Cubby is our 13ish old boy who is deaf and blind. He's been blind now for about 2 1/2 years or so and had rapid onset type sight loss. He had a personality shift initially but is sort of back to 'normal'.
now we are dealing with some of the other issues of age that are not related but I'm not sure if they are made worse by his inability to see and hear.
Among other things, my primary concern is his chewing behavior. We can't leave him in the backyard any more alone. We have to put him in his pen in order to keep him safe. When he could see, and even up to the last several months, he never ate things that were not SORT OF related to food. Now he is chewing on everything he can find.
I don't know if it's because his teeth hurt or because he is chewing that he's losing teeth. He lost a canine tooth in the winter of 2009 and I freaked out - but the vet said it was fine b/c he was chewing on normal chew toys. She has since examined his mouth several times. He's lost another canine since then. I am not sure exactly when it happened - I think it was in October.
We caught him in the back yard with a scrap of pressure treated lumber in his mouth, which we took away. I noticed the tooth was gone about 2 weeks after that - so I'm not sure if he was chewing b/c it hurt, or if he chewed and made the tooth break off.
Last week, he was outside with me, and I kept taking things away- sticks, etc. Then I caught him eating a rock which he swallowed before I could pull it out of his mouth. I put him inside. I didn't really think about it. Last Thursday he got sick in the middle of the night, and vomited. I found several pieces of twigs and a sweetgum ball! I figured he got out whatever was bothering him. We had a large indoor pooping incident on Friday morning, then diarrhea on Saturday. We fed him rice for dinner - then Saturday night he threw up - THE ROCK. I thought it was smaller, but I only hope it is the same rock. It measured 1 1/2 x 1 x 1/2!! He has since had a sort of normal poop, so we hope it's all gone now.
I feel terrible that I assumed he had thrown up the worst of what he had eaten. Every time I put him outside, I have to watch him like a hawk - I am going to have to assume that he will now eat twigs and rocks in addition to birdseed which was usually the worst thing he got into.
This morning, he wandered over into a corner, and started gnawing on the wood frame around the window. He's got so few teeth left I don't know what to do.
I'm hearing myself and reading this too long post and I know we need to take him in to be seen. They just looked at his teeth in September. I don't know what to give him to chew on. Besides that I always feel like we are crazy and take him in too much, our other pug just had to be treated for a blocked urethra - he spent a weekend in the small animal hospital and got sent home with a catheter (out now, WHEW!) and we're still waiting to hear about what kind of crystals were causing the blockage. It was traumatic and awful for him (besides crazy $$$$) and I guess sometimes with these old guys, it feels like it's one thing after another.
I am worried my husband will tell me I'm overreacting, and I worry that the vet will think we are overreacting or that we have Munchausen by proxy with our dogs. I feel like I'm always telling him to take one or the other of the dogs in, and I'm usually right. Sometimes, there is nothing wrong but I would rather it be nothing than lose one of the boys.
I guess I just need to vent!!!
So has anyone else got a rock eater? I have friends whose dog ate rocks, but he was a known rock eater his entire life, and a big dog who ground out all his teeth doing it. Cubby's never been a chewer. I know something is bothering him, and I'm worried he is not going to have any teeth left to chew with. Besides the tongue hanging out now. Ok, that is funny and it makes him look demented...cute...but demented....
any advice is appreciated!
and thanks for listening, i feel better just getting it off my chest! whew!
I wonder if perhaps he has some sort of nutritional deficit? Our senior Dane is having issues with nutrition, and the vet had us put him on some probiotics to help him absorb more nutrients. We just started, so I am not sure if it is helping yet.
could you put on the e-collar when he goes outside? Would that prevent him from picking anything up he shouldn't? It doesnt solve the "why" of the problem but it could help prevent any eating of objects.
ooh that's a great idea with the ecollar. We just got another soft collar from the vet school for Oscar after his illness, and I wonder if he'd do better with that squishy cone rather than the halo. Will definitely give it a try.
We were also wondering about a dietary issue/deficiency too - so I bit the bullet and told my husband I want him to call the vet. I know, I'm really skirting the issue of them thinking that I am crazy, by having HIM call. He is retired, so in theory, more time. I asked if he can find out about better chewing options for him (obviously wood in the house and rocks are not good) and if we need to look at dietary change. We just have put Oscar on wet diet to increase his water intake, and Cubby tends to be a bit, ahem, constipated, as well so we were wondering if that would help him. I thought kibbles were best choice for keeping his teeth cleaner, but truth is, he has trouble scooping them into his mouth b/c the missing canine teeth are on the same side, top and bottom. So it is slow going for him to eat kibbles.
Anyway....feeling better because he can at least blame the crazy wife for making him call, and I will be saved the embarrassment but we'll get some feedback. win-win, right??
A pugs world is full of play and sleep and of course good food.........
yes, I was wondering about boredom too...sort of like he's got nothing else to do, might as well vacuum the yard and see what is food and what is not
i've never heard of the galileo....have to look it up.
I am sure it's been beaten to death what kinds of bones are good and are not, so I want the vet to tell us. I forgot to mention...Cubby does not play or chew on anything that is not food. At least not in the past. Now that he's eating rocks, I guess he has lowered his standards. Sigh.
Hubby did not call yesterday, and when I asked this morning, I was getting the 'bc you're crazy vibe', so I said, Please just do it, and tell them it's me, and I'm crazy, but please please do it. Before I resort to embarrassing myself and doing it I'll wait one more day.
I used to give them greenies, but heard all kinds of bad things, and then sometimes they just swallow the end chunk when it gets small before you have a chance to grab it.
He LOVES his kong...when there is something in it. I bought him the 'senior' one a few months ago, as I worried the regular one was too hard on the teeth that are left.
I wonder if he might like a Gumabone....made by Nylabone but they aren't as hard, & have some "give" to them....I had to get over feeling like I was crazy, taking my dogs, especially Pug Rugby, in to the vet all the time. I finally just decided "well, she's just high maintenance..." With all the anal sac issues, monitoring for urinary crystals, ear infections, etc., I feel like I'm at my vet's all the time....I know her phone # by heart, after all these years...
Rugby DOB: 7/10/02
Molly DOB: 7/6/04
I think it could possibly be from boredom. He's not getting any sensory input from eyes and ears so chomping stuff is going to be a big part of what he has left. I'd keep him on leash in the back yard to keep him out of trouble and give him plenty of chewy stuff indoors. Big bully sticks are good, as are antlers. I agree the vet should probably take a look in his mouth just to be sure there is not a problem that is causing him to chew.
Bella, mummy to Snifter and Toddy!
My in laws had a staffy named Zach, Zach was a big rock eater for years, the in laws traveled alot and just could t watch him all the time so he did have surgery to remove one once.
He would chew bricks, wire and rocks. Whenever he had to stay the night at the vets he would chew the wire in the cage and get out. Zach was 12 when he was put to sleep due to very bad cancer a month ago... Before that he had only a couple teeth left but managed to eat dry food just fine. Dogs are very silly at times eh
Proud mommy of Rocky my Staffy & Lilly my Pug
i think it is because he is now sensory deprived, but could also be a little denentia. I doubt it's a deficiency...consider giving him raw, meaty bones to chew on. Don't be concerned if he looses teeth, they were rotten so losing them is healthy for him. Marrow bones, beef rib bones and knuckle bones are generally safe for pugs. My old Bailey is 16-17 and still LOVES chewing bones.
Giving him more attention will also help fill the void losing his sight left in his life. Get down on the floor with him and cuddle.....a lot. If you are home and have the time, split his feedings up into 3-5 small meals a day so he is interested and looking forward to a meal. Brush him a lot, he will enjoy the sensation. Take him out in a stroller or wagon and let him enjoy the new smells.
You also might look into giving him food grade diatomaceous earth, someone recommended that to me when one of my seniors began eating dirt and he stopped immediately. It can't hurt anything, is completely inert....so it's worth a shot.
Good luck!! I love the seniors so much.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
- Mohandas Gandhi