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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28503
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog is eating Kleenex and now he is staring to eat pieces

Customer Question

My dog is eating Kleenex and now he is staring to eat pieces of puzzles, he is 11 years old and has been doing weirdos things for past two weeks why is he acting like this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You've described pica in dogs, Sheila. Gastrointestinal disorders, dental and oral disease, central nervous system disturbances such as brain tumors or hydrocephalus, electrolyte imbalances, metabolic diseases, and toxins such as lead can induce licking, sucking, chewing, and picas (ingestion of inanimate objects), licking of owners, and air licking. Picas may also be caused by excessive restriction of calories (i.e. weight loss diets) and any medical condition that could cause polyphagia (increased hunger). Similarly, numerous medical conditions from Cushing's disease to diabetes insipidus might induce polydipsia (increased thirst). Licking, chewing, polyphagia, polydipsia, and picas can also be a side effect of drug therapy. In geriatric pets, repetitive behaviors including licking, chewing, and picas might be associated with brain aging and cognitive dysfunction.

We're going to need more clues in order to determine if Ollie has developed a medical problem or, instead, a behavioral one. Are you also seeing symptoms such as being hungrier, thirstier, acting disoriented, vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, coughing, increased respiratory rate, pale tongue or gums, skin changes, difficulty prehending or chewing food, being "clingier" or, conversely, more aloof, lameness, a change in posture or shape of Ollie's body, or perhaps nightime restlessness and/or vocalization?