How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Vet help Your Own Question

Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2597
Experience:  9 yrs experience as small animal veterinarian; 19 yrs exp. in animal care field
883989
Type Your Veterinary Question Here...
Vet help is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

why does my dog like to eat metal objects Shes a 9 1/2 yr

Resolved Question:

why does my dog like to eat metal objects? She's a 9 1/2 yr old german shepheard that just recently started to eat everything that is metal.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Vet help replied 4 years ago.
Ingestion of non-food items (pica) is an unusual disorder and the reasons behind it are not well understood. Some cases may be caused by anemia, liver disease, or disease of the intestinal tract (affecting absorption of nutrients), but most cases seem to have no underlying cause and are deemed a behavioral abnormality. The biggest risks associated with this behavior is obstruction of the stomach or intestines from the non-food item, and toxicity. Diarrhea and vomiting may also be seen.
In order to rule out any disease processes, a complete blood count and chemistry profile should be performed. Further tests, like trypsin-like immunoreactivity to check for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (pancreas does not secrete sufficient amount of digestive enzymes) may also be run at the discretion of your vet. Usually dogs with EPI are underweight or have difficulty putting on weight. German Shepherds are a breed predisposed to EPI.
If testing is normal, we have to assume that the problem is behavioral. If this is the case, then you will need to limit her opportunities to ingest inappropriate items. She should always be on a leash when outside, and the home should be "metal- proof" to the extent you are able to do this. For metal that you cannot hide, you can apply Bitter Apple or similar spray or cream to make the objects more unpalatable. Try finding something else she can chew on and swallow (such as rawhides, marrow bones). It has been suggested that putting these animals on a higher fiber diet (such as Hill's W/D, available through your vet)on may help.
If these changes don't alleviate the problem, then behavior- modifying drugs may be tried.
I hope this information was helpful.
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2597
Experience: 9 yrs experience as small animal veterinarian; 19 yrs exp. in animal care field
Vet help and 4 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
She is on meds for her thyiod and is on cefalexin for her hot spots that she's always chewing on. Could that be causing her to eat metal. She chews off the snaps on my grandbabies onesies and the bibs. only the metal is missing not the material.
Expert:  Vet help replied 4 years ago.
Neither the medication for thyroid disease, nor the cephalexin are known to cause pica of any kind. Overdosage of thyroid medication can result in an increase in appetite (essentially it makes the dog HYPERthyroid, so everything, including appetite is revved up). An abnormally increased appetite can result in ingestion of non-food items.
The skin issues may be related to poorly controlled thyroid disease. Or they can be the result of a condition called German Shepherd pyoderma, which is a chronic skin condition seen in Shepherds.
I'd recommend when you have her evaluated, you also have a thyroid level done in order to see whether or not a dosage change is in order.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1656
    12 years of small animal veterinary medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1451
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PC/pcbobber/photo.64x64.JPG Dr. Bob's Avatar

    Dr. Bob

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1306
    35 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1889
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • /img/icons/shirt.jpg Dr. Jenn's Avatar

    Dr. Jenn

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1225
    Practicing small animal medicine since 2004 , also involved in working with animal rescue groups.