My dog is afraid of her water. Your thoughts?

ZEROPILOT

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Suki is a small toy Chihuahua.
She is healthy and about 4 years old.
She has always had a good appetite and has always drank a lot of water....Until very recently that is.
About a month to a month and a half ago, I heard her in the kitchen (where her food and water is) scratching and crying. On inspection I saw her pawing at her water bowl. I changed the water and left. But she continued to paw at her combined food and water bowl. Or approach it from the food side and lean over and sniff the water.
This was a food and water bowl combo that she'd used for over a year. It was transparent yellow.
I threw it away and replaced it with a new one. Same design. But different color. Transparent pink. Same reaction.
By now, she will only drink water from a shallow plate.
So I bought the one in the photo. Not transparent. No plastic smell, etc. Same crap.
She will drink out of that tiny, blue plate. But no longer from a bowl.
She has proven to be a very gentle and sweet little dog. But not so intelligent.
And I have NO IDEA what's going on here.
She just had her "Wellness exam" and was not dehydrated or ill. Even though she did seem to be dehydrated initially. (She had orange pee) but it cleared up when I started the water plate.
Any thoughts?
@Tom or any other DOG folks?

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ZenHerper

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Suki is a small toy Chihuahua.
She is healthy and about 4 years old.
She has always had a good appetite and has always drank a lot of water....Until very recently that is.
About a month to a month and a half ago, I heard her in the kitchen (where her food and water is) scratching and crying. On inspection I saw her pawing at her water bowl. I changed the water and left. But she continued to paw at her combined food and water bowl. Or approach it from the food side and lean over and sniff the water.
This was a food and water bowl combo that she'd used for over a year. It was transparent yellow.
I threw it away and replaced it with a new one. Same design. But different color. Transparent pink. Same reaction.
By now, she will only drink water from a shallow plate.
So I bought the one in the photo. Not transparent. No plastic smell, etc. Same crap.
She will drink out of that tiny, blue plate. But no longer from a bowl.
She has proven to be a very gentle and sweet little dog. But not so intelligent.
And I have NO IDEA what's going on here.
She just had her "Wellness exam" and was not dehydrated or ill. Even though she did seem to be dehydrated initially. (She had orange pee) but it cleared up when I started the water plate.
Any thoughts?
@Tom or any other DOG folks?

Too darn cute. =))

Have her eating habits changed?
Does she readily and regularly eat the dry food nuggets?
Does she swallow them whole, or crunch them down before swallowing?
Does she have regular meals, or is she free-feed?

Does she lie down after eating, or sit up/wander around?

Does she vomit or seem like she has acid reflux (suddenly glurp up water and then choke on it)?

When was the last time she was screened for whipworms (stool)?
 

ZEROPILOT

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Too darn cute. =))

Have her eating habits changed?
Does she readily and regularly eat the dry food nuggets?
Does she swallow them whole, or crunch them down before swallowing?
Does she have regular meals, or is she free-feed?

Does she lie down after eating, or sit up/wander around?

Does she vomit or seem like she has acid reflux (suddenly glurp up water and then choke on it)?

When was the last time she was screened for whipworms (stool)?
She just had the fecal and blood tests with her wellness exam. All negative.
She gets that wet food twice a day and generally she eats it pretty soon after it is offered.
The dry food she often nibbles on at night if she's still hungry. There's always some there 24/7. She picks up a few pieces and carries them over to the mat in front of the sink and eats them. Then goes back for a few more. She has some issues with harder food because of her underbite. A congenital birth defect common with APPLEHEADS I'm told.
Nothing as far as feedings or the food itself has changed.
Initially I thought that the plastic bowl had developed a smell, or maybe she'd had memories of seeing a cockroach or something on it that still scared her...
She just did it again....Walked up to the bowl. Stood there like she was scared of it. Lurching back and slowly moving forward. Then drinking out if the blue plate while my wife filled it up 3 times.
She does occasionally choke after she eats or drinks if she does so too quickly or gets too excited.
But she has always done this.
 

ZenHerper

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She just had the fecal and blood tests with her wellness exam. All negative.
She gets that wet food twice a day and generally she eats it pretty soon after it is offered.
The dry food she often nibbles on at night if she's still hungry. There's always some there 24/7. She picks up a few pieces and carries them over to the mat in front of the sink and eats them. Then goes back for a few more. She has some issues with harder food because of her underbite. A congenital birth defect common with APPLEHEADS I'm told.
Nothing as far as feedings or the food itself has changed.
Initially I thought that the plastic bowl had developed a smell, or maybe she'd had memories of seeing a cockroach or something on it that still scared her...
She just did it again....Walked up to the bowl. Stood there like she was scared of it. Lurching back and slowly moving forward. Then drinking out if the blue plate while my wife filled it up 3 times.
She does occasionally choke after she eats or drinks if she does so too quickly or gets too excited.
But she has always done this.
Well, all dogs are somewhat underbitten (all humans are naturally somewhat overbitten). This is not really an issue unless the bottom jaw really sticks out. Then a dog might have to pick up foods with the sides of the mouth. With these dogs, you can always see the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed, at rest.

Dogs without competition for food often take hard nuggets to a comfy eating zone. =)) If she never swallows whole or large pieces, especially if she has in the past, that makes me go hmmmm. More about that later.

Phobia of choking, especially if it happens frequently or there was a harsh episode in the past is a reasonable differential. Try putting a larger cup up on a stable box or some books so that she drinks more or less level with her chest. This encourages the flaps and valves in the back of her throat to be opened or closed as needed for alternating swallowing-and-breathing.

"Applehead" chis can experience a number of neurologic symptoms associated with squished/partially extruded brain matter at the base of the skull. Muscle weakness in the esophagus can produce incomplete closure of the airway openings to the lungs, producing coughing/choking. Smaller breed dogs have compressed throat structures anyway, so stuff is kind of too close together in the glotis region as a rule. Dog with chiari malformation usually have some vague or obvious pain symptoms.

The other thing in my mind is development of megaesophagus. The esophagus does not squeeze down properly, or even stretches out. Then foods can get stuck (hard food swells up, hmmmm) and regurgitate. Water ends up going all directions, and into the airway tubes leading to the lungs. Dogs with this condition do often just "go off" drinking water altogether. So if this behavior continues or gets worse again, don't hesitate to get back with the vet's office; there is a stand-alone megaesophagus, but it can also be a side effect of a serious health condition.
 

maggie3fan

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Well, all dogs are somewhat underbitten (all humans are naturally somewhat overbitten). This is not really an issue unless the bottom jaw really sticks out. Then a dog might have to pick up foods with the sides of the mouth. With these dogs, you can always see the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed, at rest.

Dogs without competition for food often take hard nuggets to a comfy eating zone. =)) If she never swallows whole or large pieces, especially if she has in the past, that makes me go hmmmm. More about that later.

Phobia of choking, especially if it happens frequently or there was a harsh episode in the past is a reasonable differential. Try putting a larger cup up on a stable box or some books so that she drinks more or less level with her chest. This encourages the flaps and valves in the back of her throat to be opened or closed as needed for alternating swallowing-and-breathing.

"Applehead" chis can experience a number of neurologic symptoms associated with squished/partially extruded brain matter at the base of the skull. Muscle weakness in the esophagus can produce incomplete closure of the airway openings to the lungs, producing coughing/choking. Smaller breed dogs have compressed throat structures anyway, so stuff is kind of too close together in the glotis region as a rule. Dog with chiari malformation usually have some vague or obvious pain symptoms.

The other thing in my mind is development of megaesophagus. The esophagus does not squeeze down properly, or even stretches out. Then foods can get stuck (hard food swells up, hmmmm) and regurgitate. Water ends up going all directions, and into the airway tubes leading to the lungs. Dogs with this condition do often just "go off" drinking water altogether. So if this behavior continues or gets worse again, don't hesitate to get back with the vet's office; there is a stand-alone megaesophagus, but it can also be a side effect of a serious health condition.
I actually have the same problem with food and water...however...it hasn't made me fear the water glass, cuz it's usually Mt Dew...but seriously I have something like megaesophagus...I can choke on lemon pie...rice swells up in my esophagus and I puke, liquid goes into my lungs and I choke...I can't eat out anymore...and it really has taken away my enjoyment of pizza...always gets stuck now...I would raise up her bowl as was suggested and use 2 seperate bowls. I was wondering if the blue saucer is the only thing...have you tried a cereal bowl that matches your dinner dishes? Treat her her softly, believe me...it's no fun...
 

ZEROPILOT

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Well, all dogs are somewhat underbitten (all humans are naturally somewhat overbitten). This is not really an issue unless the bottom jaw really sticks out. Then a dog might have to pick up foods with the sides of the mouth. With these dogs, you can always see the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed, at rest.

Dogs without competition for food often take hard nuggets to a comfy eating zone. =)) If she never swallows whole or large pieces, especially if she has in the past, that makes me go hmmmm. More about that later.

Phobia of choking, especially if it happens frequently or there was a harsh episode in the past is a reasonable differential. Try putting a larger cup up on a stable box or some books so that she drinks more or less level with her chest. This encourages the flaps and valves in the back of her throat to be opened or closed as needed for alternating swallowing-and-breathing.

"Applehead" chis can experience a number of neurologic symptoms associated with squished/partially extruded brain matter at the base of the skull. Muscle weakness in the esophagus can produce incomplete closure of the airway openings to the lungs, producing coughing/choking. Smaller breed dogs have compressed throat structures anyway, so stuff is kind of too close together in the glotis region as a rule. Dog with chiari malformation usually have some vague or obvious pain symptoms.

The other thing in my mind is development of megaesophagus. The esophagus does not squeeze down properly, or even stretches out. Then foods can get stuck (hard food swells up, hmmmm) and regurgitate. Water ends up going all directions, and into the airway tubes leading to the lungs. Dogs with this condition do often just "go off" drinking water altogether. So if this behavior continues or gets worse again, don't hesitate to get back with the vet's office; there is a stand-alone megaesophagus, but it can also be a side effect of a serious health condition.
Would this soft tissue issue show up on an Xray?
 

wellington

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Have you tried a bowl that's not metal?
My one dog did not like drinking out of a metal bowl.
I used clay food and water dishes at home. Metal ones at my parents house when we would visit. She had no problem with the metal ones. However, when I gave her a metal one at home for water when she would be outside she hated using it. Many times she would sniff at it, look at it like it was something bad and then walk away. Eventually she got thirsty enough she would drink. However she did this every time with that one metal dish, never the ones she was used to having at my parents.
 

Zoeclare

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This happened with my little griffon. I think he must have face planted the water somehow probably my other dog trying to barge him out of the way and for a while he would only drink from his travel bottle that I had to hold! I tried lots of different styles of bowls and the one that got him to drink was one that was raised up on little legs! I think it makes him feel more secure not having to lean over as much to get to the water
 

EllieMay

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Just a shot in the dark here.... the difference may be in the Clarity of the bowl. I have always used the SS bowls because of cleanliness but I used to have a dog that would paw all the water out if he could see anything in it.... including his reflection...it didn’t bother him for 10 years and then suddenly for the last 6 years of his life, I couldn’t use them or any others with a high gloss.. I hope it’s as simple as that.. Good luck to you & Suki..
 

Tom

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I've seen all kinds of weird neurotic behavior. Much of it seems to defy explanation. I've had dogs that wouldn't eat or drink because they didn't like the clinking of their metal dog tag on the side of the bowl.

If the shallow plate work, well... there's your solution. It appears dehydration isn't an issue, but if it becomes a problem, I have two tips. 1. I put water in their food. You can even soak dry kibble first and let it absorb water. 2. If the plain water isn't enough incentive, you can add a little chicken broth. You'll have to change it frequently, but that can sometimes get them drinking.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I've seen all kinds of weird neurotic behavior. Much of it seems to defy explanation. I've had dogs that wouldn't eat or drink because they didn't like the clinking of their metal dog tag on the side of the bowl.

If the shallow plate work, well... there's your solution. It appears dehydration isn't an issue, but if it becomes a problem, I have two tips. 1. I put water in their food. You can even soak dry kibble first and let it absorb water. 2. If the plain water isn't enough incentive, you can add a little chicken broth. You'll have to change it frequently, but that can sometimes get them drinking.
Thanks!
The thing is, everything I do differently seems to work initially. Then stop.
She drinks as I'm pouring water into a bowl or onto a plate.
I purchased this drinking fountain this morning. It has moving water.
Lucky me. She hates it.
 

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VegasJeff

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@ZEROPILOT I think @Tom hit the problem on the head for the most part. Your dog may have similar behavior to our dog. We have a small dog. A golden doodle. We've had to change the bowls and move them to different spots for her to feel comfortable eating out of them. I've also noticed that she won't eat or drink if the food or water gets too low in the bowl. But then she will eat or drink once you fill them up.
 

ZEROPILOT

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@ZEROPILOT I think @Tom hit the problem on the head for the most part. Your dog may have similar behavior to our dog. We have a small dog. A golden doodle. We've had to change the bowls and move them to different spots for her to feel comfortable eating out of them. I've also noticed that she won't eat or drink if the food or water gets too low in the bowl. But then she will eat or drink once you fill them up.
Was that after the dog ate and drank perfectly fine before?
Suki was great for a couple of years and the behavior seems to have popped up overnight.
Luckily, I just found that she'll also drink from a bowl while I'm sitting on the couch as long as I'm holding her to make her feel safe.
That'll be easier than getting up off of the floor every few hours.
I've placed 3 other water bowls in 3 other rooms and she does the same thing....Slowly and deliberately walks up to the water. Looks at it. Starts to shake in fear and walks, sometimes runs away. Really, she sometimes spins around in a 180 and takes off at high speed like she just saw something that scared her to death.
Something traumatic happened in, on, or near her old water bowl. I don't think anything else makes sense. And even that is not a great theory. But it's one mentioned before.
 
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