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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The dog ate a razor!

Hi Jan,
I have a year-old female labradoodle, she eats everything and anything. This has been a continuing problem. We do everything to keep things out of her reach and watch her at all times. But this latest event has about pushed us over the edge. She is still at the Veterinary Hospital, she recently ate a shaving razor. She has been through leadership courses twice now, and actually does okay with them.? But we just cannot seem to get this behavior under control, we fear for her own safety. We are overwhelmed! and willing to look into any options that may be out there.
Thank You,

Hi Brenda,
To solve the problem, you have to find out why she's eating this stuff in the first place. Here are some POSSIBLE reasons:

1. She's a puppy (still), and puppies chew up everything out of curiosityand because they have an excess of energy to expend. Labs, in particular,are chewers and this can go on for years. If this is the only reason she's chewing, she will outgrow it but you're in for a tough time waiting for it to happen. Exercise and supervision are the only things that will minimize the problem. Exercise--sufficient to WEAR HER DOWN so she doesn't have the energy to chew. Supervision means crating her when you can't watch her. I know that's a pain, but it must be done.
2. She has severe separation anxiety and other emotional issues. Again, exercise and maturity will help solve these. Try an herbal calming agent like Rescue Remedy.
3. She has a brain tumor. Yes, probably too extreme, but that can be a cause of compulsive eating in dogs. I seriously doubt that's the case. If it were a brain tumor, not much can be done about it.
4. She is emotionally or mentally unstable. If you can pretty much rule out Reasons 1-3, then I'd suggest you talk to a vet about psychotropic drugs that can help her. I always believe in ruling out the other possible causes first (and usually the cause is #1), and using medication as a last resort. That said, medication can work wonders.

I'm sure you have plenty of appropriate chew toys around for her (like original Nylabones, and Kongs filled with goodies). I think your firststep should be to increase her exercise program, perhaps to two one-hour walks (on leash) each day. If you can't do that, get her a treadmill. You might also take her to Doggy Day Care at least one day a week, to help her get rid of some of that energy she's using to chew up razors and such.

In summary: EXERCISE and MORE EXERCISE. If that doesn't work, pills. Good luck. I feel for you...have been there. I once had a dog eat six pounds of garbage in my kitchen. She needed an emergency gastrotomy and never did recover (it was a brain tumor).

1 comment:

Melissa ~ A BumbleBaby Mommy said...

Oh my heavens! That photo! I remember Bergere's natural phase - she'd eat only natural fibers: cotton, leather, linen, never ever anything man-made! I'm so glad she grew out of that.