House Insulation in Dog's Feces

Obstruction may explain dog's long-term eating problem.

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Q. Our 2-year-old dog has not been eating very well for the last month. We have been to the vet and emergency clinic several times, but no one can figure it out. He has lost 7 pounds, and we cannot get him to eat much of anything. We recently found some old feces in the backyard that appeared to have some house insulation in it. Could this be the problem? His blood work has been normal, and he has no fever.

A. This sounds like an interesting case, but I wish your dog was eating more. Seven pounds is a significant weight loss. I would recommend some non-invasive diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the weight loss and decreased appetite. You are absolutely correct: If your dog ate some fiberglass insulation, it may have created a partial obstruction or some ulceration in the wall of the stomach or intestines.
 
Your veterinarian can perform these tests one at a time until he or she finds something. First, consider a contrast study, in which your dog swallows some barium, followed by a series of X-rays to look at the passage through the intestines.
 
Secondly, you may want to consider endoscopy, in which a scope with a camera is passed into your dog’s stomach and small intestines to look for any abnormalities and to take biopsy samples.
 
Finally, laparoscopy is a noninvasive way to look at the inside of the abdomen with magnification, to make sure all is normal.
 
These tests are not inexpensive, but they are all noninvasive, so they have minimal side effects and cause minimal discomfort.

Jon Geller, DVM

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Diane   Michigan City, IN

3/10/2010 12:11:32 PM

We have a six month Lab. puppy. He has lost his baby teeth and has a full set of adult teeth. He has eaten paper towels, leaves, bark, and when I emptied the vacuum, he grabbed a wad of his own hair, and swallowed it
quickly.
I have heard of dogs that have similar problems and this pup may be one of
them.
I excused his ravenous appetite to being one of 11 pups and his need to gobble quickly to get his share. It has carried over to almost adulthood. We feed him 4 times a day and he still eats fast, but certainly not like when he was 8 weeks. At 8 weeks, he didn't chew, he inhaled wet puppy chow in two minutes. He also drank until he burped or
choaked.
So, I want to know if there is a name for this insatiable need to swallow most anything. If
so,
what can we do for him. He has tried swallowing a sock, but I retrieved it in time. What would you suggest? Diane

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LC   ERIE, PW

1/23/2009 12:43:31 PM

MY CHI-CHI TORE UP SOME INSULATION THAT THE CAT DRAG OUT, THE ONLY THING SO FAR IS THAT SHE CONSTANTLY WANTS OUTSIDE TO EAT SNOW AND HER TONGUE IS AWFUL RED. NO WEIGHT LOSS YET, SHE IS EATING AS NORMAL BUT SHE GOT JUST HAD A STOMACH VIRUS ALONG WITH HER 3 MONTH OLD PUPPIES. THE THINGS THEY GET INTO WITH THE HELP OF MY CATS IS RIDICULOUS, IT'S LIKE YOU HAVE TO LOCK UP EVERYTHING.

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