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Several readers have been asking, so we decided to provide a Typhoon Phooey Health Update. Though, you might call it a non-update.
As we have mentioned many times, Typhoon is an incredibly picky eater and will sometimes just stop eating. We have worked hard trying to get his weight up to 45 lbs and had made it to around 43, but his last food strike dropped him back to almost 38 lbs. Skinny. Skinny. Skinny.
It’s really difficult to describe the situation since most people just assume you haven’t found the right food. We have tried just about every form of animal protein imaginable and none have consistently worked. And, most frustratingly, something will work great for a few days and then just stop.
With this latest setback, we again pursued the possibility of a medical cause. Poor Typhoon has been subjected to a significant amount of poking and prodding. Extensive blood work has shown mostly normal results, those his folates are lower than expected. Of course, the last time we tested, that was normal, so we don’t know if that is a symptom or a cause, but he is now taking a folic acid supplement daily.
X-rays and an ultrasound were mostly unremarkable. Issues noted were mostly minor and, again, could as much be a result of his eating habits as a cause.
We have treated with both anti-nausea medicine as well as a steroid, and the result of that, for now, is a regular eater. Right now, we are concentrating on getting pounds back on his frame before taking any additional steps, any of which would require engaging specialists and even further testing.
The good news is that we have not identified any significant medical issue despite some extensive testing. There is no immediate health threat, other than not eating. And, thanks to the current regime, he is eating heartily and regaining some weight.
The only bad news is we still don’t really know a cause.
So sorry for leaving everyone hanging without an update, but the reality is that we just haven’t had any real updates.
P.S. – Despite not eating, Typhoon continues racing around the yard, causing havoc, and enjoying the bad boy role that he plays.
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One of my dogs has a sensitivity to both red meat (beef, venison, etc.) and poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.). One of those two is used as a flavoring to EVERYTHING dog related. We couldn’t figure it out in the beginning, because we feed a grain-free, high-protein diet – and she was turning her nose up to the food, no matter which one we chose! And when she did eat, she started losing her fur at an alarming rate.
The vet recommended trying a novel protein diet – we started with fish and got lucky the first try. We now feed strictly grain-free, fish-based food to BOTH the dogs. The bonus for us is once we figured it out the issue, got her on the fish-based diet, and gave her intestinal tract a chance to settle down and heal, she can handle the occasional piece of chicken or beef without it tearing her up.
We are eternally grateful fish was the “protein of choice”, as it is the least expensive of the novel protein options we could have tried. Unlike for my allergic cat – who eats a RABBIT protein based food. A TWELVE pound bag of it costs as much as a 40-lb bag of the dogs’ fish-based food!
I am sure it is very frustrating for you, but happy he acts well. I am glad that the latest regime is helping and hope they can find what is causing the problem. Poor Typhoon! I know it is hard to see this happening with him but am so happy he has a Hu-Dad that does everything he can to make sure he is well taken care of and works to address his issues. Typhoon is a lucky dog. Thanks for letting us know what is happening with your little Prince. He is important to all of the Herd’s fans.
I know you have said you tried everything w protein but I was wondering have you tried a vegetarian diet? I once had a shepherd who had much the same eating habits, eventually we removed the protein and fed a strictly vegetarian and we did not have any further problems. Further study by a specialists showed that she actually had a reaction to animal proteins themselves, if you have tried vegetarian and I missed it I apologize, but my girl was so similar.. I could trade proteins and she would eat for a day or two but then she would start reacting even to fish.
Just a thought
Glad to hear it’s a non-update. I know you are very frustrated and concerned. Hopefully, he’ll keep eating for a while. I know you have tried many things so my thoughts are with you having gone thru a picky eater myself. Hang in there!
Glad to hear that no serious issue was found, though it’s frustrating not to have something to do!
Eddie will sometimes decline to eat (especially if it’s a bad weather/busy work day when we weren’t able to take a walk), and then will lie on the couch/in his create/etc napping with his tummy growling away but be seemingly indifferent to it. He’s not unwell (he’ll still happily run and play, or eat an exciting treat), he’s just … being a Husky? What works the best when he’s like that is lentils (or rice-and-lentils). I don’t know if you’ve tried them or are interested, but they’re a good source of protein and fibre, and a complete protein source (if it was the only thing a dog ate it may not have quite enough taurine in the long run, I read somewhere, but he still eats other stuff. And dogs are omnivores, not carnivores, so they do fine with a more plant-based diet). He also loves tofu (he’ll come running to ask to have bits as I chop some for a stirfry). I don’t know if you’ve tried either, or if Typhoon would be interested, but you’re only out $2 if he declines?
I had that same issue with Aries. Along with having seizures he also had colitis. I don’t know if they were tied together, but after taking him to the emergency vet on a weekend they had me feed him either boil hamburger and rice or boiled chicken and rice. He liked that stuff up like crazy. I found his food. I added some vegetables and a little more meat and that’s what he ate for the rest of his life. Yeah I had to make it every so often, but he was worth it. His favorite meat was venison. Unfortunately I hated the smell, but still made it for him. I hope you can find what the little prince really loves. Hugs and kisses to the herd.
Thank you for the pupdate! I know I was one who had asked about your little mystery boy.
I can’t imagine how frustrated you all must be. It’s great news that the current regime is working and Typhoon is eating. Well keep our paws crossed that he keeps it up.
Mom sez: Seems like you’ve tried about everything there is to try, to solve the mystery of Ty’s not holding his weight. No medical cause shown, no physical cause shown, he eats, and then he doesn’t eat. He puts on weight, then loses it again. Must be SOMETHING in his metabolism that’s causing this. Or, something in his brain! I don’t mean that in a nasty way, but could there be such a thing as some little “short circuit” in his “wiring” that “shorts out” every once in awhile? A short in the “I’m hungry” circuit, maybe?