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Elderly dog eating poo - why?

(5 Posts)
UnGoogleable Sat 19-Dec-15 13:05:04

My beloved GSD has become incontinent through Degenerative myelopathy.

He often poos whilst lying down, without realizing it. Then he gets up and looks at it with surprise as if he has no idea where it came from.

Today, I saw him get up, look at it, then try to eat it. I stopped him immediately and he looked all sad - it's the first time I've shouted at him in years because he's so good. I suspect he may have been doing this in the night, as we often come down to find poo but sometimes just find crumbs.. I've been wondering where the crumbs came from.

Please don't anyone tell me to put him down. I'm monitoring his condition very carefully, I'm fully aware of what's ahead of me and both the vets and I agree that he's fine at the moment and doing well. We cope really well with the incontinence, he's still enjoying life.

My question is why would he start doing this now? And is there anything I can do to prevent it?

I have recently started feeding him Bran flakes in his food, on the advice of the vet to add more fibre to his diet to make his poo more regular. Could the Bran flakes be what's tempting him...?

Cheerfulmarybrown Sat 19-Dec-15 14:42:23

He probably has always done it but it has been harder to spot when out and about. Or it could be that he is just cleaning up his sleeping area.

No PTS from me. I had the similar problem with one of my old labs who had degenerative spinal problem. We changed the timing of her evening meal so that she tended to poo before she went to bed. Then she usually managed to go all through the night. Sometimes she didn't but it was no major concern to us or her.

Some people say put pineapple in the dogs food and they won't eat it but that has not worked for us. The only thing that worked was raw feeding the dogs as the poo is less and also less inviting for the dogs to recycle smile

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 19-Dec-15 16:16:09

I own two gleefully coprophagic (scientific term for shit-eating) dogs. I've tried everything to stop them (and all the others) I've had, but if they're going to do it, there's no stopping them. Putting pumpkin or garlic in their food is supposed to make it less palatable. This isn't appropriate in your case, probably, but sprinkling chilli power on poo to deter them from going back for more has also been suggested. My dogs have only ever thought the above suggestions gave them greater flavour variety hmm

In some cases, coprophagia can mean there's a dietary deficiency somewhere. Are you using a good quality complete dog food like ProPlan or Science Diet?

knobblyknee Sat 19-Dec-15 18:46:21

Sometimes dogs eat their mess because they know its not supposed to be there. He might just be cleaning it up.
Check the time you feed him and walk him to try to get him to poop and empty during th day.

UnGoogleable Sun 20-Dec-15 10:32:07

He's on good quality food and hasn't changed for a long time, so I don't think it's that.

I think it's more likely him trying to clean it up, bless him.

I think timing might be the best option, although not sure how to change that. He had twisted gut a few years back, so he's on a strict feeding regime.

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