Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Poop Eating, Stool Eating, Excessive Urination in a 10 year old Bassett Hound

Q: My 10 or 11 year old bassett hound has for the past 2-3 years drank water excessively and then urinates large amounts. In the past 2 years he has wanted to eat dirt, and of course any rocks or sticks that are in the dirt. Then when he was boarded for 10 days in June, he started eating his poop. Now, I cannot get him to stop eating the poop, I have put hot sauce on it, to no avail and just have to follow him outside and scoop it immediately. I have tried several pills on the market to put in his food to deter poop eating but no change has occurred. He has been tested several times in last few years for diabetes, thyroid problems,etc. He has not tested positive for any of these. What do you suggest for his diet that may give him the minerals or nutrients he so evidently appears to need. He currently eats 3 cups of dry food daily(Nutro-small bits) mixed with plain yogurt and chicken broth but has an obsession with eating also--never appears satisfied. Any suggestions for helping with the poop eating, excessive drinking, excessive urinating, and dirt eating would be greatly appreciated!!!

A: Glad you contacted us as there are definitely some dietary issues going on. Let's take the issues apart separately. The first issue: excessive drinking and urination in a 10 year old bassett hound. Well, my inclination would be that your dog might have some type of hidden kidney issue. Sometimes kidney issues do not become apparent until about 75% of kidney function is gone. It is very hard to detect kidney problems until it is a full blown disease. Early warning signs can be excessive urination and drinking. Even if all the blood and urine tests are normal, this is still not normal behavior as you know, so at the very least, I would use a kidney detoxification formula such as Renelix to help support your dog's kidneys. As we age and as our pet's age, our kidney's ability to flush out toxins decline and thus there is a natural inclination by the pet to drink more (and thus urinate more) to help clean out the waste products. Just because your pet's test results do not indicate a kidney problem, doesn't mean that it isn't quietly creeping up. Use the Renelix as a protective measure and regardless, it will help in many ways--please see all of the benefits on www.askariel.com

Secondly, when dogs eat stool, it can be a sign of a lot of different types of issues. One can be parasites so it is important to get a stool test done by your veterinarian. Another can be that your bassett hound is greatly lacking in protein and nutrition. Again, back to the kidney issue. Sometimes pets are losing protein through the urine--repeat a urine test to be sure that your dog isn't losing protein in the urine. Even if you had laboratory tests done over the last few years, a lot can change in a few months with an older dog. If you haven't had a test in the past 3 -4 months, repeat it just to be sure.  Definitely add the Kidney Health Protein Support for Pets   This formula breaks down protein and is essential for any pet that is losing protein in the urine.  It helps the body break down and utilize protein more efficiently and we have had excellent results using it for conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes and PLE (protein losing enteropathy).

The food you are using has some issues too. Dry kibble is made for your convenience and even in the best of brands, it is just not the same as eating fresh food. Dry food lacks enzymes and is similar to a person eating cereal day in and day out--it lacks nourishment although the calories are there. Dry food can also cause excessive thirst--think about how you feel after eating a lot of crackers. Pets, especially senior cats and dogs, need a high moisture diet. I would completely eliminate any type of dry kibble. Much better to updgrade to a more holistic pet food such as Natures Variety or Ziwi Peak as the brand you are using might contain excess amounts of grain such as corn, rice or wheat gluten. This is used to artificially inflate the protein in the food and can also contribute to why your dog isn't feeling satisfied. Having said that though, I wouldn't run out and purchase a grain-free diet without using Renelix and repeating the laboratory tests as well.

A telephone or inperson consultation would greatly help after you repeat the bloodwork and urine analysis as indicated above. I would be reluctant to recommend a food to you without confirmation that there isn't something else going on. Definitely upgrade the food though in the meantime and add some fresh vegetables and fresh lean protein to your dog's diet. Use a digestive enzyme such as Digestzymes to help enhance protein digestion too. All of the issues you mentioned could be greatly improved upon, but getting a new set of laboratory tests first would be the best place to start.
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