She will be 15 weeks tomorrow. Memorial day was the third day in a row she had diahhrea (SP?) so off we went to the Acton Emergency Animal Hospital, tests galore and all was ok, vet put her on an antibiotic and anti diahhrea medicine. All was ok, then she goes the next two days without going the bathroom and all thru this she is eating EVERYTHING off the floor, ground and anywhere else ... last wednesday she went for her lyme shot and distemper shot, vet did a fecal exam and found tapeworm eggs ... vet gave her two pills to kill them ... she is on the road to recovery and doing well exept the eating everything off the ground. She eats pro plan for large breed puppies and our trainer told us to give her "pumpkin" as a filler which will give her the feeling of being full ... what do you all think? The "leave it" command is now being introduced into her routine ...
Any help, when I dropped Madison off at daycare this morning our trainer said she may have pica ....and my husband through out all of this is being great at the training but at our age ... 54 years young but feeling very tired and old. help please
A 15 week old puppy needs to be full - not having the "feeling" of being full. Labs explore their worlds by putting things in their mouths. Filling her belly up more/longer is not going to inhibit this one bit. Your trainer suggested Pica? Seriously? This is from Wiki on the topic of Pica in animals -
"Unlike in humans, pica in dogs or cats may be a sign of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, especially when it involves eating substances such as tile grout, concrete dust and sand. Dogs exhibiting this form of pica should be tested for anemia with a CBC or at least hematocrit levels. However since it may be an evolved natural mechanism to increase micronutrient levels this type of geophagia may not be accurately described as pica since it is not actually a diseased behaviour."
If you think your dog has a serious anemia problem and/or is malnourished then maybe you should have the blood tests done to determine this, but I would tend to think your trainer should not be guessing about what is going on with this puppy. Usually there is a simple reason for what is going on with a puppy or dog.
You need to supervise her carefully, puppy-proof her environment, teach "leave-it", leash her to you indoors if you need to.
Mostly you should not be leaving her outdoors without immediate supervision. She needs to be watched/tethered to you and when she can't be watched she needs to be crated. She will grow out of this and not need constant supervision (maturity plus training). I, personally, would be suspect of some of the advice your trainer is doling out if these 2 examples are typical.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Thank you ... she is at daycare 4 days a week. We've now asked to have her do her business outside of the regular area which is on the grass or bark mulch and have her on leash and watched ...
Do you believe pumpkin should be added to her food? I feed her in the morning 1 cup of pro plan. At daycare they also feed her 1 cup of pro plan, which I provide but they wet/mush her food because she is eating to fast. What I have been doing is using the special "slow feed" bowl and not giving her the full cup all at once but splitting it up every few minutes which seems to work ... thoughts?
I feel as though you just wrote about my pup Jax. He is 18 weeks today. The same exact issues / symptoms almost. He did not have tapework eggs but he had diahrea, got food bloat twice and is always trying to eat anything outside, flowers, leaves, grass clippings, rocks, etc.
I think its normal behavior for labs and honestly the only solution is constant supervision. Just like you would a child or baby. We don't let Jax outside without supervision or he is going to do these things. He will grow out of it and honestly already is. Lots of proper chew toys inside and out help this. Because of the food recalls, the vet put him on a 3 week antibiotic just in case he had any traces of salminila. He is fine now. His poo is solid and healthy looking.
Just remember, this will pass - but you have to give it time and constant supervision.
Teach leave it, definately and keep her supervised. Pumpkin is used more for stopping diarhrea. I give my adult dogs green beans for filler. But I'm not sure you need that right now. She was probably eating everything because of the tape worm, once that's cured maybe it will stop?
Last edited by joflake; 06-05-2012 at 01:50 PM.
How much are you feeding her in total for the day? 1 cup in the morning followed by 1 cup at daycare - is she getting 1 cup for dinner? Meals should be evenly spaced out by hours - if you do 3 meals they should be 8 hours apart, 2 meals 12 hours apart to provide the dog with proper balance of food intake. Double check the feeding guideline on the bag per her weight, but ensure she is getting the proper amount. I agree with Sharon, she doesn't need a supplement to her kibble as a "filler" if getting the right amount she should be satiated - keep in mind dogs will eat whatever you give them whether hungry or not. I wouldn't trust the guesses of a trainer for this pica thing, she is as Sharon said exploring her world with her mouth. "Leave it" is a HUGE command - be sure that her daycare is aware that she is having this issue so they know to utilize the command for reiteration training when you aren't with her. Do not leave a mouthy puppy unsupervised. As Joflake mentioned, pumpkin is more so for diarrhea, green beans for a filler but usually used in effort to take weight off a dog. At the age of your dog you should be just giving her kibble without supplementing her diet with anything else.
My two do the same thing. It isn't PICA, it's just being lab pups. They chew, they explore. It's normal, but can be VERY dangerous. We just had a $2500 vet bill from our black lab pup choking on something. Just have to be diligent about watching to make sure nothing of danger is going in the mouth.
Cleo, our black beauty
Zeus, our yellow, mellow, fellow
You have to understand - you have a breed that has been bred and selected for many generations to work using it's mouth. It is practically an obsession with many Labs to have something in their mouth. One of mine will carry shoes around the house, moving them from one room to another, accumulating them in a pile to satisfy his need to retrieve/have a thing in his mouth. It is a trait that has been exploited in this breed and its a given that Lab puppies are going to put things in their mouth.
I don't think you should add pumpkin in. There is no rational reason to do so. If you are feeding a quality food there is no reason to supplement. I can't really understand your trainer's thought process in recommending this. Its not at all about the puppy's hunger - it is an oral fixation + natural puppy curiosity. Human babies are inclined to put things in their mouths too!
If she is only getting 2 cups of food a day that seems like not nearly enough, to me. My puppy at 15 weeks was getting more like 4.5 cups a day over 3 meals. Is she growing/gaining? Does she have a layer of fat over her ribs?
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Madison is on pro plan for large breed puppies ... she gets a cup in the morning ... a cup at lunch and then a cup at dinner. All spaced out appropriately....When I am teaching her commands she will get treats which is her daily food .. so she is getting the right amount of food per day, according to the vets her weight at 18.4 the last we weighed her in, was ok ... and she looks normal for her age ... she does get a great deal of play and excersize during the day. You can see her ribs but she is filling out wonderfully ... for some reason I think the "eating of stuff" on the ground seems like an automatic thing like "OH I"M OUTSIDE ... the rocks are there ... I'm going to eat them" ... I got all nervous when the trainer told me "pica" now I'm at the point of do i get xrays? oy vey
Last edited by LovingLabs; 06-05-2012 at 11:45 AM.