Click here to visit the most complete Maltese site on the WWW
My 18 month old Maltese, Kayla, has the nasty habit of eating her stool, if not taken away immediately after going. Any suggestions to break her of this?
- This is known as coprophagy and although it is very distasteful in appearance, it is not harmful to the dog except for the control of intestinal parasites. The exact cause isn't known, but experts agree that it's a mental or dietary deficiency, or both. Another possible cause is a mineral or vitamin deficiency causing your dog to have a craving for something she's not getting in her normal diet.
In young puppies one of the most common causes of stool eating is incomplete digestion of meat. Meat is passed in the feces in the same condition as before ingestion. This is likely due to intestinal worms, too much meat at one meal, or too large chunks. Sometimes cooking the meat for the puppy will cure this habit. A new theory says an enzyme deficiency could be the cause, which could be corrected by enzymes in the daily diet.
Once a physical abnormality is ruled out, you could discourage the habit by making the stool distasteful to your dog by the addition of various substances on the market made specifically for that purpose, such as "Forbid", which is available at most pet stores.--Jay
Copyright 1996, 1997© Maltese Only All rights reserved