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 How to get an old foster to eat?

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cmanding
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PostSubject: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:11 pm

As many of you know, I picked up Sully yesterday, who is a 10 year old male husky that I'm fostering for 6-7 months for his owners.

When we adopted Ginger and brought her home, she didn't really eat for the first 48 hours or so, and I'm pretty sure this is what's happening.

Sully hasn't eaten since we brought him home, and I'm guessing his last meal was breakfast on Sunday. He ate a bite of his milkbone, since he's been with me, and 1 tablespoon of yogurt so I could get him to take his glucosamine.

He's been on Science Diet since he was a puppy and since he hasn't been exercised much lately, the owners have him on Science Diet Lite.

I know he's getting used to his environment, and he'll eat when he's ready to eat, but his food ain't exactly all too exciting either, in my opinion. So I tried to put a 1 tablespoon of Honest Kitchen Zeal with his kibble to see if he would take it...no go.

I'm probably worring too much since we just brought him home yesterday, but he's older, and he's got a bum hind leg, and I just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to make things comfortable to for him.

Any advice on how to care for a 10 year old who isn't in the greatest shape would be more than welcome!

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:13 pm

Oh...his owners says his bum hind leg is from 'just being stiff'...but I'll get him checked out so I'm not putting any undue stress if it's more than 'just being stiff'.

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:55 pm

Are they sure the "bum leg" isn't due to arthritis? Is that what his glucosamine supplement is for? That extra weight certainly is not going to help any if he's having joint issues.

As for the appetite, give him more time. I wouldn't expect him to eat this soon either. He's away from his "mom" in a strange new house, with strangers and another dog he's not accustomed to. For such an old dog that's a huge change, he'll come around in his own time. Keep exercising him (if he can manage with his leg) as much as you plan to over the course of his stay with you to establish a routine. Not only will a routine get him settled faster but the exercise will help stimulate his appetite. Judging from the fact that he's on a light food it sounds like he can afford to not eat for a little while anyway. Razz It took my sibe about 48 hours after we adopted him to start eating. Both my chi girls took even longer than that, they started nibbling food at about the 3 day mark. Just make sure he's drinking to keep his fluids up, the appetite will kick in soon enough. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:17 pm

Do i just have weird dogs?! Everyone ate on their first night home lol

I'm sure he'll come around to eat when he feels more comfortable. Have you tried a walk right before meals? That's been helping with Cheyenne and her eating disorder lol

Did they bring a bed for him? You can get one of those egg crate things and throw a blanket over it for him. Odin really appreciated that after sleeping outside for probably his whole life coupled with his reduced feeling in his back legs.

The best thing you can do for him though is try to get the weight off of him. Seamus was 65lbs or so when we got him (should be 40-45lbs) and had bad back legs. Now that his weight is cut back it's easier for him to get around and his back legs aren't so problematic anymore. Kind of an odd situation since he's not really a foster and he's not really your dog but if they're OK with him slimming down that would be my first goal.

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:35 pm

Nikolai was on a hunger strike for 4 days when we first adopted him. Try mixing in a raw egg and some cheese or canned food, maybe even warm water... There are ways of making a husky eat. I'm learning all of them over time. ;-)

And ditto others - I think the best thing to help with a bad leg is to lose a little weight.
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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:57 pm

I'm not sure how much overweight he is....

I'm taking him to see my vet to get his leg checked. I'm guessing it could be arthritis and not just stiff muscles. This morning he seemed to have muscles spasms (as if he was humping)... My vet will also give him an overall health check (free for new pets) so I'll see how much he should weigh...he doesn't *look* overweight, but he is a big boy next to Ginger.

I walked them this morning, and he seemed to not mind his hind leg, but he was still limping. Later, he wouldn't even put weight on it, then a little while later, he would put weight on it. So it seems it goes back and forth throughout the day.

He finally did eat his kibble just a few minutes ago (yay!) but it did have some HK in it. He'll be on Ginger's walking schedule which means 4x a day and we'll go for 15 minutes each time at first and go longer from there if he can handle it. I don't want to be walking him to too much if I'm not supposed to.

I have full authorization (in writing) from the owner to make medical decisions while I have him (and they agreed to pay for vet care and food) so I intend to take care of him as if he is my own.


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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:08 pm

So...I just got back from the vet...
Sully is 73.6 lbs and he's not 'overweight' - he's just a big Husky! Oiye!!

...AND...he has a torn CCL which has been torn for sometime because the vet said she could easily feel scar tissue build up. Crying or Very sad


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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:19 pm

WOAH NELLY! 73.6 pounds?! Good Lord! Nikolai would look like a dwarf dog standing next to Sully.

I'm so sorry to hear about his knee - what did the vet recommend?
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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:59 pm

awww poor Sully! If you don't mind me asking...why did his owners have to leave him for such a long time? A 10yr old dog must be really broken to be left by his mommy and daddy after so many years Sad

Did your vet say there's anything that can be done for his leg?
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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:06 pm

aww Sad are you going to ask the owners if it's okay to go through with surgery and repair his CCL
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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:35 pm

Dr. Miller gave me a few options, and I'm guessing the owner's financial situation may not allow for surgery. I've decided to go with shots for pain and inflammation management which will also help build up cartilage. This had the least amount of side effects and least amount of risk to kidney and/or liver damage, and would take effect faster, but it cost more than the pill medication which could effect the kidney and/or liver and would also need blood work done.

And since Dr. Miller offers free health checks for new pets, the office visit was free, and she gave me a discount on buying the injections in 'bulk' since there's an initial load of 3 weeks, with maintenence to follow.

What I'm upset about is either the owner just ignored it and just chocked it up as still muscles with old age (not sure how she came to that concludion when he can't even put weight on it sometimes, or she DID know about it but didn't say anything...




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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:41 pm

The owners had to move out of their home and into an apartment so they don't have a yard for him. They have a 5 1/2 year old and they have twins at 20 months. One of the twins cries when she sees him because she's afraid - simply because he's a big boy. So being in a cramped apartment while their house is being built with a 20 month baby that is afraid of him and all just doesn't do well with anyone in the family.

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:43 pm

Sully is lucky to have you step into his life like this. I hope the shots work fabulously and that he doesn't develop any complications or have any negative side effects.
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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:45 pm

Sounds like a sticky situation but I have to agree, why didn't his owner get him checked herself and get it taken care of before. She obviously noticed. Oh well, I guess it's a good thing he's in your care for now, I really hate the thought of him having to go back to his owners knowing what we do about his leg, poor baby. So I'm confused when you say you bought the injections in bulk, who does the injections, you or the vet? Sending healing vibes to Sully.

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:58 pm

@Huskyluv wrote:
Sounds like a sticky situation but I have to agree, why didn't his owner get him checked herself and get it taken care of before. She obviously noticed. Oh well, I guess it's a good thing he's in your care for now, I really hate the thought of him having to go back to his owners knowing what we do about his leg, poor baby. So I'm confused when you say you bought the injections in bulk, who does the injections, you or the vet? Sending healing vibes to Sully.

Kind of is a sticky situation. And I agree that they HAD to have noticed and known it was more than stiff muscles. My heart just goes out to him...

I have no idea what's going to happen when he goes home to his owners. My main goal is to try to make Sully as comfortable as possible while he's in my care without breaking the owner's bank.

Hubby says he would of asked the owner first before I went ahead with giving him the shots in case they bail and never call me back. But for me, spending the $125 for the shots that will cover Sully for 3 weeks to make him comfortable is the least I could do if the owners were to just bail on him. I make Sully comfy for 3 weeks...and I have 3 weeks to decide what do I do with him.

The vet gets 2 vials per box, and 1 vial will give Sully 3 injections (1 each week). So instead of charging me what she would per injection, she gave me a discount to buy 1 vial. I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to stick a needle in him, but since the vet is so close and the $125 includes them giving the shot (not much discount for me doing it myself), I'll have them give the shot.

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:13 pm

What shot is it? Adequan?

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:18 pm

@arooroomom wrote:
What shot is it? Adequan?

Yes.

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:18 pm

Thanks for clarifying, my husband would have said the same thing as yours! lol $125 is not bad at all, anything at the vet tends to cost a fortune and that's quite reasonable.

I'm not going to hide it, I've already begun wondering if Sully might possibly be your dog number 2 in the making. Razz Hey I know it's a long shot and that he's "supposed" to go back with his family but after reading about the kids and that whole issue and lack of proper care it's a thought that's nagging at me. Especially since he seems to be laid back like you wanted Wink and he and Ginger are getting on well... I'm not getting my hopes up or anything, just saying the thought has crossed my mind...multiple times. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:42 pm

@Huskyluv wrote:
Thanks for clarifying, my husband would have said the same thing as yours! lol $125 is not bad at all, anything at the vet tends to cost a fortune and that's quite reasonable.

I'm not going to hide it, I've already begun wondering if Sully might possibly be your dog number 2 in the making. Razz Hey I know it's a long shot and that he's "supposed" to go back with his family but after reading about the kids and that whole issue and lack of proper care it's a thought that's nagging at me. Especially since he seems to be laid back like you wanted Wink and he and Ginger are getting on well... I'm not getting my hopes up or anything, just saying the thought has crossed my mind...multiple times. Laughing

I think that's reasonable for making him as comfy as possible. The thought has also crossed my mind that if owners didn't want to take him back. But, I would have hoped for a healthier one. However, you get the dog you're supposed to, not necessarily the one you want...or so someone once told me.

The whole story actually started last summer when they wanted to surrender him. And if we couldn't take him, they were looking at putting him down. I don't know what their reasons were at the time, and maybe they have had a change of heart now, but it all remains to be seen on how this plays out for the next 6 months.

I left the owner a VM about his leg and what I opted for treatment. So we'll see what she says if/when she calls me back. If she doesn't, like I said, $125 out of my pocket to make him feel comfy for 3 weeks is the least I could do for him.

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:04 pm

I've got the same feeling, Val.

Well hopefully the Adequan will work for Sully, didn't work for Seamus but it's common for dogs to react differently like that.

The fact that they wanted to surrender him and that their child is afraid makes me think about 75% they aren't taking him back.

Hoping for the best!

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:12 pm

Well....I got an email from the girl.
I'm about to lose it Crying or Very sad

Even though she signed an authorization statement allowing me to make decisions on his care, her email said she can't call me back because she can't have her husband hearing they already have vet bills + shots and it hasn't been a whole day yet. It also went on to say because he comes from a farm, and given his age, you don't spend hundreds of dollars on an animal and he was the one that wanted to put him down when they wanted to surrender him back in the summer. She had to beg him not to put him down. So I have a feeling they did know about his torn ligament. But she told her husband that they would only have food and glucosamine bills from me.

Now she's saying to wait before I do anything...

Now I'm heartbroken. Crying or Very sad
And what do I do now?? *SIGH*

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:34 pm

Sounds like a real crappy family. The dog is old therefore it isn't worth taking to the vet? Just put him down, who cares? Ugh. Gross.

Legally, she has signed it. And legally she has to pay. Legally, you're pretty much in charge. Is that worth fighting with them about? Probably not. You've already paid $125. That will last you 3 weeks. I'd take these next 3 weeks and seriously consider what you're doing with Sully. I can't really tell you what to do because i'm not you and I don't know the specifics.

If it were me right then and there I would have emailed her back saying don't worry about it, he's not coming home to you anyway. Or tell them the dog died and continue life with "dead" Sully.

I don't think they deserve the dog or deserve someone like you who is willing to take this elderly dog in to your household to take care of for the next 6+ months. They don't sound committed to the dog or to his health and wellbeing. Truthfully i'd be nervous giving him back now in fear that they would dump him somewhere or put him down. I think you need to remind her of what she signed and also remind her you're doing this out of the kindness of your heart. If she cares about the dog (sounds like she's the only one who does, at least a little) she'll put up with it. If not well then you've got bigger questions to ask yourself.

Sorry this isn't a clear as my posts usually are, this crap really pisses me off.

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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:41 pm

It sounds like they would jump for joy if you told them you would offer to keep him for good. I just don't understand having a dog for 10 years and then being so calous about there wellfare. How do you not love the dog like your own kids after 10 years??? I saw his picture from your other thread and he is gorgeous. He kind a looks like me 10 year old except for the minor difference in mask. I can't even imagine not taking care of Dakota. Heartbreaking.
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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:46 pm

Thanks Kristina. This really breaks my heart. She cares, but her husband doesn't seem to care as he's the one that wanted to put him down last summer. I feel for her because she does care about Sully. I don't have the right to keep him, but on the other hand, what would be Sully's other options?? I'm not even sure what she would do if I told her I was going to keep him and never give him back! Her husband might say, 'Good, let her keep him!'...

UUUGH!



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PostSubject: Re: How to get an old foster to eat?   Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:02 pm

*big hugs* That family seriously pisses me off. If they have the money to be BUILDING A NEW HOME they can certainly afford (or finance, or whatever) to take care of their dog, the dog to whom they made a LOVING LIFETIME COMMITMENT. Is there any possibility that we could use the rescue credentials to maybe have the vet school in Ft. Collins (CSU) to do the surgery at a reduced rate? I know when I was a kid, my dog got hit by a car, shattering both of his front legs. The students did his surgery at a rate my poverty line family could afford. Might be worth checking out. Or, maybe we could start a fund for his surgery and use CareCredit or something... there's gotta be options. Definitely ditto others, $125 for three weeks of a better life is worth it even if they don't pay you back.
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