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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9872
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
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I've noticed my lab has been eating a lot of weeds lately

Customer Question

I've noticed my lab has been eating a lot of weeds lately and his stool is full of weeds and he threw up weeds this am
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: No not that I know of
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** he is 6
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Gunner?
Customer: He is Blind and we just got new furniture in the house that's just a little bit different so he has been getting used to that
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: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 11 months ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.I recently came online and see that your question about Gunner hasn't been answered. If you still need assistance, I'd like to help although I'm sorry that you've had to wait so long for a reply. This behavior of Gunner's is called pica..the ingestion of non-nutritional substances. As to the underlying cause for it, there are a number of different possibilities' not every patient will engage in pica for the same reason. Those various possibilities include: 1. Sometimes we see pica in dogs with anemia so it might be a good idea to have blood work done, if it hasn't been done recently.2. Many times we see it with primary gastrointestinal disease; these dogs are probably experiencing a low level of nausea which could account for the pica. I've seen a fair number of dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) eat grass and weeds or even dirt. Usually there's a history of intermittent vomiting and/or diarrhea but not always.Bloodwork is usually normal for IBD; it would take a biopsy to diagnose which most owners are understandably reluctant to do.3. Kidney issues can often cause secondary nausea and might explain pica but I would have expected increased thirst and urination and possibly weight loss if this were the problem. 4. For the majority of patients, we don't have a good explanation for the ingestion of weeds and grass; we have no clue why dogs like to eat it ...but there are a lot of them who do:) My dogs will eat grass and weeds but since I have some IBD issues with them, I always chalked it up to this problem. I'm not always convinced that this is the reason, though, since they sometimes just seem to eat it when they aren't having a flare-up.It's not harmful in and of itself although it can irritate the stomach and cause vomiting as you've seen. If they are ingesting weeds/grass where a number of other dogs have defecated, then I worry about ingestion of internal parasite eggs (such as round worms, hookworms, whipworms) or giardia oocysts. But the weeds/grass itself doesn't seen to cause a problem in terms of irritation or obstruction. If you think that Gunner might be a little nauseous, you could try giving him Pepcid AC at a dose of 1/4th mg per pound of body weight twice a day. I hope this helps although, again, my profuse apologies for the delayed reply. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

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

Dr. Deb

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