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Sounds like you are doing everything you can for your dog this just makes me so sad. There isn't much worse than watching the life and fun sucked out of a being whose life was nothing but happiness its the worst I hope I never have to go thru that again I am still plagued by the bad memories of it. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your dog and I know its a lot of work but I also know if the roles were reversed they would love us enough to do it for us! Keep up the good work. Another thing I did that was helpful was when my dogs were on Lasix they could not hold their urine at night so what I did was fold up a throw blanket and I put human incontinences pad in between their bed and the throw that helped a lot I could throw the throws in the wash everyday and just throw the incontinence pad away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
that's another piece of good advice. thanks. i have not had to deal with that issue just yet, but it's definitely been on my mind... especially with the recent increases by the cardiologist in dose & rates of the two diuretics luke is on... furosemide (now 80 mg 3x / day) & spironolactone (now 50 mg 2x /day). i have a feeling it's only a matter of time before it starts happening. the cardiologist said those doses for those meds for helping the fluid buildup are not yet at the top end of the scale that she is comfortable prescribing, so there is some amount more they can be increased if needed... and at some point, if their effectiveness is not enough, there are other stronger diuretics she would start considering. and i know further increases or stronger diuretics is just gonna get us closer to that point in the process, and i've been running that scenario through my mind on what options / plans i need to make or take.
 

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MTA, I been following your tread, it seems so familiar, just that Boxer people are special in owning and loving a Boxer , not really owning "they own you" regular people don't have a clue. What could I say your doing everything humanly possible for your boy. It's just a process of life and living. As for now enjoy him he's a gift that you truly deserve. He will let you know when it's Time. Regular people will never know the love of a Boxer, you are one of the fortunate ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
MTA, I been following your tread, it seems so familiar, just that Boxer people are special in owning and loving a Boxer , not really owning "they own you" regular people don't have a clue. What could I say your doing everything humanly possible for your boy. It's just a process of life and living. As for now enjoy him he's a gift that you truly deserve. He will let you know when it's Time. Regular people will never know the love of a Boxer, you are one of the fortunate ones.
thanks joeponds. you hit the nail on the head... on all the points you made. that's the reason i come here to research and look for advice/suggestions... all of you are those fortunate ones as well that understand and appreciate that devotion to boxers, and are willing to help others.

also... i just read a different older thread from someone with a "picky" eater... you posted in there and mentioned trying diced up boiled chicken livers. i've been doing some pieces of boiled chicken breast, but may give the livers a try in kickstarting luke's appetite... them things gotta have a good bit more "aroma" than just regular boneless/skinless white meat :) thanks for that tip as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
luke's food intake has continued to get more challenging. he pretty much just sniffs and turns his head away from his regular kibble... stools got a little worse. put him on chicken and rice for a couple of days... still no interest in kibble. started worrying about nutrient & calorie intake so started adding a couple tbsp of hill's a/d wet. also started him on entyce yesterday to see if that will stimulate appetite.

here's something that totally has me stumped and could use any thoughts you might have from prior experience.

it almost seems like he's "forgotten" how to eat ! when i put the chix&rice down he'll slowly start at it... but it's almost like he's just trying to lick the food up. doesn't open mouth and try to take it in. after 15 min or so he'll still have half or more left and he's just pushing it around the bowl trying to lick it. but he keeps at it... doesn't stop... he wants the food. it's the oddest thing and very frustrating. i've tried different bowls that are different sizes, shapes, materials, colors, you name it. i end up sitting on the floor holding the bowl, and use a spoon to keep moving his food to center of bowl in a pile... let him at it for a bit until he licks it all towards the side... then pile it back in center... and loop through this till he has most or all of it down. i really just don't get it and completely stumped on how to help him with this one.

i've thought about pureeing everything in a blender, but i'm not sure if that will really help, and actually might make things worse.

anyone seen this or experience this before ? any thoughts ?
 

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Luke could be licking his dry food to get it moist before eating it because he is having dental problems and it may hurt to eat dry food. These dental problems could be gingivitis, tumors,a tooth root abscess, or a broken tooth or decay. If Luke is also lethargic, it could be a disease such as renal failure, liver disease or inflammatory bowel disease that is lowering his appetite. I recommend taking Luke into your vet for a health exam.
 

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I think you said you were already warming his food up a bit? I know this is hard but when the heart is failing like that it doesn't allow the other organs to function like they once did so that will affect the appetite. When my dogs were near the end of their DCM I could not get them to eat anything at all no matter how much I begged so I feel your pain. Maybe try the babyfood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I think you said you were already warming his food up a bit? I know this is hard but when the heart is failing like that it doesn't allow the other organs to function like they once did so that will affect the appetite. When my dogs were near the end of their DCM I could not get them to eat anything at all no matter how much I begged so I feel your pain. Maybe try the babyfood.
yes... zapping it for 30 seconds or so to warm it up a bit. i'm doing 2/3 cup white rice and 1/3 cup chicken breast (torn to little pieces). tsp of pumkin & maybe 3-4 tbsp of the wet, canned hill's a/d. he did do better this morning. he was doing a little of his typical whining while i was preparing the bowl so i could tell he was excited for food, and when i finally put it down, he didn't attack it but he went right for it. it actually looked like he was using his mouth more to eat the food versus trying to lick it up. he got down to maybe a good tbsp of food left, and was pretty much just pushing it around in bowl so had to help him finish it... but the last couple of days it's been more like almost half (or more) of his food he'd be pushing around having a hard time finishing and i'd have to jump in and assist.

he also took down the chicken pieces i hide all his meds in, and in the morning that's 8 pills, along with the bread i use for the liquid appetite stimulant (entyce).

after all that he took a few good drinks of water. now he's down for the count for awhile.... sleeping on his blanket and pillow.

and for all of you that have been there before, he finally had a BM. i never thought i'd be so happy for that, but has been a few days and is very nice to know things are moving through.

i've just never seen the "licking the food to eat" thing. very strange.

hopefully this morning is start of a positive trend towards the better, at least a little bit. gonna stay on that mix of food at least through the weekend and probably into early next week before i start trying to reintroduce a few pieces of his regular kibble. hopefully he keeps at it (or better) than he did this morning.

monday should be interesting... have a 2+ hour car ride he needs to take to go see his new cardiologist. the one that initially diagnosed him last year and has been monitoring / checking / supporting him the past year is leaving and moving on somewhere else, and in my area those board-cert cardiologists are very very few and not close to where i live. thankfully the current doc gave enough advance notice so i could find and get scheduled for a new one as they are all totally swamped since there are so few... either not accepting new patients, first available appt end of the year, etc etc... but this new one will be at a university vet college, and after they heard the details of his case they really helped me out with getting him scheduled earlier than they normally would.
 

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I hope this new place you are going will have some more treatments/help available bless your heart you are working so hard for this dog I know he appreciates having such a loving owner. I will keep you in our prayers and we are hoping for the best for you. I have been there and it does seem strange to celebrate the things dog owners take for granted eating/using the bathroom so I know exactly what you are talking about!
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I hope this new place you are going will have some more treatments/help available bless your heart you are working so hard for this dog I know he appreciates having such a loving owner. I will keep you in our prayers and we are hoping for the best for you. I have been there and it does seem strange to celebrate the things dog owners take for granted eating/using the bathroom so I know exactly what you are talking about!
am hoping the same... it's University of Illinois Vet Teaching Hospital. thank you for thoughts & prayers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
just a quick update... Luke visited U of I yesterday. he had fun except for the 2 1/2 hr car ride... never liked riding in the car ! his activity level and alertness had started a bit of increase on sunday and that carried into the trip on monday. unfortunately, his eating and stools both became worse. he started sniffing and turning away from the little amount of chicken & rice he was eating, and even started turning away from simple pieces of boiled chicken breast... that i give him all his meds in ! gosh dang it ! but the doctors there were very nice, and i think did a thorough job. most of it i (and probably they) already knew since he was diagnosed a year ago and has had very regular checkups and re-testing. just that the heart failure is progressing. on blood tests his kidney levels were elevated and electrolytes out of whack. one new finding is a small mass at the base of his heart was noticed on the echo... they called it a "chemodectom"... basically a tumor. usually slow-growing, invasive only to local tissue, tends not to metastasize, and very difficult to treat with surgery or chemo. they cause their issues through their growth and subsequent compression/invasion of the surrounding tissue. i'm not sure but i don't believe it's a high priority item for them at this point for luke... as the downward progression of heart failure will take him sooner. they increased dosage of vetmedin and changed up his diuretics, eliminating furosemide and starting him on torsemide. not much assistance yet on the nutrition aspect though.

but i've been banging my head even more... and re-reading the website created by 3 of the top vets at Tufts with info on pets with heart disease... and has a special section on nutrition. i ended up trying some boiled ground turkey and cooked up some sweet potato... mixed that with some rice and gave that to him for dinner and he ate a good portion of it... but i suspect only a matter of time before he gets disinterested in that too. gonna continue to be a big challenge.

he has a followup at U of I early next week. no doubt they want to recheck his blood to see if/how the med changes impact it. they also may want to do a 24hr holter... that'll be fun again. luke just did it his 2nd time back in june so this would be his 3rd... and he does not like it ! not at all ! but that's not a done deal... next week will tell. also gonna push them more on the nutritional side, and if need be i may engage a nutritionist again if i can get onto someones schedule quickly as i can just see and feel him slowly slipping away.
 

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I am glad you got him checked at the University sounds like you are doing everything humanly possible for him. We will keep you in our thoughts I know this is an awful thing to have to go thru.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
well... i just don't know what to say. we're at that point (and probably were a bit ago and i just wouldn't admit or accept it) where all efforts are to just let him do what he wants when he wants (within reason :() and keep him comfortable... and when the bad days outnumber the good, it will be time to let him rest.

i guess i always subscribed to thomas... "do not go gentle..."
 
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