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Categories: Health

Q. My puppy has a chewing/eating problem. He chews on everything and anything, to the point that he has landed in the emrgency room twice. What should I do?
I'm writing on behalf of one of my Shetland Sheepdog puppies - well, now he's almost a year old - whom I co-own but who lives with his primary owners in another state. This puppy has a chewing/eating problem that I am very concerned about. He chews on everything and anything, to the point that he has landed in the emrgency room twice. The family has tried keeping him somewhat confined (x-pen) when they can't directly supervise him; they have muzzled him when out of doors but he has literally eaten through 5 muzzles of different sorts. He can't be left unsupervised at all without having him eating or chewing.

The family has a large yard. The puppy seems to have plenty of exercise and is taking regular agility lessons; he will also be (if he isn't already) taking herding lessons in addition to learning how to help with the 6 sheep owned by the fmaily. He is one of 4 Shelties in the household, none of whom exhibit this behavior - nor have any of the other puppies that I have ever bred. This puppy is unneutered - we hope that he has the potential for the conformation ring and possibly for breeding - but I do wonder if neutering would have any effect on this very undesirable behavior. Someone said it is a form of displaced aggression and that neutering would help to diminish it.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Cathy

A. I think for something like this I would consult with a homeopath or at the very least a holistic vet. Pica is something I feel may be linked to vaccinosis or vaccine damage. It may be linked to other health issues. A thorough blood work up and exam are in order.

Here are some of the common reasons a dog craves and eats non food items

·Behavioral disorders

·Primary gastrointestinal maldigestive and malabsorptive disorders (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, severe inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal lymphosarcoma)

·Endocrine disorders (hyperadrenocorticism, diabetes mellitus) cause polyphagia (increased appetite)

·Iron deficiency anemia

I would disagree with displaced aggression, it’s more of an obsessive/compulsive disorder and not an aggression issue. Neutering a dog because of pica is a stretch. I certainly wouldn’t neuter him at this point.

We have a list of vets that has been compiled by our customers and you can see it here. We are providing this list as a service; please do your own research into any health care provider you choose for your dogs.

I hope this helps, let me know what you find out.

Cindy
  
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