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How to syringe feed a dog
This is a video showing you how I syringe feed my dog Beau, who is a German Spitz. It was taken on his 10th birthday on the 1st March 2013 in the spare room, which is quiet and spacious for us both to do this. Beau has end stage kidney failure, which he was diagnosed with on the 2nd week of January 2013. His twin brother Jasper had just died a few days before and I thought Beau was just sad. As he hadn't eaten for a few days, I took him to the vets for a check up. The vet said he looked physically fine and told me he was just depressed and he would get better soon. I insisted on a blood test anyway to make sure nothing was wrong. The vet called me the next day to say that Beau's blood results showed that he was critically ill and that he had to be hospitalised immediately or would die within 24 hours. He went to stay at a doggy hospital twice in 3 weeks, staying a week at a time. On his second release on the 24th January 2013, I was told that Beau had 3 weeks to live. We are now into week 5 and he is still around. With the help of a fantastic group that I have found online, some research of my own and with the help of my kind vet who helps Beau by actually treating him as he is, have been provided with help and advice to at least try and stabilise Beau. His eating is not great as the kidney values effect his taste buds and belly, and he has difficulty eating foods on his own. This is the reason I syringe feed him. He needs to eat a diet that is low in a high quality protein to give his kidneys the least work possible. I have seen the scans and he has lost almost all of his function, so I'm trying to help him the best I can. He is on a daily diet of 2 cups of cooked rice, 3 egg whites, 1 egg yolk, a handful of cooked green beans and 7 raw washed blueberries. I mix this to the consistency of a milkshake, which is thin enough to be sucked through a syringe, but not too thin that it dribbles out of the syringe and the side of my dog's mouth. The video is pretty self explanatory. It is important to stay calm when you do this. Your dog will try and walk away a few times the first few times you try this, but you need to remain calm and keep trying. The first couple of times I tried, Beau hated it and ran away, looking very angry at me. I also think this was due to the food, as he hated the taste. The mixture he gets now is quite bland, so he is happy when it is dinner time. When I am doing this, I normally make myself a cup of tea and put it besides Beau's cup. I also put on a TV show on my phone in the background, as it is quite easy to get bored and try and rush things along. You cannot rush your dog as you will either make things harder for you by not having his cooperation, or you will choke him. I have found that this is now "our" time. It is important to concentrate on what you are doing, but once you do it a few times, you will know how much at a time your dog can eat or not. Please make sure you allow your dog to swallow what you have put in its mouth before adding more food into it. I know when Beau has had enough as his swallowing gets slower and slower. Remember to allow small rests in between. Due to the air intake that the swallowing involves, I find that Beau sometimes does a little burp in these rest periods, so give your dog time. In regards to using a sarong, this isn't wrapped tightly around Beau and when I leave the room, he often gets up and walks off. We started with a towel, which of course was a bit heavier, but I also think there's a psychological element to him not getting up and walking off when this is around him. You could also use an old sheet to protect your floor or you could use one to tuck around your dog. It doesn't have to be a sarong, I just find this easier and quicker to use and to wash than a towel. I also wipe down Beau's mouth with a damp tea towel when he has finished eating, so that any dripped mixture doesn't dry on his mouth's hairs. I hope this video helps someone, as when I first started this 5 weeks ago, I was super stressed out. He got to the stage where he was eating on his own, but this caused problems again, so I started to syringe feed him again from last week. I also give Beau 500ml subcutaneous fluids a day and this has really helped him. His kidney values have decreased, but they are not within normal ranges and he is anaemic. If you see him walking around in the park, you would never guess that he was given 3 weeks to live and is very ill on the inside. For the people that are questioning why I am happy to do this, I have posted a video of Beau walking in the park on 4th March and playing ball with me that evening. This is why I help Beau, as he is a happy doggy otherwise. Please do leave any questions if you have any.
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