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Unconventional use of basket muzzle?

January 7th, 2009, 05:36 AM
Hey all.

My very timid 6-year-old golden retriever loves to eat ... stuff. We live on a farm, so the pickins' are good ;)

She was on meds for coprophagia (eating feces) because she used to poo and than whip around and eat it ... yuuck! The meds helped, but that meant she just sourced out OTHER poo to eat (the other dog, horses, etc)

Her excessive snacking is making her have to go to the bathroom often and we think that is what is causing her extreme scooting (anal glands have been done by vet AND groomer).

Tying her up does not work. She doesn't understand the idea that she can move around while tyed up ... and anyways, she'll just eat whatever is in reach.

She loves to run and play around the farm, so I hate to restrict her. But the excessive snacking has GOT to stop! We were throwing around the idea of using a basket muzzle while she is outside (Often she is outside loose, while we are in the barn or the coop)

Does that sound feasable? That way she can jump and roll and play with the jack russel and won't be able to eat snackies ... ?

Any other ideas too? She is fed a reasonable amount of food, is in good weight, is very very healthy (says vet), friendly and otherwise a great dog. The vet says that the coprophagia is just her thing ... though she is a beaver too (we keep her crated in the house when we are not around, because the corner of the stairs was being nibbled intently!)

Sigh. Why can't dogs be simple?! ;)


January 7th, 2009, 06:39 AM
Often times eating poop is a sign that a dog is lacking in nutrients in their diet, so they look to obtain them from their poop or the poop of other animals. What dog food are you feeding? It might be a good idea to make sure she is on a high quality food and maybe even supplement with a doggy daily vitamin.

What has your vet said about this? Did he suggest anything other than the stuff you mentioned?

Hope everything works out! I have dogs that like kitty poop.... :yuck: Doesnt make for nice breath fresheners...

January 7th, 2009, 06:55 AM
She is on a very high quality food (we are actually switching to an even higher quality food this week). She shows no other signs of lacking health ... according to my vet she is physically the "picture of health." She is in great weight, not wormy not anything that makes me think she is lacking in vitamins/minerals (since the deficiencies would show up elsewhere in her body too ... not just make her eat poo ... right??) Her teeth are healthy, eyes and hearing are sharp ... she's strong, she's energetic ... !!

Mentally and emotionally she is still learning the ropes of living in a house and not a kennel (she was a breeding dog in her earlier years and became self destructive in the kennel, so the breeders spayed her and decided she would make a lovely house pet, which she has!!)

Hm. What vitamin/mineral specifically would she be missing and/or deficient on, to make her eat poo? That way I can target that ? Or would an all-round vitamin/mineral supplement be the best route?

I sometimes wonder whether this is just a learned behavior from being bored in a kennel and now its just second nature to her ... hm. Don't know.

The vet said we could try some other meds, but ultimately she'll eat whatever poo she comes across. This coming spring I am planning an outdoor dog run. That way I can put both dogs on the meds (which makes the poo taste yucky) and she'll hopefully stop eating it ... that just means I have to keep her away from the horsey manure pile ... that's her buffet ;) yuuck! Did I mention she likes to give kisses too?! YUCK!


January 7th, 2009, 07:12 AM
Do you know the brand of dog food off hand? Brands that vets recommend are usually NOT good dog food brands.

I would suggest just a regular multi-vitamin, that way you're covering all your bases, and a good vitamin wont hurt!

It may be a learned behavior from being in a kennel... But I would think once she was let out she would have been more focused on running and playing than eating poop.

January 7th, 2009, 07:34 AM
She is on Natural Balance, on the Lamb Meal and Brown Rice. It is from the LID line (Limited Ingredient Diet) since the other dog eats it too and he has gastro problems and needs a fairly bland, simple diet.

It seems to cover all the bases, so I would be surprised if it was a deficiencey? I'm leaning towards not feeding a supplement, because many of the supplements are water soluable and if not needed in the body, are just excreted ... which makes very expensive doggy output ;)

Hence why I want to find out what the specific minerals/vitamins are that are lacking in her body. Such as, when horses eat dirt its because they are lacking a certain vitamin that can then be supplemented. So I don't want to just blindly throw supplements at her, when she's already on a well balanced kibble diet ...

January 7th, 2009, 10:23 PM
I would try some digestive enzymes such as Prozyme. This will help break the food down and the dog will be able to absorb the nutrients better. If it is a deficiency of some sort, this should, and often does help with the poop eating.

January 8th, 2009, 03:04 AM
I think the basket muzzle is worth a try if it really bothers you that much (and doesn't bother the dog a lot). I personally don't worry much about the horse poop eating but the dog poop stuff does gross me out a bit. Maybe the muzzle might give you some time to break the habit :shrug:. I don't think using it long term is a great option though especially as you live on a farm and there might be a situation where she needs to defend herself. Also some dogs (mine especially) will not tolerate anything on their faces and I think the stress would outweigh any benefits especially as this is just an ick thing and not a health or safety problem.

Good luck :goodvibes:.

January 8th, 2009, 08:06 AM
I tried that with Bobby - but for a very short while. He, too, eats anything and everything whether digestible or not! I did use a muzzle on him but soon realized that, if another dog went after him, he would have no way to defend himself - so it was back to watching him all the time..

He did manage to ingest something that wasn't digestible and he had to go to the hospital to get pumped full of fluids to move it. Thank dawg he didn't need surgery - so it is definitely a worry!

Good luck!