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Luna is a ~1.5 year old rescue mutt (our guess is border collie-pointer mix).

When we first got her 6 months ago she would devour her kibble instantly, but nowadays she barely touches her food when we set it out for her.. even if we leave it out all day. More so, she has suffered from bilious vomiting in the mornings ever since we got her (not every day, but quite often) and we believe this may have something to do with her appetite / diet.

We've tried: wetting the food, switching to a different material bowl, changing up her feeding location, several different brands of high quality kibble, exercise/social play with other dogs before mealtimes - some of these worked to moderate success, some not at all. I should point out that she usually agrees to eat if it is out of our hand, and after eating the first few pieces this way she usually finishes the rest of the bowl herself.

We've also tried taking her bowl away after some time of her not eating, but she didn't seem to mind and after skipping two consecutive meals we stopped this experiment. Needless to say we had her checked out by a vet that said she looks extremely healthy and well. When she does eat, she usually nibbles on a few pieces at a time, and often takes them away with her to eat on the carpet away from the bowl. Wetting her food helps a little, and switching food works great for a meal or a couple before she returns to this not-eating habit.

We are completely out of ideas.. Does anyone know what may be causing this and what we can do to solve it?

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There are a few things you can do here.

  1. Have her checked out by another vet for a second opinion. although I suspect it’s unlikely anything health wise.

  2. She’s likely a bit bored. Hand feed her but make her work for her food. Obedience training and use the food as a reward. This kills 2 birds with 1 stone, it will make it a high value reward for her and you will be also training her too. She is crossed with a working breed so needs engagement and this is a great way to get food in her but also engage with her.

  3. Switch her diet or include in her diet some raw dog food which you buy from specialist vendors or any good pet shop. Mix it in with kibble or give it to her on her own and see how she reacts to it. And then see no. 2 to encourage it. If it works, look at diet plans to make the switch permanent.

2&3 require persistence and patience.

The bile vomiting will be from hunger not as a result of her diet.

Disclaimer: I am not a vet, but I have seen this in my own working dogs and their litters too.

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I think the most sensible approach to your problem would be having your dog thoroughly examined by another vet. I'm not a professional but I guess, among other things, an abdominal ultrasonography examination should be ordered. I believe vet would know better. But please, have her examined by another vet - it is essential. I wouldn't really trust the current one since these symptoms you've described are anything but extremely healthy and well. Not at all.

Decreased apetite is enough of a concern itself, but persistent bilous vomiting could be a symptom of a more serious underlying disorder of gastrointestinal tract. And even if it turned out to be just a symptom all by itself, with possible underlying causes excluded, you could still get the medications prescribed for your dog to improve it's quality of life. She might experience significant, sickening discomfort all the time due to these digestive problems.

I see you've already tried various approaches to your dog's problem but I think it looks like a persistent, chronic disorder rather than some transient dysfunction.

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