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Doggy Agony Aunt

Sometimes doggies get very unusual and odd problems. Aunty Queenie has had lots of experience of furry friends problems. Hopefully she can guide you to the right answer to help you and your doggie with any problems.


Q : Why do my dogs eat grass?

A :

Sometimes dogs have upset stomaches; this is a natural way for them to make themselves sick to solve their tummy ache. They eat the grass to vomit which is often covered in frothy saliva. However if the grass eating is accompanied by prolonged or persistent vomitting or if the vomit contains blood a vet should be seen for advice quickly.

Q : Recently my dog has been eating its own faeces. It's not nice, why is he behaving in this way? His name is Reggie and he is a Jack Russel. ( Danielle, from Cheam )

A :

Oh poor Reggie. This is not nice at all. Coprophagia is the medical term given to this complaint. Not only can they eat their own faeces, but other animals too. This is an extremely upsetting and embaressing habit. This must be dealt with immediately as if continued can cause serious digestive problems. My first suggestion would be to ensure you clean and remove any faeces in your garden or litter area. At least if theres nothing to tempt them they cant eat it. Also be vigilant when out on walkies and make sure they arent eating other dogs faeces. By changing your dogs attitude and behaviour towards the faeces they should get out of the habit of copraphagia and prevent gastric problems in the future. If the problem persists always consult your vet. Immediately.

Q : I've noticed Bob, my Jack Russel has recently lost his appetite. What could be the cause?

A :

Sorry to hear Bob's off his food, you must watch this closely as this could be the first sign of major illness. But even a healthy dog that is well fed might occasionally go off their food. Examples of this are;

puppies may refuse food when they are first introduced to it.
a dog may refuse their food after a lot of exercise.
Bob might have things on his mind... like the bitch next door on heat!
if Bob is a guard dog he may not eat when strangers are present.
if he's been in boarding kennels he may starve himself for a few days after.
if Bob was a bitch and pregnant, he might go off his food for part of the day.

But remember, if Bob keeps refusing his food, or if its accompanied by other signs of illness, for more than 24 hoursif a puppy, for more than 48 hours if older, you must consult a vet.

Q : I'm concerned about my eldest dog fluffy. She is 15 years old and been acting very strange lately. I fear she might be going senile, she has become extremely clingy to me and i'm worried by her behaviour, is there anything i should be doing to stop her?

A :

As a dog myself, it must be awful to experience senile behaviour. My sister Mini recently had to be treated for similar behavioural problem, as she would stare into space for hours. You will notice a change in character with a senile dog. They may become extremely possessive and, as you said, "clingy" towards their owner. Commonly senile dogs will experience restlessness and may become disorientated. If you feel worried about their behaviour or the symptons worsen, always ensure you contact your vet. Sometimes medicine can be used to treat and improve recovery. Most importantly lots of love, attention and tolerance will go a long way.

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