Has anyone gone through something like this with their pet? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.... 


  1. Aww poor baby. I Know Irene had stomach issues with food when she was a puppy. We had changed her food and her stomach just wouldn't work with it. Luckily No food allergies. Thoughts and prayers for baby Emily. I hope you guys find something out. I know its not much help..

  2. i'm so so sorry. i am thinking of you and emily and crossing my fingers everything will be ok. Hugo says he's thinking of Emily too.

  3. Hey there! Random reader that followed you from your old blog :)

    I work at a dog store so I wanted to offer some suggestions for your sweet little lady. Since she won't eat kibble right now, and the vet mentioned a food allergy, I'd suggest trying a raw food diet for her. Did the vet say specifically what allergy? Chicken & grains are the most common.

    Raw food comes either dehydrated or frozen, and you either rehydrate with water, or defrost the frozen patties, but both have a soft food texture and are great for dogs with allergies. There are plenty of protein options to keep her interested too! Since it is raw food, the protein content is naturally high which might be a bit for her system at first, but you could slowly introduce it with the other soft food she's currently eating.

    Hope y'all figure this out- can't wait to hear about her feeling better!

  4. This is so sad Max, have you tried boiling chicken and trying to feed her that to make sure she's getting some nutrients?

  5. I am so sorry to hear that Emily is sick :( I can imagine how hard it is for you all. I can't really think of any advice that would be helpful.. I really hope that Emily gets to feeling better soon!

  6. My dog I had when I was growing up used to throw up dry dog food. His ended up being a deeper problem, but I do not think Emily has that since she is young. He was an older dog. We fed him in an elevated bowl (it got to the point we had to really elevate it) and put things in the bowl so that it made him take his time because he had to maneuver around them and chew. Maybe you can try that with her. I am so sorry your lil girl is feeling sick. It breaks our hearts when they are hurting and we cannot figure it out. Hope you find something to make her better!! Pumpkin helps their tummies when they are up[set also!

  7. While we were trying to figure out what was wrong with my dog the the vet suggested white rice cooked in chicken stock. It ended up just being that she could only eat a certain brand of expensive dry food! It's so sad to see them sick! Hope your vet figures it out soon!

  8. Oh my heart hurts for you all! Our dog Miley is like what Emily is to you - our kid. We wouldn't even hesitate to do what you're doing if the roles were switched. Praying that you find some answers and that your happy and healthy puppy returns very soon!

  9. I'm so sorry sweet Emily is sick. :( I really hope they figure something out soon.

    My dog seems to have a number of colitis issues. I've seen blood in her stool on more than one occasion, but the vet never knows exactly what the problem is. I'm always sent away with a couple of antibiotics and some wet food. What my vet gives me is is Hill's Prescription Diet i/d or Hill's Prescription Diet w/d. Both are soft, canned food designed for dogs with gastrointestinal issues. She goes absolutely nuts for the canned food and would eat it over her dry food any day of the week. I finally bought a few cans to keep at home if I notice her acting strangely and it always seems to help get her back into a regular eating pattern. I also keep it around to give her medicine with. She HATES pills, so I crush them up and then roll them into a meatball with the soft food. I've also read pumpkin, ginger and mint help calm dogs' stomachs. My dog won't touch pumpkin though.

    I know how frustrating it can be to know NOTHING. I guess I'm still there, I've just found a way to maintain it. I'm definitely that crazy dog lady examining my pup's poop any time she starts acting weird. I'm so sorry y'all have to go through this with little Emily!

  10. I have no advice, but I hope you figure it out soon!

  11. I see others mentioned a raw diet. I would recommend that as well. We do the frozen patties and thaw them each day for our 11 year old girl. They are very soft and she loves them. We started giving them to her when she was overweight and we couldn't get her to lose. With the patties the weight came off and she has been maintaining for over a year. She's a pretty lazy girl but jumps up for dinner time. She loves the patties!

    Hope Emily feels better soon!

  12. Poor Emily... :( I hate seeing animals sick because they're so helpless and sweet. I feel awful for you guys, too... that would be so hard to deal with. Me and my pup will be sending happy thoughts your way!!!!! I hope you can find the cause and get her all fixed up ASAP.