Author Topic: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat  (Read 2132 times)

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Offline dkirkuk

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Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« on: April 05, 2010, 12:23:54 PM »
Anyone got any suggestions for managing a pregnant bitch who has totally lost her appetite?

Daisy is now 4 weeks in. She normally gets Royal Canin Cocker Complete food and was eating like a horse to start with, but since just before the 3 week mark she started getting increasingly picky. I managed to keep her eating small amounts last week by introducing new things like tinned tripe and meat, and other treats but since Friday she has stopped eating even them. The only thing she will still pick at is tinned tuna. That's now about 10 days she hasn't been eating properly and 4 days she has hardly eaten anything.

I know that it is normal for some bitches to go off their food for a short time, but this seemed a bit extended. Wondered if any of the more experienced breeders have any suggestions?

We are off to the vets for a scan this afternoon so I'll see what she suggests too.

Offline Ninasmum

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 01:39:56 PM »
Jo Jo was similar & totally went off her food at about 4 weeks in.  Basically i cooked fresh chicken breasts/rice/pasta or white fish/rice every day for her until the puppies were 3/4 weeks old. When she was feeding the pups she was absolutely ravenous & would have at least 6 meals of this a day. She just wouldn't entertain her normal food though. I also sneaked in some puppy kibble which occasionally she would also eat.  I know its not ideal but i kind of figured that it would be better for her to eat this than become weakened & possibly not well through lack of food.  ;)

I hope you can find a solution for your girl.  :luv: :D


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Offline spanielcrazy

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 02:41:12 PM »
Agree with Ninasmum. Whatever she will eat, you may want to cook up an extra portion of whatever you are having. As the puppies get bigger and press against her organs it will make eating regular meals uncomfortable for her, so small frequent feedings (or all day long grazing  :005:) will suit her best. (and they may get tummy upsets like pregnant women  :dunno:)

And as Ninasmum said, once the puppies arrive you won't be able to shovel it to her fast enough!  :005:
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Offline sueneil

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 03:32:06 PM »
If you're going to rear your litter on Royal Canin puppy-which I recommend, try mum on that. Also am a great believer in giving tinned mackerel-a nice wholesome oily fish which has a strongish smell and flavour- whenever I have fed in-whelp bitches they have loved it and I like to think it keeps their coats in good condition during their hard work with a litter to feed. I have also given some of mine hearts-usually gently roasted which they enjoy. All worth a try. Finally a spoonful of plain probiotic yoghurt with or without a touch of runny honey-good stuff!

Offline floydlennon

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 04:29:52 PM »
no advice here sorry just wanted to send her kisses from me and floyd



Offline bluegirl

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 05:31:12 PM »
This happened to my Phoebe when she was pregnant. She went off her food at 3 weeks pregnant and for the whole of her pregnancy I really struggled to get her to have anything at all, and to top it all if I'd have known how many pups she was carrying (11) I would have been even more worried than I already was. She was on a raw diet and I didn't want to give it up so when I saw what was happening I just gave her a selection of all the things she usually had and watched what she was eating. I increased anything that she was still happy to eat and decreased the rest. I had to stop using herbs because she wouldn't eat things with the herbs on, then it was certain meats she wouldn't eat, then it was the cereal breakfast, then it was the rest of the stuff. I did give her a bit of cooked meat because she was willing to take that and I used more high value stuff which I would normally reserve for the last couple of weeks (think most peeps use puppy food at that point), but things like eggs and offal which meant she was having higher nutrients but very small portions.
Hope all goes well, but I really do know what you are going through.
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Offline dkirkuk

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 08:49:51 PM »
Thanks for the advice. Fish seems to be the only thing which interests her, so I will try various fish. I bought an ASDA cook in the bag cod fillet today and she wolfed that down tonight but turned her nose up at cottage cheese. I wondered about mackrel/sardines pilchards etc when I was getting more tins of tuna at the supermarket, but wasn't sure about the bones, but I might try that if others have had success with that too.

Oh, and the scan was positive (at least 4 pups visualised) so at least I know she isn't just having me on!

Offline bajoleth

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 10:01:01 PM »
Congratulations :luv:, hopefully her faddy eating will just be a faze and she has her normal appetite back soon ;)
Jo, Belle and Monty

Offline bluegirl

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 10:50:37 PM »
All the tinned fish ie mackerel, sardines and pilchards are cooked in such a way that the bones are edible but you can buy tinned mackerel and sardines that are  boneless and skinless. Mine have tinned tuna, sardines, mackerel and pitchards once a week (usually 2 varieties per meal) mixed in with wholewheat pasta and  raw eggs. I'd just be a little cautious of over doing fresh or tinned fish until she is over 5 weeks if you can tempt her with other tasty things. (which I know is easier said than done), if its impossible at least you know that the pups will take the best out of her lousy diet for themselves so hopefully they'll be fine. I can reassure you that the birth weight of Phoebe's pups were very similar to that of her mother who also had 11 pups despite their hugh dietary differences during their pregnancies.
Karen, Penny, Logan, Phoebe and Bronte.


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Offline Ninasmum

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 08:30:19 AM »
If she is leaning towards fish & to vary her diet you could perhaps buy frozen packs of Coley Steaks.  I know they sell them in Sainsburys in packs of 6 for about 3.  Really easy to prepare...6 mins in the microwave.

Pleased she is not having you on & the scan was positive.  :shades: :D


Nina, Jo Jo, Georgia & Alfie

Offline wales07

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2010, 10:56:50 AM »
Firstly try not to worry... I have a girl who goes off her food at 2/3 weeks and hardly eats a thing for the rest of her pregnancy. I leave puppy kibble and water down for her all day and she eats the smallest amount- somedays just a few pieces :o she cant be persuaded to eat anything-not even chicken which she would normally jump through hoops for. Her 2 litters however have been born fit and healthy. My girl looks absolutely dreadful after birth-sooo thin but her appetite comes back as soon as she has had the pups. I made myself ill with worry during her 1st litter but my vet told me that as long as her kibble is available all day long so that when she did fancy a piece or 2 she could have it,then not to worry as she wouldnt let herself starve. Her 2nd litter she again went off her food but i didnt worry and all was again well. My vet said to try chicken and rice but only a bit and not to try lots of different things thinking that her eating anything is better than nothing as all the new foods could do more harm than good by upsetting her stomach and putting her off eating even more. So he felt its best to stick with what she normally has.

Offline Sharon

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 12:06:56 PM »
Firstly try not to worry... I have a girl who goes off her food at 2/3 weeks and hardly eats a thing for the rest of her pregnancy. I leave puppy kibble and water down for her all day and she eats the smallest amount- somedays just a few pieces :o she cant be persuaded to eat anything-not even chicken which she would normally jump through hoops for. Her 2 litters however have been born fit and healthy. My girl looks absolutely dreadful after birth-sooo thin but her appetite comes back as soon as she has had the pups. I made myself ill with worry during her 1st litter but my vet told me that as long as her kibble is available all day long so that when she did fancy a piece or 2 she could have it,then not to worry as she wouldnt let herself starve. Her 2nd litter she again went off her food but i didnt worry and all was again well. My vet said to try chicken and rice but only a bit and not to try lots of different things thinking that her eating anything is better than nothing as all the new foods could do more harm than good by upsetting her stomach and putting her off eating even more. So he felt its best to stick with what she normally has.

Snap!!  All my girls are the same when pregnant,  my last litter was Bella, she didn't eat much at all, I scanned her and saw 5 pups, so thought as it wasn't a huge litter she would be fine, she occasionally ate a chicken wing, or pasta with sardines, but only tiny amounts.  She went on to have 8!! pups and looked like a half starved street dog once she had whelped, but thankfully her eating picked up soon after.

Easier said than done I know, but try not to worry.

Offline jennyspin

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2010, 07:05:39 PM »
I don't know whether this will be any help but my Jessica did this with her first litter and the only food she could stomach was Arden Grange Prestige. We originally only tried a small bag from the pet shop but she loved it. I guess that is why I've been such a fan ever since. Good luck to you and mum to be x
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Offline LouiseH

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2010, 06:41:29 PM »
Not sure on the Cocker food as I haven't used it but I have just reared a litter on RC Starter food (direct from RC) weaning onto RC Medium Junior at around 6-7 weeks with excellent results. Puppies now 8-9 weeks and lovely and chunky. I also fed the bitch the starter food during the final weeks of pregnancy which it is designed for. The starter food is supposed to be attractive to even fussy eaters so might be worth a try, think RC do 10kg bag but you can always use it up on the puppies.

I found my bitch would only eat mid-morning and early afternoon so you could try offering small amounts at regular intervals throughout the day. If it was me I would be inclined to try and soak the food and then mash it with the fish as she'll be getting the RC that way too - start with a tiny amount and increase it slowly.

Grated cheese is good too - I soak my food and put the cheese in then so it melts  ;)

Luckily my last bitch was an excellent eater throughout her pregnancy - in fact we ended up with a nearly 16oz puppy at birth  :o with the rest 11-12oz.
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Offline Sharon

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Re: Advice re. pregnant bitch who won't eat
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2010, 10:23:37 PM »
Not sure on the Cocker food as I haven't used it but I have just reared a litter on RC Starter food (direct from RC) weaning onto RC Medium Junior at around 6-7 weeks with excellent results. Puppies now 8-9 weeks and lovely and chunky. I also fed the bitch the starter food during the final weeks of pregnancy which it is designed for. The starter food is supposed to be attractive to even fussy eaters so might be worth a try, think RC do 10kg bag but you can always use it up on the puppies.

I found my bitch would only eat mid-morning and early afternoon so you could try offering small amounts at regular intervals throughout the day. If it was me I would be inclined to try and soak the food and then mash it with the fish as she'll be getting the RC that way too - start with a tiny amount and increase it slowly.

Grated cheese is good too - I soak my food and put the cheese in then so it melts  ;)

Luckily my last bitch was an excellent eater throughout her pregnancy - in fact we ended up with a nearly 16oz puppy at birth  :o with the rest 11-12oz.

Same here with RC, only difference is that I feed the HT42D from the time season starts until 5-6 weeks into pregnancy, then swap over to the Starter which apparently now can be bought/ordered in Pet stores or your vet.