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Doc – My pet is a bit off colour!!!

There is not a week that goes past that we don’t get at least three phone calls from concerned clients (and sometimes pet owners who are not our clients) because their animal is not eating properly and is a bit sluggish

The history invariably goes along the line of – “Sheeba has not eaten properly for at least 3 days and we want to know what we can do to help tempt her to eat again”. Usually, we find that the concerned owner has tried every known commercial pet food, and every bit of human food that the animal normally loves and still they are not responding

I will point out that instant diagnosis is not my area of expertise – especially when attempted over the phone. I think it has something to do with not receiving my ‘magic wand’ when I left the University, combined with my inability to actually see through the phone.

One very important piece of information that is necessary to know is how the animal appears to the owner. If the animal appears sick or very lethargic then my advise is to see your veterinarian. If the animal appears normal in all other ways – it is only its eating habits that are causing concern – then I feel comfortable in offering the following advice.

Most of the time the animal has an intestinal upset along with a minor disorder called pancreatitis. Every time the animal eats, smells food or thinks of food  – the animal starts to feel upset in the abdomen.

The best way to get the animal back onto the road to recovery is to STARVE the animal for 24hrs and only offer water during this period. No attempt should be done to ‘tempt’ the animal with food or any other drinks.

In 24hrs time the owner needs to mix up a ‘bland diet’ that is low in fat, protein and fibre but high in carbohydrates such as rice. The diet that I recommend is;

  • Boil a size 16 chick in water for 30mins
  • Remove the chicken and throw away the water
  • Remove the skin and any fat from the chicken
  • Now, boil more water and add 2 cups of white rice (half a cup of for a cat or small dog)
  • Also add one small diced potato, ad 3 tablespoons or unprocessed bran

When the rice is well cooked (this usually takes about 30mins of simmering), shred the chicken and remove all bones (and do not drain the water)

It is important to remember DO NOT add anything else to the food, especially fatty food or vegetables

Do NOT allow milk or milk products for the rest of the week

Feed this mixture to your pet for the next 7 days

If your pet does not get bette or gets worse take it to your veterinarian as soon as you can

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