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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15573
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog has licked the enamel off the washer in the laundry

Customer Question

My dog has licked the enamel off the washer in the laundry room. Is this a sign that she needs an iron supplement?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear that your pup Shadow is licking the washing machine and has removed the enamel. Most of the time this is not related to any sort of vitamin or mineral deficiency.If this is a new behavior then dogs will often lick when they have a bad taste in their mouth but that should not last long. They can also lick when they have something caught between their teeth, an infected tooth, or something stuck on the roof of their mouth.Have you looked at her teeth and gums and on the roof of her mouth?Has her appetite increased or decreased recently?Dogs will often lick when they are feeling nauseous or have gastroesophageal reflux to try and settle their stomachs. If she has had a change in appetite or is vomiting along with her licking I feel that she may be nauseous.Metabolic diseases that cause stomach upset like kidney or liver disease, hyperlipidemia, or pancreatitis can cause licking. Anemia can lead to pica or eating or licking non food items. I do recommend that she see her veterinarian for an examination and some blood tests to make sure there are no health problems behind this behavior if her licking continues.For now in case this is related to nausea or reflux to try and settle her stomach you can give either:1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.OR2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one 20mg tablet per 40 to 80 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.Either of these will reduce stomach acid and should help settle her stomach. You can use these for several days if need be or even long term as they are very safe medications.You do want to mention this behavior to her veterinarian at her next veterinary visit even if she improves with the acid reducers as they will likely want to run some blood tests to look for any possible developing problems. It may also help to feed her a bland diet as well. A homemade bland diet consists of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken) and 2/3 boiled, white rice or pasta. Give small meals several times a day. Feed the bland diet for several days, then start mixing in her regular diet and slowly convert her back. If her symptoms return with a return to her regular diet then discuss using a low irritant diet like Hills i/d or Purina Veterinary Diets EN with her veterinarian. In some dogs licking can also be a sign of pain, especially arthritis pain, and though generally they lick the sore joint not always. If she seems stiffer than usual or is limping then her veterinarian should examine her for signs of joint pain/arthritis. In some cases this has nothing to do with a physical problem. Dogs can indeed show some obsessive-compulsive type behaviors when they are bored for long periods of time or are suffering separation anxiety. They are naturally built to spend their time working and with a group and if she is alone for long periods, confined to the laundry room, or if she gets little exercise or play time some dogs get a little strange with their behavior. This may wane on its own if her long hours of confinement are temporary, but if she is healthy it may also help to give her more to do, such as more play time, going to the dog park, walks, or agility training. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.
Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you found my response helpful please don't forget to rate it so I may receive credit for it, thank you, ***** *****
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.
Hi Alice,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Shadow. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara