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Discussion Starter #1
We only know she's eating rocks, bark and this morning, frisbee part because she's throwing them back up. It usually comes up between 3:30am and 6am. This morning she started in around 4:45am, got sick 2 times and it was little pieces of one of the kids' frisbee and some string. She also got sick around 6am, and the laid around for a good half hour and then she was ready for her breakfast. The other couple times she's gotten sick it was rocks, bark and a little grass. I thought we were doing good because it had been almost a month since she's done this. Is there something missing from her diet??? We feed her Iams (the yellow bag for puppies) and a little Pedigree chicken & beef puppy canned food in the morning and a little at dinner. She's a very slow eater, it takes her all day to eat her 2 to 3 cups of kibble. Should we be feeding her something else?? I do get a bit concerned because I don't want something to happen, she's only 5 months old.
 

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Please do a search on Gastric Torsion/Bloat in Dogs. It could be life and death for your little one.

"If you own a deep chested dog such as a Labrador Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Akita or Great Dane you must be made aware of Gastric Torsion or commonly referred to as Bloat. "
 

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Her diet could certainly be improved, but I doubt that's why she's eating rocks and twigs. I think she's doing that because she's a lab puppy :) Indy was eating rocks, though I think he's given that up, but he still happily chews on every piece of bark and juicy stick he can get his paws on. I would be more concerned about the rocks than anything because they won't be digested, they'll either pass or they won't. If they don't you've got a big problem. I would definitly call your vet this morning. They'll run down the list of symptoms with you and determine whether an exam is needed. They may need to do an x-ray ... but it's well worth it if it saves her life.

As far as prevention goes ... it's not easy, but try to keep her away from small rocks until the fascination has passed. But as my vet said, labs will always find something to put in their mouth,it's not at all uncommon to surgically remove an obstruction from a young lab. Her advice was, you can't hover over them 24/7. Do your best to keep foreign objects out of their mouth, and keep an eye on them. When in doubt, call for advice.
 

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think she's doing that because she's a lab puppy
I agree. She is being a normal puppy. Puppies explore the world through their mouths. It is up to you to keep her safe. She should never be allowed the opportunity to get to these things. She is at the age where she still needs to be supervised both inside and out 100% of the time. Don't take your eyes off her, even for a second. If you need some down time, put her in her crate.

We feed her Iams (the yellow bag for puppies) and a little Pedigree chicken & beef puppy canned food in the morning and a little at dinner. She's a very slow eater, it takes her all day to eat her 2 to 3 cups of kibble. Should we be feeding her something else?? I do get a bit concerned because I don't want something to happen, she's only 5 months old.
I have always agreed with the sayings "Feed what works" and "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", but I will let you know my personal thoughts on those foods. Neither, in my opinion, are particularly great in terms of quality. The dog food market has improved so much especially in the past few years that you can get MUCH healthier, natural foods for a similar price. You actually end up saving money by feeding a higher quality food because you feed less.

You shouldn't free feed a dog. You could end up making her finkicky eating much worse. Instead, give her set feeding times two or three times a day. Put the food down for 15 minutes and allow her to eat as much as she wants. Then take the bowl away.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips :) I called our vets office today and didn't get to talk with our vet, but one of the vet techs instead. She said to just keep an eye on her, that she's a puppy and will put everything in her mouth. She definetly does that! As for keeping her out of the rocks, that's easier said than done. We have a smaller back yard that's about half driveway (graveled). We do have a front/side yard but can't put her up there for very long due to the 4 dogs next door. They'll start barking and then Madison will start going crazy (barking, running, etc) she wants them to be her friends. She's also just about big enough to jump the front fence which hopefully we can remedy soon! Probably time to take her out on a leash for awhile ??? Also talked to the vet tech about her food. I think I'll go to the store today and get some Nutro. I've honestly never heard of some of the brands people have posted about feeding their dogs. Around here it's pretty much Purina, store brands, Iams, Eukanuba, Hills Science, Atta Boy, Beneful, Nutro and a few other brands at the grocery stores. Her Iams is down enough where we can start mixing in the Nutro tomorrow. It also took us 3 months to get her off Purina Puppy Chow. We had to do it VERY slow due to her getting constipated. Finally figured out a good feeding schedule for her and am sticking to it..... when everyone cooporates. Madison's food dish stays put away a good part of the day (due to 2 cats that LOVE her food and 1 cat being obese) and hubby and I being at work.
 

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Nutro is definitely a good food and probably the best brand you can get at Petsmart and some other pet stores too. A lot of the premium foods are only sold at independent pet stores. I think that the low mark up and the shelf life being months rather than years, contribute to why the big national chains do not carry most of them.

I think that after her tummy settles and she's been on the Nutro for a while, you'll be pleased with the results. Most dogs do very well on it. I'm sure there are tons of posts on Nutro on these forums, if you do a search I'm sure you'll find a wealth of information about other people's experiences.

As for not being able to avoid the rocks, I can totally sympathize, we have a gravel driveway too, there are rocks all over the place. Let's hope Madison outgrows them :)
 

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I have this concern with Maui, big time. he's now 11 months, (almost a year! Already?) And he eats rocks at doggy day care. It's not a lack of excercise, i play with him for at least an hour every day. He just loves to eat rocks for some reason.

Usually, same thing, between 3Am and 6Am he will start to get this gag reflex going where it sounds like chugA, chugA, chugA, and then he goas AWWRRRRR and out pops a rock usually the size of a LARGE pack of gum.

I get nervous with this a lot, he had X-rays twice already (Nov. & Jan) and his intestine looked like a friggen choo-choo-train of rocks going down. there were 14 when we counted them!

He just grabs them so fast I don't know what to do. I think someone said something to me like, 'He doesn't have a gag reflex" , but I haven't heard that before. He just up and swallows it, though. ::)

Anywho, he's a great pup, just needs to chill on teh rocks :) (and come when called, and not jump on my mother-in-law)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Madison is eating rocks, bark, etc.. UPDATED

I'm very happy to report that Ms Madison is no longer eating rocks and bark and hacking them back up in the early morning hours. ;D I went to the vet's office and talked with someone and she then talked to one of the vets and they recommended Hills Science Lamb & Rice for puppies. I thought, Ok, guess we can see. We've had her on that a month but am now looking (and have bought a small bag) of the Nutro Natural Choice for puppies. I know since she's been on the Hills, her coat is beautiful and shiney and she just looks good. I've really been trying to keep up with all the recalls, especially with feeding lamb & rice. ???
 

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What food where you on before? She stopped eating rocks because you changed her diet?

I said in another post that i have concerns about Maui's huge appetite. He's a slender dog (I can still see a faint rib outline) 75 pounds and very tall and lanky. He eats though 6-8 cups of food a day, right now he is on Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed.

Maybe I should start switching him to something else soon... he's been on the pro plan puppy for his entire life so far though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Parafly9 said:
What food where you on before? She stopped eating rocks because you changed her diet?
When we first got Madison, the family was feeding Purina Puppy Chow, we had bought Iams Lrg breed puppy food and was feeding that from when we got her at almost 8 weeks old until just after 5 months old. She seemed to be doing ok, but after we switched is when we noticed a difference in her. She just looked healthier. She's not very big, even at 6.5 months. I'll have her weighed next Tues., she might weigh 40 lbs by now. At 5 months she was 29 lbs. On the Iams, her coat wasn't very shiney and I just thought that maybe it was just harder to tell on a yellow lab. Our other lab mix was solid black and boy did his coat shine. I don't know 100% if changing Madison's food is what got her to quit eating rocks and bark, I just know that at the same time we changed her diet is when she quit and hasn't gotten sick since.
 

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I had a similar problem with Cody when he was a puppy. He would eat dirt, rocks, bark sticks anything around the yard. We increased how much we fed him and then switched to a higher quality food (Natural Balance) and it definitely made a difference. He is almost 3 now and hasn't eaten a rock in about 2 years. I really think that the higher quality food is the key, when they feel hungry they eat anything they can find and well that is often inedible things. The higher quality food also does wonders for dodo clean up, the less mess the better.
 

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As far as eating rocks and bark you need to monitor her better. If the bark is mulch it could kill her. She might be getting sick early in the morning because her stomach is empty. I feed Oona 4 times a day and her last feeding is at 11pm.
Olie
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Madison is eating rocks, bark, etc..UPDATED

Oonas Dad said:
As far as eating rocks and bark you need to monitor her better.
I totally agree with you on that one. Sometimes it's just hard to keep an eye on them at all times, just like when my kids were little. Turn your back for a second....

She's not eating the bark but still has a thing for rocks. It's small ones but still, they're rocks. I had to take Madison back to the vet today due to vomiting. Wasn't sure if it was from her wasp sting and the benadryl or what. Well, our vet ended up doing an x-ray and did see a very tiny rock that looks like it's just about ready to pass through. BUT, if she doesn't quit with the vomiting a few hours after eating then we'll take her back and they'll try an endoscope and try and pull the rock out that way, or do surgery. Almost half of our back yard is crushed rock for the driveway. Our vet said to give it a couple of days and see what happens. We also adopted a "little sister" for Madison today while at the vets office. Hopefully they'll help keep eachother occupied.
 

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Oonas Dad said:
Or she will teach her that eating rocks is so much fun!
Olie
:eek: Let's hope NOT. I recently had to quite my job (allergy related issues) so now I'm making Madison and Sarah's training my job. It was hard to get on a schedule before due to me never working the same days, being sick, etc. I'm finally feeling better and have some energy, so, starting today, we're all going to work on a few things. I'm also really hoping things are looking up for Madison. After her x-rays yesterday, the vet said she had almost full bowels, behind the rock, and today she has pooped twice. I never thought I'd be so happy to see a dog poop! Feeding small amounts of food at a time and no vomiting in the last 20 hrs..... Fingers crossed........
 
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