Eating rocks....

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.

Eating rocks....

Postby Alpha_Male » Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:12 pm

I don't know how he does it, but lately when Al and i go for walks he's been picking up rocks. He never breaks stride, he never moves out of his path to get them... I look down, and there he is, chewing on something.. then i pull a rock out of his mouth.. Anyone else have experience with this?
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Postby X-girl » Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:14 pm

Lola is an expert.

Although, I've noticed it hasn't been happening as much lately so it may be an age thing. She's about 5 mos., how old is Al?
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Postby Kara » Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:16 pm

I know the frustration. When Jada was a pup, it was almost impossible to walk her, because she was stopping every few steps to pick up rocks. I was worried it would break her teeth... Eventually she stopped doing this... Im pretty sure its an age thing.
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Postby Kara » Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:19 pm

here's an article I found for you...

Why Do Dogs Eat Rocks? by: Alex Lieber
Edited by: Dr. Nicholas Dodman



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Abnormal Eating Habits

Dogs eat a lot of questionable things that, from our point of view, make no sense, such as their own or another animal's stool. Although unpleasant to contemplate, it's relatively normal behavior, especially for young dogs.

But dogs sometimes try to eat inorganic matter that has no digestive upside at all. Rocks provide an example of one of the more common non-food objects dogs chew on. This behavior is sometimes called pica, the term used to describe the craving and ingesting of nonfood items.

Chewing rocks can be dangerous to more than your dog's teeth or soft mouth tissues. It can lead to intestinal blockage, vomiting, diarrhea, or even choking, if the rock is large enough to block your dog’s throat.

What causes this bizarre behavior? There are a number of possibilities that range from medical to behavioral. Chewing rocks may be one way for an attention-starved dog to get noticed. In this instance, the dog may even be acting out of boredom, anxiety or frustration.

There may also be medical reasons behind the behavior. Disorders of the intestinal tract, deficiency of some vital nutrient, such as iron, or diabetes mellitus (as well as other illnesses) may underlie indiscriminate eating behavior. It's important to rule out a medical cause for pica by visiting your veterinarian. If the pica is subsequently deemed to be a purely behavioral problem, you and your vet can devise a strategy to overcome it.

Pica, by the way, is not limited to rocks. It includes any non-digestible item, such as rubber bands, carpet, string, wood, etc. Stopping this behavior is difficult, and usually cannot be done just by scolding. Scolding may even "reward" the behavior if it's an attempt to gain attention. Furthermore, to scold your dog after the fact is useless; he or she won't connect the "correction" with the behavior.

Finding and Treating the Cause

Pica may be nothing more than an outlet for chewing. One strategy is to keep a good number of chew toys on hand, and rotating them every several days. For instance, put three chew toys out for your dog to play with, and keep three hidden. After several days, bring out the three hidden toys and remove the other three, so they always appear to be "new."

If you catch your dog eating rocks, you may want to startle him out of the behavior with a loud noise or spray gun – but try not to let him see you doing it, or he may associate your presence with the noise or water. Praise him when he leaves items alone.

Look at your own schedule: is your dog left alone most of the time? In that case, spending more time with your dog will probably help. Better yet, aerobic play may leave him too tired and happy to want to chew rocks. A final strategy involves dietary and feeding changes. Ad libitum feeding of a high fiber weight reducing diet provides your dogs with a constant option, rocks or kibble. Many choose kibble! It’s best to check with your vet before switching your dog to a different diet if problems are to be avoided.

Your veterinarian may prescribe a behavioral drug to help defeat the pica. He or she may also refer you to an animal behaviorist, if necessary. Always keep your dog leashed when walking to stop him from eating inappropriate or dangerous items. If your dog runs in your backyard, clear out rocks and other dangerous items or keep him with you under supervision. (In other words, don't just tie your dog up to restrict his movement and then leave him.)

If you and your dog look forward to running free in an off-leash doggie park, you may have to curtail these outings until the pica disorder is under control. For more information, see the article on pica.




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Postby Alpha_Male » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:38 pm

X-girl wrote:Lola is an expert.

Although, I've noticed it hasn't been happening as much lately so it may be an age thing. She's about 5 mos., how old is Al?


Al is almost 4 months. he's starting to lose some of his baby teeth, so i'm hoping he'll grow out of it.


Thanks for the information Kara. much appreciated.
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CoCo Loves Rocks too

Postby YeTI » Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:05 pm

We found a planter with polished stones in my back yeard when we moved in. We cleaned them and had them in our porch. CoCo tipped it over and Has had 3 stoned for "Toys" ever since( There was 30 or 40 in the planter but she picked the 3 she wanted) She chews them throws them slides them on my hard wood floor(Wife Loves that)

She is 9 months old now. She did eat one by mistake one day it was small she throw it up with in an hour. It seams she got over zealous and sucked it in then a stranger came to the door.

She does Eat a lot of dirt off the Flor thow and that sort of freaks me out.

YeTI
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Postby Fish » Sat Jul 17, 2004 6:30 pm

I saw a show on TV about 3 months ago, probley on the animal chanel, anyway they had this dog on there and I want to say they took 25 pounds of rocks out of his insides, they showed the X-rays and they thought it was a turmor till they got in there.lol
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Postby gypsydog » Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:28 pm

My boy will chew rocks from time to time and he is a little over nine months right now. I just always take them away when i see him with them. Sometimes he will try going back out the doggie door to go get it.
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Postby blover27 » Sun Jul 18, 2004 3:16 pm

Fish wrote:I saw a show on TV about 3 months ago, probley on the animal chanel, anyway they had this dog on there and I want to say they took 25 pounds of rocks out of his insides, they showed the X-rays and they thought it was a turmor till they got in there.lol


yeah and then those idiot owners put the dog back in the same yard unsupervised with the same rocks it had been eating before the surgery...brilliant huh :yucky:
blover27
 

Postby chalkline » Wed Jul 21, 2004 5:09 am

I would watch out with letting dogs chew rocks because Stax (the pit I found) has a couple of really worn down teeth and one of his canines is almost gone and the vet said that it was most likely from rock chewing and I will probably have to eventually get one or more of the teeth pulled. The canine will most likely have to be pulled because it is so small. I will take some pics of how bad his teeth look if I can.
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Postby Fish » Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:48 pm

Your right Blover, I forgot about that, and when you say same rocks you mean the SAME rocks, lol, Idots. Can I call them Idots here, sorry.
Fish
 

Postby wndrtwns04 » Wed Jul 21, 2004 8:39 pm

My cousin had a pittie named Boris. It was about 20 years ago and that was the most funniest dog. Bubby (my cousin) would tell him "get the rock, get the rock" and this dog would dig a hole as deep as it took to find one, and WOULD NOT STOP until he found one. Loved rocks and loved to break them in his mouth. I thought it was so neat ( I was 8). Talk about separation anxiety, Boris chewed through a basement door and concrete, and then proceeded to jump through the living room window when my Grandmother watched him when Bubby went to Florida. He did it (the window) when he heard him come home from the trip. Boris definately welcomed Bubby home that day.
wndrtwns04
 


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