Female Shih tzu refuses to eat. Can I force feed?

Have a 12 1/2 y.o., female, Shih Tzu, Molly, not eating for over 1 week now starting Wednesday, 7/21. She would drink water, later throw it up, then go drink more. Refused food and treats. We took her to the Vet on Saturday, 7/24, and they ran a complete senior wellness workup including blood and urine. She use to weigh almost 14 lbs and on Saturday was 8.8 lbs. Monday, 7/26, got results that her white blood count is extremely elevated and they feel it is a kidney infection. Got Clavamox 62.5mg/ml 15m liquid, giving 1 mill orally 2X’s/day. They also gave me a can of Hill’s Prescription Diet, saying that it has a strong smell and should get her to eat. It is now Thursday and she still refuses to eat. She’s getting weaker by the day. Still drinking water and urinating. My question is – can I force feed her? (Put the food in mouth, squirt water and force her to swallow.) Possibly the Hill’s or the turkey & rice that I made? Any suggestions as to what I can do to get her to eat?

Asked by Member 998011 on Jul 29th 2010 Tagged shihtzu, health, refusefood in Senior Pet
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Don't force her to eat. That can be dangerous, and its not right to make her eat if she doesn't want to or can't. She needs to get back to the vet. Losing 6 pounds in such a short amount of time is really unhealthy, and you seriously need to get her to the vet as soon as you can. Tell the vet that she is still not eating and there is something wrong.

Good luck. I hope she gets better.

Buckeye answered on 7/29/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Candy 4/13/99 - 2/8/09

A 12 year old dog that won't or CAN'T eat is not normal. You can't forse feed her if she throws up. It's beyond kidney infection.

Either she has an intestinal blockage, tumor, or some kind of cancer.

Vets can be soft hearted about delivering bad news. The only way bad news comes up is if you ask hard questions. Pin the Vet down. If she does have cancer, better to know and not let her suffer the agony of starving to death.

I hope it's something recoverable and figured out in time.

Candy 4/13/99 - 2/8/09 answered on 7/29/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have never had in 4 dogs get the dog to eat any Hills prescription food. At this point when my dog was like this, i would feed them anything to keep them going. I have done chicken i have boiled ,raw chicken wings, even a bit of people food. Yes i know it is not the best thing to do , but at this point if they will eat it , i would give it to them i do wish you the best and feel free to email me if you have any more questions.

Ikan answered on 7/29/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I would request the vet to do an xray. I know she is old and maybe has a kidney infection but the not eating is not good at all. She has lost 1/2 her body weight already.
You can't force feed her. It can cause more damage then anything. Even induced pnemonia can occur from force feeding.
Treats have no value to most dogs unless they are very hungry. She is just so sick that even though she is hungry she just can't eat.
You can request to bring her into the vets and have some vitamin fluids in an IV for her overnight to see if it helps her.
But, NO to force feeding.
My little dog likes Innova puppy canned food.
You can get down on the floor and hand feed her for now. Just keep trying. Maybe once theses meds she has kicks in she will try to eat.
Hope she feels better. :(

Dieta answered on 7/31/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Don't force feed if you never did it and the dog chokes it could be bad. I agree take the dog back to the vet tell them no eat for a week and drinking just to bring it all back up if you force feed this would happen with the food. There is something wrong and it needs to be looked at NOW if the vet doesn't want to do xray on the dog then find another vet this is serious enough dropping so much weight is bad and NOT NORMAL.

Good luck I hope your dog is well soon.

Starbutt answered on 8/8/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer