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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16894
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My sons golden retriever had a colectomy with anastomosis at

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My sons golden retriever had a colectomy with anastomosis at the age of 2. He ate a pacifyer-almost died from systemic infection with subsequent surgert etc... In any event-Brady continues to eat everything outside-sticks mostly but, continues the behavoir. i know that retrevoirs have innate son and daughter in law are great animal people but I am wondering if something more may be going on-I am a RN and truly think that Brady is not stupid. Do dogs have PICA from nutritional deficits-that is my thought-and if so how is this DX?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear about your son's Golden Brady's habit of chewing on and ingesting all sorts of foreign material.
Many young dogs, especially high energy breeds that aren't given a job get bored and can get a bit neurotic, leading to undesirable behavior. Sometimes getting them more exercise, such as daily trips to a dog park, or agility training, can help tremendously.
In case we are dealing with something more ideally he should see his veterinarian for an examination and some blood tests including a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, folate and cobamalin levels and a thyroid profile. Some dogs exhibit pica (eating or licking/biting non-food items) when they are anemic or sick and we do want to make sure that he is healthy and there is not a physical reason for his behavior. He could be anemic, or suffering from metabolic organ disease or inflammatory bowel disease. This can also be a sign of nausea.
At home to try and settle his stomach in case this is related to nausea you can give either:
1)Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of 1/4 of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours
2)Prilosec (omeprazole) at dose of 1/4 of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers and should help him feel less nauseous, and thus less likely to chew/lick on non-food items. These medications are quite safe and can be used long term if they help him feel better.
If he seems at all nauseous you can try offering a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, minced, white skinless chicken or boiled, lean hamburger and 2/3 boiled, white rice mixed with some low salt chicken or beef broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow and get additional fluids into him. If he stops the behavior with the acid reducers and bland diet then try slowly reintroducing his regular diet by mixing it with the bland. If the behavior starts again on his regular diet then perhaps a permanent switch to a low irritant diet is indicated, such as the over the counter sensitive stomach foods made by Hills or Royal Canin or prescription foods like Hills i/d or Purina Veterinary Diets EN.
If he continues this behavior though he should see his veterinarian for diagnostic testing.
Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.