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Q. My son has a mini Schnauzer that spins almost obsessively. Could this be a food problem?
Hi Cindy,

I have not visited your site in a year (when I used it extensively for information on training for our rescue dog). Today I am intrigued by the dehydrated food info. My son has a mini schnauzer (1 yr old) with a very bad spinning problem...that is jumping up from a relaxed state ...spinning as if chasing her tail or trying to sniff her bottom....then sniffing the floor where she was just sitting. It is very sad to see this little girl obsessively spin sometimes for hours. There are times when nothing we can do will distract her. This behavior began after she was constipated for two days after her spay procedure and the vet shaved her anal area to clear it up. She has always been sensitive (throwing up, diarrhea) to lamb mixes etc. in dry food products, and after trying different ones we fed nutro for sensitive stomachs for a long time. In an effort to see if the problem is intestinal (we believe she may be passing gas when she jumps up and spins) we have been for two weeks now feeding only cooked chicken, rice, carrots and a little egg. We have seen no let up of her chronic behavior. The vets are saying it is a behavioral issue and want to put her on calming meds. We feel that it is a GI problem of some kind.

I have three questions.

1. Have you ever heard of this type of behavior?
2. Do you think it is possible she is intolerant of grains?
3. Do you know anything about supplements for the GI tract?

We may just go ahead and order some of the grain free chicken.

You must get a huge amount of e-mail... if you have any ideas on this issue I would be grateful for a reply to mine.


A. Did the vet check her anal glands? We have a Corgi that will spin around like a top if her glands are full and bothering her. It’s also possible that when he shaved her rear end he gave her a clipper burn. I was a groomer for over 15 years and was taught to never use clippers around the rectal area. I am sure if that’s the case she is just very uncomfortable.

To address the grain issue, I feel that no dog should eat grains. They serve no purpose other than as a filler and to cause aggravation for many dogs. Getting them out of the diet is a good thing, even if the dog doesn’t appear to have any issues with them.

I would not put her on calming meds, that’s not figuring out the problem, only masking it. Sometimes vets need a smack!

I have heard that slippery elm is a great supplement for GI upsets, you can google it to find out where to purchase. I know I have seen it at my health food store.
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Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats
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If you love your dog, you need to read this book! It will change the way you view the health of your pet. I can tell you this from experience. Feeding commercial dog food since 1950's, I became more and more concerned about exactly what I was forcing my dogs to live on. When I did a little research, I became very critical of commercial dog food companies.


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