In desperate need of Help! Dog throws up, the eats dirt.

scottieloverFebruary 21, 2007

I have a seven year old Scottish Terrier (male). I noticed several days ago that he looked like he was about to get sick so I let him outside, into the backyard. I watched as he ran over out into the grass and began to dig a hole, he then started to eat the dirt that he had dug up!!!

That following night, and the night after, he left a pile of poop that consisted mostly of dirt, in my sunroom. He got sick a couple of times but it was mostly liquid.

He then appeared to be fine, until today when he got sick again. He ran outside and consumed more dirt.

Why is my dog doing this? I don't know what is wrong with him! Why would he be eating dirt?? I really don't want to take him to the vet because of the cost but it seems to be unavoidable. Please help!!! :(

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Perhaps you could call and speak with your vet. I have a vet who will speak with me over the phone since I am a long time client, and he knows I will bring the pet in if the problem persists.

I also have enough experience with my animals to know when they need a visit rather than a call.

I think it is odd that your dog is eating dirt. Grass I think is common, not dirt. Is this a totally new behavior? If your pet continues to vomit, he definitely needs to be seen by your vet. Most vets will work out a payment plan if you are short on cash.

Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 3:30PM
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Dirt Eating could be a sign that your dog does have a health problem. I would talk to your vet.

Eating dirt (pica) can cause intestinal problems or parasites so I would put an end to the behavior and make sure its not medical.

If its not medical, it could be boredom or attention seeking.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 3:46PM
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I think I read someplace that dogs will eat dirt to settle their stomachs. So, since he's throwing up, it sounds like he's having gastro-intestinal issues and is trying to fix it that way. It would be worthwhile to get him in to the vet to find out what's irritating his stomach. Good luck to you...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 3:52PM
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Thanks, I think I am going to have to bring him to the vet. This is most definitely not normal!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 7:10PM
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Sort of like Keopectate. (sp?)
Comes from clay.
Time for a vet appt.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 7:35PM
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Quirky, wow! Kaopectate = Kaolin? I didn't know that! I bet the clay absorbs stomach acids and whatnot. What a cool thing to know.

Let us know how your pup makes out at the vet, scottielover. I'll send some good vibes your way.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 8:15PM
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My little mutt eats chunks of black dirt in summer when I am gardening. She also likes to eat charcoal bits from our fire pit (cold pieces, of course...)
She does not vomit or show any other symptoms of any illness, so I asked the vet about it during her last check up. He said "She just likes the taste". He told me as long as she is healthy eating dirt and charcoal is nothing to worry about.

However, scottielover, it sure sounds like your baby has a digestive issue if he is vomiting. I am glad you are taking him in to the vet to be checked out.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 10:54AM
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Ok I looked it up on wikipedia and it says kaolinite was the original ingredient in kaopectate but now is (and I think has been for quite some number of years) attapulgite clay, apparently found in the SE US.
My dogs do enjoy eating dirt any chance they get. Just thought I'd put that on the table.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 12:48PM
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When used in medicine, [attapulgite] physically binds to acids and toxic substances in the stomach and digestive tract. For that reason, it has often been used in antidiarrheal medications.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Take your dog to the vet

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 3:12PM
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Plain old charcoal is not bad for a dog to eat.
If it's the quick lighting type or with lighter fluid'
that is a bad thing.
I would never let my dogs eat that or dirt.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 8:12PM
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How is your pup doing, scottielover?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 5:34PM
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I agree with the other posters your dog might be a bit ill, especially since he looked like he was going to be sick before he went outside.

However, for some dogs a little dirt is not unusual. Huskies are noted for digging. Our dig, chew on roots and grubs, and sometimes scrape the frozen dirt with their teeth.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 8:30PM
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Yeah, my huskies eat dirt from my potted indoor plants. When I put moss on top of the dirt they ate that too. When I put pea gravel on top of the moss, one of them ate the rocks. I guess the other just gave up.

My biggest concern would be what is in/on the soil. Herbicides and pesticides, even when not ingested, can cause cancer in dogs. I'm sure eating treated dirt is much worse.

I hope your dog is feeling better by now.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 10:58PM
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Christine, my dog doesn't eat commercially made charcoal. She picks bits of burned wood out of the cold fire pit in our back yard. The vet didn't see any problems with that.
No, of course I would never let her eat Kingsford....


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:56PM
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I keep hoping scottielover will post and let us know how her dog is doing...are you out there, scottielover?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 2:44PM
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