Last year my dog Megan started eating grass like she was a cow. Now, I’m not talking about the occasional grass buffet that your dog may enjoy. She was obsessed with eating it. You could have offered her a steak and she would have probably thought don’t you have anything green.
She didn’t want to eat her food. It seemed like all she wanted to do was eat grass all day. She would wake me up in the middle of the night to go outside and eat grass. I would have to physically go outside and carry her back into the house only for her to wake me up 3 hours later to go out again and eat some more grass.
On one of my trips to the veterinarian for my other dog Precious who had congestive heart failure, I mentioned Megan’s grass addiction to him and you can probably guess what he said, ” It’s normal for dogs to eat grass.” So I returned home trying to think of the positive side of it, we could probably cut the grass less often. I could save money on food. Other strange thoughts came to mind, maybe she was a cow in a previous life. That’s impossible more likely a cat since she loves to play with balls that are made for cats. Back to the real problem.
In the following days Megan continued to eat grass and days later she started to vomit what looked like undigested food in the middle of the night. With this new symptom I had to take my cow/dog back in to see my veterinarian. Before my appointment I decided to do some internet research on why dogs eat grass in the first place.
Most Dog’s Eat Grass Because Of An Upset Stomach
I typed in google why dogs eat grass. There was a consensus from veterinarians and pet owners that the most likely reasons your dog eats grass is because their stomach is upset. If they eat enough of it they throw up and then they appear to feel better.
Other Reasons Dogs Eat Grass:
Some other reasons for eating grass are bacteria, parasites, viruses, food allergies, change in diet, motion sickness, intestinal worms, stress or trauma.
There were some things I thought I could rule out right away. I didn’t change her diet and I didn’t believe she had allergies because of lack of other symptoms and was positive she didn’t have worms due to a recent stool sample. I was not aware of any stress. That left bacteria, parasites and viruses.
Helicobacter A Possible Reason For Dogs To Eat Grass?
Since I believed she was eating grass because of an upset stomach, I searched for the type of bacteria it might be. I’m not sure if it was just luck or my tenacity to find the real reason she was eating grass all the time but I stumbled upon some information about Hpyloric.
Helicobacter is a class of bacteria found in both animals and humans. It lives in the digestive tracts of cats and dogs. Symptoms include slight to severe irritation of the stomach.
Symptoms Of Helicobacter In Dogs:
Most cases remain without any symptoms at all. In others the following symptoms may be seen:
- Poor appetite
- Bowel sounds
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Sudden death
Diagnosing Helicobacter infection in dogs is no simple thing. Gastric biopsy via endoscopy is the best test. This procedure is done with the dog under sedation.
Since tests to diagnose Helicobacter infection are no simple matter most vets will treat based on symptoms. Since he couldn’t really say she didn’t have it without doing extensive tests, he just prescribed my dog the two antibiotics that are normally given for Helicobactor.
That night I started the antibiotics with my dog. It was truly amazing because after the first day on the antibiotics she no longer ate grass. Without that gastric biopsy I’ll never know if she really had helicobactor or some other bacterial infection that the antibiotics cured but I am convinced that eating grass all the time is not normal no matter what your veterinarian says. Today she only see grass for what it is a place to pee or roll around if it smells bad.
Eating Grass Could Simply Mean Your Dog Needs More Fiber.
If your dogs eats grass all the time but he doesn’t vomit he could simply have a nutritional deficiency or need some fiber in his diet. When my other dog would eat grass I would notice that she would have stools with blades of grass in it. Try switching to a better dog food with high fiber.
Do you have a dog that’s always eating grass?
My dog is ball obsessed so I couldn’t help but love this picture.
Is It Possible That My Dog Had A Seizure When She Fell Down?
If your dog had a mild seizure would you recognize it for what it is? Severe seizures or “Grand Mal” seizures are easily recognized by their symptoms. The dog usually falls and his body becomes rigid. He may appear as if running or paddling his legs. He will also lose consciousness along with loosing control of his bladder. These seizures usually last from 30 seconds to several minutes. While this is traumatic for any pet owner at least we recognize it and know that it is a seizure.
On the other hand, mild seizures or “Petit Mal” seizures, can look as if the dog has simply fainted and their eyes have a blank stare. Many of these petit mal seizures are fleeting lasting only a few seconds and you might even think your pet has hurt himself because frequently the pet will cry out before falling. This it exactly what happened to a dog I recently cared for.
I was pet sitting for this cute little dog when she had a seizure. I knew it was a seizure because my Pomeranian had many before she passed. It was a really mild seizure and the dog seemed fine afterwards. Since it was an extremely mild seizure and it was on the weekend I decided to wait until the next day to call the veterinarian. Before we arrived at the veterinarian the next day the dog had another seizure.
How are seizures in dogs diagnosed?
If your dog experiences seizures some tests that your veterinarian might want to perform include blood work, urine tests, CT scans and MRI’s. Luckily for me and the dog’s owners the veterinarian discovered the dog had pancreatitis by just doing some simple blood work.
While seizures aren’t considered a symptom of pancreatitis, low blood sugar resulting from the pancreatitis can cause seizures. I did mention to the vet that both of her seizures occurred several hours after eating.
When the dog’s owners returned from their vacation, I informed them that their dog had two seizures. When I was describing the seizures to them they realized that their dog had several seizures at home before they came. Their dog would cry out and fall to the floor. Since they had no prior experience with mild seizures with their little dog they just thought that she somehow hurt herself.
They took the dog to their veterinarian and since he had no idea the dog was having seizures he simply prescribe some tramadol for the dog’s pain.
While it took a little longer for the proper diagnoses, I’m glad to say this cute little dog is doing fine today and the owners are determined not to spoil her with any more fatty table scraps which can trigger an attack of pancreatitis.
Some other causes of seizures in dogs are:
- Cushing’s Disease
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- hypocalcemia (low blood calcium level)
- poisons including, chocolate, caffeine, strychnine and others
- heat exhaustion
- parasites, such as fleas and hookworms
- low blood sugar
What should you do if your dog has a seizure?
Try to remain calm if your dog has a seizure, you don’t have to worry he can’t swallow his tongue. You should also keep your hands away from his mouth in case he snaps at you unintentionally. I would always pick my dog up and hold her when she was having a seizure but not really a good idea if you don’t want to get urinated on. Try to keep track of how long her seizures last and what time of day it was in case the seizure was caused by low blood sugar.
In conclusion seizures in dogs, mild or severe should always be investigated by your veterinarian. Untreated seizures in dogs can often worsen and cause irreparable harm.
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