Senior Eye Exam Scheduled

Some days Shadow will eat her full meal first time around the bowl. Sometimes she’ll sniff at it and walk away.  And other times she goes through this weird ritual of eating some food, walking away, wandering around the kitchen like she’s lost, going back to the bowl and just picking at the food. And sometimes she walks around the kitchen oddly. It’s like an exaggerated alternating movement of her front paws.

(I wish I could take a video of this ritual to show the vet. BUT Shadow will walk away from the food bowl altogether if she knows or even senses that she’s being watched. That in itself is an odd behavior that started after Callie passed away.)

The wandering around the kitchen thing makes me wonder if maybe she has a hard time seeing well at times. Last week I decided to switch back to her old, stainless steel bowl from the large, black, plastic bowl. It helped a little bit but not enough to make a noticeable difference.

Being concerned that Shadow wasn’t eating enough to stay healthy, I would (more than) occasionally put some of her canned food on a spoon and hold it up for her at a level where I  believed she could see it better. And, usually, she ate it. When she didn’t want it, then I knew she just didn’t want to eat, period. And I would pick up the bowl and put it aside before feeding Ducky. I know. Spoon-feeding isn’t a good idea. But sometimes it was the only way to get her to eat her whole meal. She is so picky about her food to begin with that I can’t give her the same food two days in a row. Or even every other day. I was running out of food to try with her that I can afford and/or trust. And I have to be very careful about how much variety I give her at any one mealtime.

On Saturday morning, the new elevated food bowl I ordered from Chewy arrived. Supposedly, elevated food bowls help dogs with arthritis because they don’t have to bend as much to get to the food.  But I was thinking more along the lines that maybe it would also help her see the food better. 

Well, my own emotions have gotten off their roller coaster over the last few days, so Shadow isn’t being finicky about what she eats. Her ritual, however, continues and it’s baffling me…

While it’s not quite as exaggerated as it had been, it’s still evident. Some of it may be the aging process. After all, she celebrated her half-year birthday on Saturday  when she turned 11-1/2. She will eat some of her food out of the elevated bowl but then wander around the kitchen. The other day I emptied her food out of her bowl and onto a regular plate. As soon as I placed the plate on the floor, she started eating again. But she would back away and then move around the plate as though she was having trouble seeing after a moment or two. 

The last few days I’ve been putting her food first in the elevated bowl. When she starts to back away or wander, I transfer it to the plate. And when she backs away again, I turn the plate around. And she ends up eating her full meals, minus maybe 3 or 4 pieces of kibble. Maybe her peripheral vision is beginning to suffer from old age. Next week I’m taking her to the vet to find out what’s going on. Meanwhile, I’ll keep trying to get a video of her ritual to show the vet during her appointment.

13 thoughts on “Senior Eye Exam Scheduled

  1. Tails Around the Ranch says:

    It’s always a challenge with senior dogs…you never know if it’s normal aging or something else. She’s so lucky to have you cater to these kinds of behaviors so she gets the nutrition she needs. Gold star, my friend. ღ


    • My Golden Life says:

      I know. But I won’t know anything – good or bad – until Friday. So, I’ll just keep turning the bowl around, or putting the food on a plate for her. Whatever I need to do to help her.


    • My Golden Life says:

      I will. I’m going to ask him to do a dental check, too, just in case – as Maggie mentioned – her teeth are bothering her. Or one particular tooth.


  2. Maggie says:

    Is there any chance that her teeth hurt? I’d love to see the video, and I may be WAY off, but I think if it were Emmett trying to eat, starting, then stopping, I’d try maybe mixing it with a tiny bit of warm water to soften everything up. I know with aging, gums can start to be sensitive.

    An eye exam is a great idea, too. I’ve considered it with Emmett but haven’t yet made the appointment. Let us know how it goes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cocoabean2225 says:

    Sometimes Cocoa will not be interested in her food at all. She is not super food motivated in the first place but when she does not eat and is active it makes me worry. She makes up for it on other days though. They are funny sometimes!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My Golden Life says:

    The last 3 or 4 days at least she’s been eating more. But with the temps AND the humidity at higher levels, she hasn’t wanted to play as much outside, so I’ll keep her calorie count a little bit lower. Don’t want her to overeat on days like this.

    Meanwhile, I don’t worry too much in the morning b/c I know she won’t eat before she gets rid of the previous night’s dinner. Or, she’ll eat less than normal. But when I know she’s gotten her exercise all day long and she still won’t eat her dinner then I worry. Especially if it goes on for more than a day or two. I try not to, but loss of appetite is never good if you can’t pinpoint a reason for it.

    With Callie’s birthday behind me now, at least my emotions have gotten back on a more even keel. So hopefully the finickyness will subside for a while.

    I don’t know at this point if our vet will refer us to the K9 eye specialist in town. (S/he works at the same place where Callie had her CCL surgeries.) I’m hoping he won’t need to.


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