stick eating dog...is it dietary? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 12-18-2006, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i'm not kidding....miles is like a beaver i am CONSTANTLY telling him "out" or removing some sort of plant material from his yap.

yesterday we were out back walking our property line (we live on 3 very heavily wooded acres) in preparation for some clearing and then fencing. miles came with us for the "hike". i watched him like a hawk, but he must have snuck some sticks (and probably multiple pieces of unknown animal poop). he also was rolling around in a little stream we have and got all muddy and stinky....dog's are soooo rank sometimes

anyway, last night he vomited up pieces of stick and other organic matter twice. he's no longer vomiting, but now having liquid stools. ugh, i'm soooo frustrated he's acting fine and i'm fasting him right now in hopes that his gut will calm down.

short of removing all sticks/mulch/plant like material from our yard, i know i just need to be better about catching every thing that goes in his mouth...but he's just soooo fast!

is this just his weird habit or is he missing something from his diet? i figured since he is a golden retriever, and is in constant need of oral stimulation, that it was just "normal". he eats california natural chicken and rice and gets good quality dog treats for training
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#2 of 11 Old 12-18-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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Our Aussie loves sticks. We chalk it up to another of his weird quirks. Usually he goes for large sticks and sometimes small logs that aren't a problem (aside from me not liking him eating them, I mean). He hasn't gotten sick from them and they seem to pass without incident.
It's when he picks small twiggy sticks that we have to watch out. 4 or 5 times now he's gotten a piece of stick jammed across his upper jaw. Twice it was wedged way in the back (thank god it got stuck in his jaw and not his throat and was way hard to remove. The rest of the times they've gotten stuck closer to his front teeth. All times we've had to break out the needle nosed pilars to remove the sticks. So far every time has made his gums bleed (not bad, but it still makes me feel crummy kwim)
No matter what we do, we can't seem to break him of it. I try to keep his back yard free of them, but we're surrounded by trees so nature's working against me :
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#3 of 11 Old 12-18-2006, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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eh, that's what i was thinking too...just a weird habit. he's always had a sensitive tummy, so i'm not surprised in the slightest by his GI upset.

i'm sad, though, because today is his 1-year birthday and i spent a good part of yesterday making him doggie ice cream and a pupcake. now he can't eat it because he had to go and get himself sick! dumb puppy
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#4 of 11 Old 12-18-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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Aww... Happy birthday puppy! Hopefully he'll be able to eat it soon
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#5 of 11 Old 12-19-2006, 03:01 AM
 
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my chihuahua pug mix is the same way. when he's outside he's constantly hunting down anything mouth-sized to try to ingest (poop, sticks, grass, pine cones, god only knows what else). it gets very frustrating, especially when he comes running to the door with a frozen winter turd in his mouth (no matter how much i scoop, he always finds the rouge turd). it's just his personality. when he's inside he ALWAYS has to have a nylabone in his mouth. we call him stogie boy, cause it looks like a cigar hanging out of his mouth! i think you've got the right idea with your diagnosis. hope your pup is feeling well enough to enjoy some belated b-day treats soon!
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#6 of 11 Old 12-19-2006, 11:57 AM
 
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Our lab/shepherd mix is a stick fiend! She trots around with such glee when she has located a chew-worthy stick! As others have mentioned, it can be problematic if a piece of stick gets lodged in their mouth or throat. We've had one incident involving sedation and x-rays to deal with that. Scary and expensive! After that, we tried to keep her away from sticks but gave up pretty quickly - she just loves them too much and there was no way (short of keeping her inside) to stop her from chewing. I just try to keep an eye on her and when the pieces get small enough to cause trouble I take the stick away.

Our vet told us that eating grass can mean that the dog has an upset stomach - grass induces vomiting. It is the dogs way of getting rid of something in its system that is bothering them.
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#7 of 11 Old 12-19-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 3boysmom View Post
Our vet told us that eating grass can mean that the dog has an upset stomach - grass induces vomiting. It is the dogs way of getting rid of something in its system that is bothering them.
that's the funniest thing about our guy--i thought when he first started the grass munching something was wrong. with any other dog i've had grass eating=yucky stomach. but he never vomits or has stomach issues. all 3 of my dogs graze. they started it when we moved to MI. they only really do it when the grass is pretty and green, and they just take a little off the top of the blade. (it really is just like a cow!) i was so worried i took them to the vet, only for him to tell me there was nothing wrong. we figure they do it b/c the grass tastes sweet. they love veggies too, so that may have something to do with it. (this summer my garden got raided more times than i'd like to remember!) i swear though, our chug definitely has some sort of oral fixation!
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#8 of 11 Old 12-19-2006, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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from what i've read, too, grass eating can be a calming signal that a dog uses when he's stressed or senses others to be stressed. i've noticed that miles' grass/stick fixation increases astronomically when he's really excited about something and also when meeting a new person or dog! what a little dork!

he is feeling much better today and actually was good enough last night to have some rice and canned food followed by a few spoonfulls of my homemade doggie frozen yogurt maybe tonight he can have his pupcake

here's a couple pics of the most pathetic b'day boy in the land:

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n...testicks-1.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n.../snerfbday.jpg
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#9 of 11 Old 12-20-2006, 12:30 AM
 
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what a handsome boy!
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#10 of 11 Old 12-20-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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My parents have a Golden and he is the absolute WORST when it comes to eating sticks/rocks/pieces of asphalt/poop...you name it, he's eaten it! He has terrible intestinal problems and has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (pretty sure it's hypo not hyper..I get them mixed up!). Anyway, after NUMEROUS trips to the vet for tummy problems and intestinal blockages, my mom FINALLY had to get a muzzle for him. It's a black nylon fabric one with mesh across the mouth...not uncomfortable to him at all. He just couldn't be trusted and my mom was spending so much $$$ on unecessary vet bills. Maybe it's a Golden thing? So, moral of the story, he may not grow out of it. It's a good thing he's so adorable!

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#11 of 11 Old 12-20-2006, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Kate&Joey View Post
My parents have a Golden and he is the absolute WORST when it comes to eating sticks/rocks/pieces of asphalt/poop...you name it, he's eaten it! He has terrible intestinal problems and has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (pretty sure it's hypo not hyper..I get them mixed up!). Anyway, after NUMEROUS trips to the vet for tummy problems and intestinal blockages, my mom FINALLY had to get a muzzle for him. It's a black nylon fabric one with mesh across the mouth...not uncomfortable to him at all. He just couldn't be trusted and my mom was spending so much $$$ on unecessary vet bills. Maybe it's a Golden thing? So, moral of the story, he may not grow out of it. It's a good thing he's so adorable!
oh your poor parents! my previous golden was a goat, too, so i just figured miles' obsession with plant matter was "normal". maybe i had just forgotten about how much my other dog ate things

yeah, the fact that he's cute has gotten him out of sticky situations frequently.....haha!
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