Having a malamute often means having a cat in a bag in terms of its mood swings. For example, it would be hard to notice any symptoms of babesiosis in a malamute up until its pee becomes really dark (very late stage). The ‘normal’ breed dogs would show some primary symptoms such as loss of appetite, sluggishness, weakness in legs quite early, but malamutes – nothing! Especially concerning the appetite loss, as these dogs will usually keep swallowing everything off their plate even in a serious medical state.
So imagine the amount of panic we endured when our Taiga suddenly started lying around in a house with a sad face all day long and, worst of all, she stopped eating! The only reaction to the her usual kibble is ‘seriously, guys, this is what you give me?’, along with sad eyes and folded ears. And she only starts eating her food if you try to take it away, but stops immediately after you turn away.
First thing we did, as everyone should do, was visiting a vet clinic. But full blood test and thorough physical examination gave no answers, as there were no symptoms for any illness.
We had no other choice, but to review what happened during the recent few weeks. It all started ten days ago, when both of the household humans got simultaneously ill, which meant no sports and long walks – the dog had to stay indoors and lie around in bed with us. Also, three days ago we came up with an incredibly silly idea to try another kibble formula, same brand, but with chicken, in order to assess if our Taiga is really sensitive to it. The proof came the next morning – she is definitely chicken intolerant (very soft stool and yellow bile), but it probably tasted much better and more interesting than the same boring kibble she ate for the last 8 months.
In the end we have a malamute with a double depression: total boredom causing one of them; and unsanctioned kibble test – the other… We’ve started improving her physical activity yesterday and will solve our negligence, but the food situation will be trickier to overcome – Taiga will somehow have to start liking her kibble again.
A few things to be learned from this situation:
- All humans at home should not get ill at the same time, as someone has to keep working with the malamute.
- Don’t experiment with changing dog food if it is of the highest quality already and your dog eats well. Instead, if you feel that it becomes a bit boring, add some RAW meat, fish oil or some other yummy quality additives once or twice a week.