Post Surgery Anorexia

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New member
Jun 22, 2012
First off, I just found this forum and have to say that I am super excited! It could not be more perfect!!

Now I could use some help. Alot of information, ill try to keep it minimal. I adopted my first chin 2 years ago, a male i named Orion. About a month ago, I was approached to take in 2 rescue females, and have welcomed them into my home. Orion has always been lonely, I have been wanting to get him a friend for some time.
I am a vet tech at a spay neuter clinic, and decided the best thing for him was neutering in hopes of working with them all to build a friendship in the future. I did all the research and was well prepared. He was neutered on May 29th. It has been a roller coaster ever since. He has not eaten on his own since. He's taken a few tiny nibbles of hay from time to time. Not even drinking water.

2 weeks ago he made his water bottle leak and sat in the water all day while i was at work. His incisions became severely infected after that. He has had many trips to the veterinarian i work for and his regular veterinarian who i used to work for. we began with SMZ-TMP antibiotics, they helped, and switched to Baytril this week, and now his incisions are nearly all healed up. Ive also been flushing the area twice a day.

Yesterday he had another check up, he still has a large bump on one side, but it is just scar tissue. His teeth are also not overgrown yet, but right on the edge. I got the go ahead to finally put him back into his old cage, as oppose to his small non jumping recovery cage. He seemed happy, even doing his "happy hop" a little bit. But still no eating or drinking.

For the past 3 weeks, I have been spending 2-3 hours a day syringe feeding and watering him. I have been feeding critical care with a small amount of the other chins poops crushed in for probiotics. But was still only able to get 3 feedings of ~5 mL each. He only likes it really soupy, so hes getting ok amounts of water as well. yesterday i was instructed to crush one of his favorite treats into the mix, Life cereal. He loves it!! ive been getting nearly 10 mL down him easily at each feeding. But I am still extremely concerned. I dont want his teeth to cross the line. this week, his poops have also been getting increasingly smaller.

His current meds are Baytril twice a day, Metacam once a day, and Metoclopramide 3 times a day. He is still not even thinking about touching his hay, pellets, chew treats, water, or even any of his favorite treats.

does ANYONE have ANY suggestions at all on anything else i can do for him? Anything at all will be greatly appreciated. I have been so stressed out about him. I help spay and neuter 40 animals a day, spend another 3 hours feeding him, clean up after everyone else, and sleep. Ive even forgotten to feed myself at times. :wacko:

Sorry this is so long, thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this or help us!!
Hi and welcome. :)

First, no Life cereal. It has loads of sugar in it and a chin not eating plus sugar is just asking for gut issues. He's not eating, his poops are getting smaller, you are heading into stasis issues. Sugar is not going to help that in any way.

Second, how do you feed him the Critical Care? Do you burrito him and use a good syringe that flows easily? Unless a chin is on death's door, when I burrito them they eat. I can get 3-40 mL into a chin at one sitting with very little struggle. If I do have an issue, it's usually because they are not securely tucked into the towel or the syringe is jerky when I use it.

Using Critical Care that is too watery is pretty much like not using anything. It should be thick enough that he can chew on it. If he needs hydrated, then you can always do subcu fluids. Keep in mind that a chin who is not hydrated will not eat. You may think he's getting enough via syringe, but that may not be the case. It sounds like you have ample opportunity to get your hands on some fluids, so I would go that route.

Baytril is well known to cause loss of appetite in chins. It's usually recommended that you give it via injection or give it with a chaser to disguise the nastiness of the taste. Is he finished with the Baytril now? If he's not, how are you administering it?
I'm sorry your little fella is having problems.

I can't add much to Peggy's advice but I do have a couple of questions.

Can I ask what makes you think his teeth are about to 'cross the line"? Has he had a skull xray taken to determine whether he has dental issues like root or coronal elongation?