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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24372
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My german sheppard is constantly eating bugs or grubs from

Customer Question

My german sheppard is constantly eating bugs or grubs from the lawn.Is this a symptom of a dietary or mineral problem?She seems healthy and active.Thanks...n.p.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

A dietary deficiency is possible but unlikely if Trouble has been eating a high quality senior dog food. German Shepherds suffering from an exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) - a lack of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas - are the exception. In most cases but not all EPI results in diarrhea due to undigested food sitting in the small intestine. A simple TLI blood test can identify EPI in Trouble.

We also consider pica - ingestion of non-food items - in dogs such as Trouble. Gastrointestinal disorders, dental and oral disease, central nervous system disturbances such as brain tumors or hydrocephalus, electrolyte imbalances, metabolic diseases, and toxins such as lead can induce licking, sucking, chewing, and picas, licking of owners, and air licking. Picas may also be caused by excessive restriction of calories (i.e. weight loss diets) and any medical condition that could cause polyphagia (increased hunger). Similarly, numerous medical conditions from Cushing's disease to diabetes insipidus might induce polydipsia (increased thirst). Licking, chewing, polyphagia, polydipsia, and picas can also be a side effect of drug therapy. In geriatric pets, repetitive behaviors including licking, chewing, and picas might be associated with brain aging and cognitive dysfunction.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.
Hi Norm,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Trouble. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin