Feeding The Sick

The dog will need a daily nourishing ration to help him recover from a serious illness. If the veterinarian has placed the dog on a special diet, see that nothing else is fed. A dog recuperating from an injury can usually be given his regular ration.

If the dog has difficulty in keeping his food down, eliminate solid food and substitute broths or beef bouillon. Give them to the dog in small quantities three or four times a day. When you've brought the vomiting under control for 24 hours, gradually introduce solid foods in small quantities. Chopped meat, Pablum or Cream of Wheat will be bland enough to stay down in most cases. Keep increasing the solid food over a three-day period until the dog can eat with out vomiting.

Should diarrhea develop, cut out the regular diet and switch to boiled milk, cottage cheese, boiled rice, macaroni or Pablum. A commercially prepared diarrhea medicine, such as Peptobismol, will help in severe cases of diarrhea.

Many seriously ill dogs refuse to eat or just pick at the food. You'll have to force-feed your dog if he refuses to eat. Try tempting him with a variety of food, if he is not on a restricted diet. Beef liver, heart or kidney is appetizing and the more aromatic you make the food, the more likely the dog will be to eat it. Experiment with the food, it's worth the effort. Tomato juice, egg yolks, even brandy, have all been used with success in getting nourishment into the dog that refuses to eat.

The very weak dog may have to be hand-fed. Feed broths by way of a bottle and pouring into a pouch in the side of the mouth. Other soft foods can be fed by putting them back on the tongue (in very small quantities) and stroking the dog's throat to make him swallow. In general, do everything you can to get the dog to eat. The speed of his recovery— perhaps his life—will depend on nourishment.

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