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Archive for May, 2013

PostHeaderIcon A Laugh For Mondays

cute Daschunds 300x236 A Laugh For Mondays

Two dogs resting after a long day at Pet Pampering

PostHeaderIcon My Dog Thinks She Is A Cow l When Eating Grass Is More Than An Upset Stomach

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:

  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Poor appetite
  • Bowel sounds
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Sudden death
I did recognize some of these symptoms of Helicobacter in my dog.  Every night I would hear her stomach rumbling really loud.  She had no appetite for her food. She vomited two nights in a row.
When our appointment time came,  my veterinarian did the usual tests checking her temperature and checking her stool for parasites or bacteria. Her temperature was normal and there were no problems with bacteria in  her stool.  He couldn’t find anything wrong with her.
Worried that he was going to tell me again that grass-eating was normal, I asked him if it was possible that she had Helicobacter?  Luckily for me, my veterinarian always listens to what I have to say and has an open mind when it comes to a diagnosis.
How Helicobacter In Dogs Is Diagnosed.

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.

Dog eating grass 300x190 My Dog Thinks She Is A Cow l When Eating Grass Is More Than An Upset Stomach

Do you have a dog that’s always eating grass?