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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16168
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I just inherited a dog from my sister who recently passed

Customer Question

I just inherited a dog from my sister who recently passed away. I do not know much about her so I took her and got her vaccinated, so that is not an issue. Often enough she starts coughing like she is trying to cough something up. Usually this starts at night. She begins to look for something to help her vomit but there is nothing for her. She licks my throw rugs, she licks along the baseboards, sometimes she tries chewing on tennis balls(she shreds the fuzzy of the ball and eats it) and stuffed animals. She also takes stuffed animals and tries tobury them in the dirt, then she digs them up right after she buries them. One day I caught her chewing the plastic bottom on my dogs daybed I know she swallowed a couple bites. I take her to the dog park so she can eat some grass (there is no grass in my yard, it's all rock) but she chooses not to eat any. I think she is craving something that she is lacking in her diet. I feed her Purina Savor (weight management) dry kibble and a small amount of O'l Roy (walmart) mixed in the food. She tolerates it very well. I currently have 5 dogs (3 of which I inherited) 4 of them are small to medium in size. The dog I am concerned with is the largest dog weighing approx 46 lbs. What is she missing?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Actually, none of her behaviors suggest a deficiency. Her licking behaviour when retching/gagging is just a sign of nausea and her chewing/digging sounds more like habits/behaviors. As well, if she does chew plastic and other odd items, then we could actually be seeing those retching episodes due to the odd things she eats as they irritate her throat and stomach. So, it sounds more like a dog reacting to the things she eats/chews as opposed to there being something amiss with her diet.

So, it would be best to control her access to things she may chew/eat that she should not and consider non-destructible toys (ie Kong products) for her. Otherwise, just for peace of mind, you could consider adding a dog multi-vitamin (which are OTC at most vets, pet stores, and even online at sites like Amazon) to her daily ration. That way you can just make sure she is getting what she needs as you get to know her and work with her to avoid her irritating her throat/stomach with the odd things she chews.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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