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13 week-old eating rocks

  • LizJ
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8 years 10 months ago #37655 by LizJ
13 week-old eating rocks was created by LizJ
Hello all.

We have a 13 week old deerhound female who is eating rocks and gravel (we have only had her 2 weeks), and chewing anything concrete (e.g. the edges of steps). On first visit to the vet, he noted that her lower front teeth are completely worn down to the gum line. The breeder stays it's normal and not to worry as she'll grow out of it once her adult teeth come in, but the vet thinks it's a real concern as she may need surgery later on to remove rocks from her intestines. We are working hard to redirect her when we catch her doing this and give her lots of bones and chew toys, but it's a constant challenge as we have a gravel path in the garden and two sets of concrete steps. We did not think puppy-proofing our garden included hiding all the rocks and concrete! Should we be worried and keep up the vigilance?

Thanks for any advice.

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8 years 10 months ago #37658 by Lieve
Replied by Lieve on topic Re: 13 week-old eating rocks
Is your puppy tested shunt? One of the symptomes of shunt can be eating of all kind of strange stuff.

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8 years 10 months ago #37660 by verenav
Replied by verenav on topic Re: 13 week-old eating rocks
I do not think that it this is normal for any dog, at least not to that extreme.Perhaps a very bored dog in a concrete run..... I would follow up on that liver shunt test as suggested and just be extra vigilant and keep up with bomnes and toys and stimuli of all sorts.

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8 years 10 months ago #37661 by feldandjack
Replied by feldandjack on topic Re: 13 week-old eating rocks
A lady I know had a collie that did this, he did it all his life and she had a devil of a job keeping him away from stones/pebbles. The vet never found any reason but the damage he did to his insides and teeth shortened his life. I hope you can find the cause and a cure :(

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8 years 10 months ago #37662 by Lurch8252
Replied by Lurch8252 on topic Re: 13 week-old eating rocks
don't panic, Murphy did this when he was a youngster and grew out of it. I figured it was something or some mineral in the concrete that attracted them and have known loads of others who did this. We had a cement mixer in the garden at the time and he got all the dried cement out of it, was a funny sight to see his head right in there. Someone also came round that was a builder (to pick the mixer up) and was scared of dogs, only to be greeted by a giant puppy who proceeded to lick any residue of cement he had on his legs. Puppies chew all sorts of things, might be a teething thing, or as I said earlier some mineral in the concrete, but don't worry, he won't do it forever.

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8 years 10 months ago #37663 by LizJ
Replied by LizJ on topic Re: 13 week-old eating rocks
If you are right about her growing out of it, I will be very relieved. She is currently totally fixated on eating the tiny rocks in a gravel path we have in our garden. So, with her, it's not just concrete, but also gravel and just about anything else. Taking her out for a walk is exhausting! Puppies are a lot of work in general, but this adds a whole new element.

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8 years 10 months ago #37664 by crackadog
Replied by crackadog on topic Re: 13 week-old eating rocks
I know folks don't like the idea of these, but if the habit is not caused by any medical condition, I suppose you could try one of the basket style muzzles when she is out and about until she hopefully outgrows it. better than having to have an operation to remove the stones. Our terrier now wears one if he has to be left in the car at any time,(rarely,and for no more than 1/2 hour) after chewing through several seatbelts(which cost a lot to replace). Hope you find a solution soon. Our DH chewed wood but we could spray that and the phase soon passed. Good luck!
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8 years 10 months ago #37666 by LizJ
Replied by LizJ on topic Re: 13 week-old eating rocks
Thank you all for your very helpful replies. It is really nice to have a forum like this to come to with questions.

We also have a greyhound in the house, and we do have a muzzle for him (which we have used maybe once), but I have been hesitant to buy a muzzle for the the pup as she is really in need of lots of chewing and I have been trying to redirect her to healthy chew toys and chew bones. After reading all the replies, I decided to figure out a way to fence off the gravel so that I could at least minimize the areas to keep her away from. I put up a temporary fence all the way across the garden and blocked off one of the entrances to the garden from our deck. This makes it quite an ordeal to get to things like the back gate, the garden shed, and the rubbish bins, and it means the dogs have a much smaller area to run in, but I am giving it a try for a short while.

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8 years 10 months ago - 8 years 10 months ago #37717 by trevor
Replied by trevor on topic Re: 13 week-old eating rocks

Lieve wrote: Is your puppy tested shunt? One of the symptomes of shunt can be eating of all kind of strange stuff.

May i ask why do you think this and who/where you got this information from.The pup is teething and bored.
Last edit: 8 years 10 months ago by trevor.

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8 years 10 months ago #37718 by Bodhranlady
Replied by Bodhranlady on topic Re: 13 week-old eating rocks
Gastrointestinal (stomach and intestinal) symptoms also often are present in dogs with congenital portosystemic shunts. These may include:

Vomiting
Diarrhea
Constipation
Lack of appetite (inappetence; anorexia)
Excessive appetite (excessive ingestion of food; polyphasia)
Pica (craving for unnatural materials or articles of food; often involves ingestion of feces)

All articles regarding liver shunt in the canine mention 'pica' Trevor, including the Merck Veterinary Manual so not an unreasonable thing to say.
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