While some canines are rather fussy diners, others are decidedly not. If your curious pooch has a habit of putting the strangest things into his mouth, such as wood splinters, the compulsive condition "pica" may just be the root cause. Wood splinter consumption can be extremely hazardous in doggies, so don't let the habit slide.
Pica and Dogs
If your dog has the bizarre inclination to eat wood splinters, investigate the possibility of pica. Pica is a compulsive disorder that involves the inexplicable urge to eat things that not only aren't tasty but aren't even edible. Pica in dogs can arise for a lot of reasons, including but not limited to the craving for attention, classic curious puppy actions, insufficient dietary nutrients, boredom and stress. If your pooch seems more interested in wood splinters than in his kibble, a prompt veterinary appointment is definitely in order.
Pica isn't the only potential cause for wood-splinter ingestion in dogs. Some dogs are simply chew-happy creatures, whether they're sinking their teeth into your work shoes, your sofa or the wood logs in your backyard. If your dog chews on wood logs, for example, he runs the serious risk of accidentally swallowing wood splinters -- yikes. Because of this frightening possibility, it's crucial to always monitor where your dog puts his mouth, whether it's mealtime or not.
One of the severe dangers of eating wood splinters involves intestinal blockage. If your unsuspecting pooch accidentally takes in an especially sizable splinter, it could trigger a digestive blockage, which is a potentially fatal issue that typically calls for surgical or endoscopic extraction. Some key symptoms of intestinal blockage include nonstop throwing up and severe stomachache. Urgent veterinary attention is crucial for any dogs with blockages, so don't ignore any symptoms. Act quickly.
Apart from gastrointestinal obstruction, the chances of sharp and pointy splinters getting caught in your doggie's mouth are significant. Not only can tiny slivers take up residence within the tissues of your pet's mouth, they can also do so in his esophagus, possibly leading to bleeding and further detriment, such as infection. If your poor fluff ball gets into this predicament, get immediate veterinary assistance. If he keeps placing his paw close to his mouth area, that may just be a sign he's in pain and discomfort. Unusual drooling and hacking both may indicate problems.
- Animal Humane Society: Unusual Eating Habits
- What's Wrong With My Dog?; Jake Tedaldi
- The Humane Society of the United States: Pica - Why Pets Sometimes Eat Strange Objects
- The Merck Manual for Pet Health: Disorders of the Esophagus in Dogs
- The Humane Society of the United States: Chewing - The Whys and Hows of Stopping a Gnawing Problem
- Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images