Sunday, January 18, 2009

THE DOGGY DIALOGUES! Q's & A's: Insatiable Appetite

As author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood and Mom of a dog who survived canine cancer and lived to be 19, people ask me lots of questions about holistic care, senior care, and grief. I am not a vet. Loving pet parent, avid researcher, and inner "roads" scholar are my credentials. That said, please email your questions and let The Doggy Dialogues begin!

Question: from Paula and Zoe
"My baby is a 14 yr old, 3-legged, dog eared, parvo survivor. Her osteoarthritis has been managed very successfully with human grade glucosamine condroitin, along with Rhimadryl for the last 5 years.

I watch her weight very carefully: she gets 1 cup of Canidae platinum with her pills morning and night. I don’t give her treats very often. What I do give her are the end cuttings of any and all vegetables that I prepare for my own meals. This dog will eat any thing! Carrot, celery, tomato, brussel sprout and even onion. Asparagus is one of her all time favorites – she comes a running when she hears me snapping the ends. On the average she is “treated” to raw veggie scraps 2 or 3 times a week.

But, the thing is, this dog is HUNGRY allllll the time. I mean, obsessively. Strangers have accused me of not feeding her. I laugh. She must be kept on a leash at all times, or will quietly and quickly disappear to snack on disgusting morsels other animals wouldn’t touch. Worst of all, she has taken to eating dirt and grass roots by the clumps. Mineral deficiency? Vets say her blood work is fine.

She has also taken to extreme carpet licking, primarily at it’s worst immediately after eating her meal. I don’t really think it’s a pain thing, but an obsession of sorts that I can’t figure out.

What do you know of these behaviors in elderly dogs? Do you have any suggestions regarding the raw veggies – more, less, things to watch out for, etc.,

Thanks for the request for questions, it’s been nice to follow you on twitter."

Dear Paula-
First of all, thank you for your question. I have read in numerous places that onions are toxic to dogs so you'll want to stop giving her those right away. Also, here is some info. on Rimadryl in dogs that, if you haven't already, you may want to consider.

Personally, I believe that Zoe is trying to tell you something and I would consider her communication as important as the vet's.
Obviously, her system is not functioning in a balanced way and the cause of that imbalance needs to be addressed before more serious symptoms appear.If it were me, I’d get a second opinion from another vet, preferably, a holistic one. I would go over her entire environment (inner and outer) with a fine toothed comb and see what toxins you may be unconsciously exposing her to that her immune system is being compromised by. After removing those, I would probably add sea meal to her food since there might be a salt/mineral deficiency. In addition, I would consider the possibility of homeopathic cell salts or perhaps a Bach Flower remedy to help cleanse her body of those toxins and then help her body find physical and emotional balance.

Her rubbing her mouth on the carpet after eating is usually a sign of an allergic reaction of some kind. Dogs can be allergic to even the cleanest food ingredients if their systems are already compromised. I would be most careful about the carpet cleaners I was using. Please see my post about possible toxins in her environment.

Her veracious appetite is a symptom of some imbalance, and in my opinion, finding the initial cause is the only satisfactory solution.

Wishing you both the best. Please let us know what happens.

Wishing you vibrant health
and precious moments-
Nadine (and Buttons)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the useful info! My little pup would steal onions from the basket and would chew them and play with them. I will move it further away from her!

When I was living with my parents we had our beloved poodle Dixie. Close to being 12-13 yo she was eating everything as well and all the time. It turn out to be she had diabaties and when we started treating her, she stopped being so hungry.