Little by little, Duke's health began to fail. He developed hip/arthritis problems. His coat was falling out and looked horrible. He was sleeping all the time. He wouldn't get up to greet me when I came home (so not like him). Worst of all, this eating machine wouldn't touch his kibble. The weight was falling off his body; he lost 30 pounds in 3 months. I thought he was depressed and secretly worried he had cancer.
I couldn't bear to hear the news and made my husband and my son take him to the vet. The vet diagnosed him with hip dysplasia and recommended hip replacements but 2 schools of vet medicine were not keen on this due to his age (he was now 8 and considered a little old for this surgery). We put him on supplements, vitamins, pain meds and anti-inflammatory drugs pretty much to no avail. Still he wouldn't eat.
And then I remembered the dog food tainted with melamine from dog food products purchased from China. This fiasco was quickly followed by toy safety issues (lead poisoning) and contaminated tooth paste, etc. In my mind, someone (ruthless Chinese dog food manufacturer), somewhere (China) was killing my dogs. My dog's food was never recalled and never implicated, but once a thought gets in my head, it never goes away. I'm like a pitt bull with a fresh femur bone. Somehow, this food was poisoning my dog and he was too smart to eat it. So he starved. I couldn't let this happen.
I googled home-made dog food recipes and threw a whole bunch of whole grains, vegetables and meat in a pot and cooked until tender. The dog snarfed it up (uhm, so did my husband but that's another post). So it wasn't the fact that he couldn't eat, it was that he wouldn't eat that tainted food I had been giving him. This was 3 months ago. I'm still cooking for him several times a week. His coat is beautiful, he has put on weight, he is perky and greets me at the door daily. I'd say it's worth it since it gave me back my loyal friend.