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Scott Nimmo
Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15510
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS.
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My 6 month old puppy eats her own poop when Im not around

Customer Question

My 6 month old puppy eats her own poop when I'm not around although she is walked frequently. Today she threw up poop about 6 times since 3:30 pm and had 1 diarrhea. She drank water since then and is not lethargic per se. This morning she pooped outside but it was squishy. I'm terrified. I called my vet after 5 bouts of poop vomit but she said it was probably the poop she ate but this just cannot be right since it's happened several more times. We live in a condo complex and are worried she (and her twin sister puppy) may have eaten chemicals sprayed in the area where workmen were working, although we haven't let them near the area but maybe something spilled nearby.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome .

My name is Scott and I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon, I will be very pleased to work with you today and will try my best to answer your question to your satisfaction.

Please give me ten minutes or so to think through your particular problem, prepare an answer, and then type things up. I will then get back to you and we can then talk things over ...

Regards,

Scott
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I'm worried about a blocked intestine. But she has pooped today.

Expert:  Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.
Hello again Cheri and thanks for waiting.

I have worked out an answer for you, please read it through and see what you think, ... lets get started.

Eating their own poop is of course a nasty thing to do by human standards but dogs actually do this quite commonly. I used to have two collie cross mongrels myself which have since passed away, due to old age I hasten to add. One of them habitually ate faeces, not only her own but other dog's faeces as well. She was very healthy and as a vet's dog very well fed and looked after but she still did it, probably just because she liked to.

Hopefully your dog's vomiting and soft stools will resolve as eating their own poop rarely causes major health problems. I will concentrate my answer on how you can stop this habit.

The scientific name for this condition is coprophagia by the way.

There are a number of described reasons why your dog might do this and I will list them below :

1. As I said it can just be a habit and they do it for no other reason than they like doing so, younger dogs often grow out of the habit by the way.

2. If they are on a high quality dog food which is rich in protein there may be undigested food in the faeces which is attractive to the dog. You see the dog cannot digest all of this type of food. The remedy is to put the dog on a lower plane of feeding { cheaper brand } .

3. This habit is more common in puppies or adolescent dogs and is often associated with dogs which are under stimulated or left alone for to long a periods.

4. It has been said that eating their own faeces is common in dogs which are lacking nutrients in their diets but these days with modern dog foods that is open to debate.

The above is the mental list I used when I talked to clients about this problem, the truth is we often never really find out the precise cause.

If it becomes a habit there are a number of things I advised clients to do, and some clients have reported success with these measures. You can sprinkle paprika pepper or a similar hot sauce on to your dog's faeces as soon as she passes them if you can catch her in the act, but I guess you are not around when it happens

There is a product made called For-Bid which is available from your veterinarian, better pet stores, and on-line that you sprinkle on her food and it has been shown to have some success in stopping the behavior. Check it out here : LINK

Another thing that you can try is Adolph's (and in this case the brand name seems to be important) meat tenderiser sprinkled on the food. Some owners have reported success with this method.

Finally adding some pineapple juice to your dogs food that is said to help. Again this substance will make your dogs faeces more distasteful as do the above methods

I hope I have given you a few ideas and covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.

Regards,


Scott
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much. But I am most concerned right now with her vomiting poop seven times in past 7 hours! That just cant be all eaten poop!

Expert:  Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.
Hello again Cheri,

Glad to talk things over with you further ...

As far as the gastro-enteritis { vomiting } goes this sort of thing is always a gamble so if you want to be 100% sure you are doing the right thing you should have a vet check Hope over without delay.

That said that there are a number of home remedies for vomiting in the dog, these work well for uncomplicated cases where a dog is otherwise fairlyy bright and happy, where for example a dog has eaten something she should not have { as in your case } , or some unaccustomed rich foodstuff, or where contaminated foodstuff has given her a minor tummy bug.

Here are some examples which some owners use while waiting for their vet's appointment ....

A. I am aware that some owners use Pepto-Bismol to treat their dogs with gastro-enteritis and report success. Here is a link to a web page which has all the information you might need including dose rates : LINK

B. Some owners try and control the situation with diet alone before they try anything else. This is logical and often works, the basis of this is to give the intestinal tract a complete rest and then bring it back slowly to function, resting the alimentary tract is the critical factor. It would go something like this ...

C. Starve her for 24 hours but make sure she has access to water.

D. The next day feed her four or five small light meals in the day. These meals should be the likes of chicken, fish, scrambled egg etc. with a little rice.

E. If she picks up on this diet gradually reintroduce her normal diet over the next few days.

3. Also live yogurt added to the food can often help. Some gastro-enteritis situations are caused by an imbalance in the bacteria in your dog's gut. Live yogurt is full of " good " bacteria and will seed them into your dog's intestinal tract and restore the balance.

Of course if any of the above does not quickly start to work or if Hope deteriorates further in any way you should have your vet check her over without delay just to be on the safe side. Once she has recovered and seems normal then you could consider some of the measures I mentioned previously to try and stop her poop eating habit.

Regards,

Scott
Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15510
Experience: BVMS, MRCVS.
Scott Nimmo and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


You are wonderful, thank you so much. I will bring her to the vet tomorrow regardless. I am keeping her off any kind of food until then and follow your instructions re reintroduction of food slowly. I bought white rice for her and will try that tomorrow. She is not lethargic or acting "sick" besides the poop vomit. Plus outside she is actually running!


 


I tried Forbid; it did absolutely nothing. I bought some meat tenderizer and will try that next and then the pineapple. Now her sister Josie has started eating poop too and I am determined to break them of that habit. Honestly, these puppies are never left alone for very long plus they have each other.


 


Thank you very much!


 


Best wishes,


Cheri

Expert:  Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.
No problem Cheri, very glad to have advised you ...

Good luck,

Scott

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