For free nutrition information and advice, email Pat McKay
Dehydration & Loss of Appetite
Has Your Animal Stopped Eating?
For animals who are ill, dehydrated, or not eating at all, my first suggestion is to give RAW beef broth. Not cooked beef broth, but RAW.
One of the main reasons for loss of appetite is dehydration. Without body fluids, the body cannot digest food; therefore, your animal will stop eating, because s/he has no desire for food.
Raw beef broth: One tablespoon of RAW ground meat, add one-half cup of purified water, mash the meat in the water with a fork or put it through a blender or food processor and serve.
Your animal may drink as much broth as s/he wants; there’s no limit. The more they drink, the better. And broth can be given at anytime, day or night; whenever they want it.
If your animal is ill and is not eating s/he must have a minimum of 3 ounces of fluid for every ten pounds of body weight per day just for survival. That 3 ounces can be food or fluid, but that does not include plain water that your animal may drink on his/her own. (3 ounces = 88 ml or cc)
During this time, also have plain purified water available as well. Plain water flushes the kidneys; it does not hydrate. In order to hydrate your animal, s/he must have some food in the water so that it stops in the stomach to be digested and absorbed. Plain water does not stop to be digested; it goes right through the system. Your animal may need to drink plain water to flush the kidneys and to drink the broth to rehydrate.
If your animal will drink the broth on his own, that’s great. If not, you will have to syringe the broth with a feeding syringe. There are many syringes on the market; buy the largest one you can find with the longest tip so that you can cut off the end of the tip if necessary so that the little pieces of beef can go through.
If necessary, you may have to strain the raw beef broth so that it will go through the syringe.
If you are able to get plain raw blood, that is really the best; it isn’t that easy to find. Probably buying beef liver is the best source of plain raw blood.
You may also try raw egg yolk broth; however, that doesn’t agree with some animals. If your animal vomits yellow afterwards, that tells you raw egg broth is not for your animal.
Egg yolk broth: One RAW egg yolk (the yellow), mix with just enough purified water to be soupy and serve or thin enough to be given through a syringe.
Animals under 3 months of age may also be given broth prepared with Colostrum powder.
Colostrum is the first food that comes from the mammary glands after birth. It is full of immunoglobulins, the immune builders, as well as providing nutrients for your animal. You can buy it in powder form from a health food store or online. My suggestion with regard to dosage is to give 1/2 teaspoon at a time to small animals, 1 teaspoon for medium animals, and 2 teaspoons for large dogs. This must be put into purified water; do not give the powder directly into your animal's mouth. S/he will choke on it.
Colostrum broth cannot be given to animals over the age of three months, because after three months of age, animals no longer product lactase which is the enzyme that breaks down colostrum.
Do not give vegetable broth during this time. Carnivores need the protein from the meat or egg broth. Do not mix proteins. In other words, do not mix the raw beef broth with the raw egg yolk broth. Proteins must be given separately.
When syringing a liquid into an animal's mouth, be sure you syringe from one side of the mouth or the other. Do not syringe straight into the animal’s mouth from the front of his/her mouth. You want the animal to do the swallowing so the liquid goes down the right pipe. You do not want them to choke if it goes down their windpipe.
If your animal starts licking up the liquid on his/her own and/or starts eating, great. If not, you need to email me with his/her symptoms, so that we can decide what is causing this loss of appetite.