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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16282
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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She used to eat all her food at one time in like the past

Customer Question

She used to eat all her food at one time in like the past week she eats some walks away and then goes back but she is also all of a sudden standing gaurd over the food in the bowel when ever some one walks past and today she groweled at me when I went past and snarled at my son. She's never done this befroe she is very freindly and loving and great around kids I'm really worried and a little scared by this sudden behavior
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: She's walking fine, she hasn't favored any foot or limped, she doesn't yelp or anything when we pet her or play
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: She's one year old, but I don't think so I'm concerned because my grandkids are here all the time and we got her because of the way she was around the kids
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

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

When she is standing guard, does she eat any of the food? Or just there to keep anyone else from taking it?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could she have eaten something she should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Has she had any diarrhea?

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hi again,

I have not heard back from you but wanted to leave my thoughts for your return.

Now we can see food aggression as a behavioural issue for dogs. That said, for your lass to show this behavior at a time when she isn’t eating properly is more suggestive of there being an underlying GI issue. It would cause her appetite loss but if she is food oriented then she may feel need to stand guard over the food she wants to eat but just cannot. Now in regards ***** ***** for this in a young dog, often it can be triggered by a bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items).

With this all in mind, I would first suggest trying to soothe her stomach to see if her appetite picks up and the behavior stops. To start, we can try her on an OTC antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac), or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention.

As well, we can try her with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. If she responds, we can feed this for a week and then wean her back to her normal diet. Of course, for any food she doesn’t finish in the first visit to her bowl, it should be picked up and not left or her to guard. If she comes back to the feeding area looking for food, then re-offer it but again we don’t want to leave it down for her to fret over and react when people are near. And if she tries to guard the bowl from you, then lead her out of the room (you can even keep her lead on while she is eating to make this easier) before picking up the dish or even plan to offer small meals to ensure she doesn’t have anything to guard after eating.

Overall, since her behavior has altered at the same time she is showing a reduced appetite, the two are likely linked. Therefore, we’d want to keep the children away if she is feeling poorly but also try the above if we can settle her stomach, get her eating properly, and overcome this behavior. If she settles we are happy, but if any of this lingers then we’d want a check up with her vet to make sure that there is nothing more sinister ongoing and to start assessing her for behavioural issues to ensure we nip this in the bud and prevent any risks here.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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