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Ask the Veterinarian/Lymphangiectasia


My 13-year-old dog has been diagnosed with lymphangiectasia. He is currently on cyclosproine 125 mg daily, Tylosin 250 mg every 12 hours, Mycophenolate 250 mg daly, prednisone 20 mg daily, Plant enzymes and probiotics and GI support supplement. I have tried the Royal Canin Low Fat dog food but he will not eat it. I have been steaming potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots for him and force feeding him every 3 hours. He will eat white fish, turkey, loves chicken but gets a small amount very frequently. He has gone from 87 pds to 43 pds. What other food can I feed him. I will cook for him and force feed him.

Please help
Brenda Cash

What kind of diet did your vet tell you to put him on? Because if he isn't eating on his own being on Prednisone then he was very sick before you got him to the vets.

These types of diseases are so hard to treat and so painful to watch your dog refuse food, but you have to remember that he is probably in pain and has a painful, inflamed intestinal tract, so no food is going to be appetizing to him. He may even be nauseated as well.

The fact that he has lost so much weight is a good indication that he is not going to turn this around, no matter how much you force-feed him Brenda.

Telling you what to feed him will not change things. Unfortunately the problem you are facing is that of letting him go. At 13 yrs of age, he has lived so much longer than so many other dogs. That is a blessing!

When a pet stops eating they are telling you that they are not happy with their life anymore and they are ready to let go.

Force feeding a pet like this is basically shoving your will to keep him alive down his throat. What kind of quality of life is that going to give him?

I know this is not what you wanted to hear but the facts point to this: he has lost a significant amount of body weight and does not want to eat. He is simply waiting for you to give him the gift to end his suffering.

I know this is painful, and you will probably be mad at me, but I am here to advocate for your dog. Your dog is telling you it's time.

Force-feeding him doesn't make him happy, doesn't give him a quality life. It's time to make a choice for his sake, not for yours.

Your vet has canned foods from Science Diet that are made to help with this disease but they are just a stop gap. He will no doubt not want to eat those either.

If you want to give him the correct amount of nutrients, then get the food from your vet. Cooking him food will not give him a balanced diet for this disease.

If he refuses it as well, then you will have your answer. Please don't prolong his suffering. Be there for him and give him that gift to end his suffering.

That is the best answer I can give you, I am sorry.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

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Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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