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Maltese Not Eating
Question:  Hi, I need some Maltese help. My Maltese is very fussy about eating, in fact she is almost to the point of not eating. We are currently on Science Diet Puppy. She eats it, yet isn't consistent.

It gets bad to a point where she gets weak and faints. We always have to have our Nutrical ready for her. Do you have any suggestions as to what to do to help her eat consistently? ~ Owner Wendy,  Maltese Boots

Answer:  Hi Wendy.  this is very serious and urgent medical issue with your Maltese puppy.  Not eating to the point of fainting points to a very serious problem.   You can help your Maltese by obtaining a visit with her veterinarian right away.

If the vet cannot see her immediately, please bring her to an emergency animal hospital.

If you have already taken her to a vet and he allowed her to live like this, find a new vet right away. 

Some conditions for not eating for an adult dog would be:
* An enlarged prostrate gland  
* Cancer
* Tooth Decay, that makes eating painful. 

However, with Boots being 5 months old, it is most likely another cause.  A veterinarian must perform:
* X-Rays
* Blood tests
* Ultra Sounds

The list of reasons that Boots is not eating enough are endless.  However, most common would be:

*  Weaning was done too early.  This will cause a Maltese to be unable to handle "real" food. 

If you have brought Boots to a vet already, shame on him for not having you adjust her diet in case this is the reason!
A owner must then start from the beginning.   Wet dog food should be introduced very slowly while weaning the pup with milk replacer.  Water must be mixed into the wet dog food to form a very fluid substance.

A dog's digestive system must be slowly taught to handle normal dog food.

*  Kennel Cough could be a possible reason, but you do not mention that Boots has any symptoms of this which include coughing of course, discharge of white puss from the mouth and sometimes pink eye. 

* A blockage could be present in the throat, stomach or intestines - this will only get worse and worse without medical treatment and most likely surgery.

There are steps you can take to help your puppy eat while you are waiting for the medical tests:

*If your Maltese is not suffering from early weaning, the answer is most certainly that she is sick and/or in pain.

Pain will cause a dog to be unable to eat.  As we stated above, you must take immediate action to save your puppy's life.  She can not go on living like this and needs professional medical help from an experienced veterinarian right away.  Beginning now, you can try to make eating a bit easier for her:

 *  Give your puppy only wet dog food with some water mixed in.  If her pain is in her stomach or she has a digestive disease, solid food will be brutal on her system.  Make the food to mimic soup.

 *   Offer her very small amounts of food through the day.  Most puppies eat 3 times a day.  For your Maltese, feed her very small amounts, 8-10 times a day.  She should be able to get down a couple of bites each time.  By the end of the day, she will hopefully be close to the amount of calories she needs.

Please remember that the above is not the final answer.  Medical testing must be done to find out why your puppy is not eating.   To not do so, would be to allow your Maltese to suffer terribly.  This is not your fault, it is the responsibility of experienced animal doctors who have sworn an oath to protect the lives of animals to do all that is possible to diagnose Boots.

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