Sunday, February 19, 2006

Food Obsession

Weekend Dog Bloggin hosted tonight by Alicat
Get well soon Sweetnicks

If you been reading this blog any length of time you probably know I have two dogs, Cocoa, a 12 year old German shorthaired pointer who is still full of spunk and 1 year old Kahlil who is still a pup, but shaping up well. Like people, every dog has their good and bad points. Cocoa's good points are that she is a sweet, dependable, upbeat dog. She's easy to have around and well behaved and trustworthy except in one area. Most any bad behavior on her part involves eating. I would say she is food obsessed and unfortunately anything she can swallow is considered food. Most dogs love food, but she is actually obsessed with it. Over the years I have paid some rather expensive vet bills that have been caused by her eating something that she shouldn't. When she was about a year old, unknown to us, she ate some kind rubber stopper she found outside somewhere. By the time the vet operated, she actually had ruptured her small intestine. He called me during the surgery, asking if he should even continue when he discovered this. He didn't think she would recover. I'm a softy, so I told him to give it a try. He reconfigured things and she actually pulled through. It wasn't cheap. I later learned that he slept in his office with her that night to tend to her through the night after the surgery. Another time she got into some Easter chocolate. Chocolate can poison a dog but, luckily it was not a large enough amount. Soap has disappeared from the edge of the bathtub. I've discovered holes in my jacket pockets that once held food. There was the time she ate a bottle of antibiotics. Child proof containers are not Cocoa proof! I've also discovered other strange things she's eaten, based on 'evidence' I've seen in the yard. Although she's mellowed a bit in her old age, she got herself in trouble again recently. When I was home with a bad cold, one of my daughters came by with a container of Chinese food for us to share. It was orange flavored chicken. It's a spicy dish with whole hot peppers in the sauce. I carefully pick these out, because the sauce is hot enough without soaking up more heat from the peppers sitting in it. We finished it off and somehow the 'empty' container got left on the counter. Later I found the container on the floor and threw it away. Then I promptly forgot about finding the empty container on the floor. A day later I noticed Cocoa had diarrhea. She got me up 4 times during the night to go out. The next day it continued. That night she woke me up many times during the night to go out. The third night, the diarrhea became bloody. I was now concerned. She's not a young dog. She'd been to the vet a week before for shots. Could she have picked up some illness. Of course it was Saturday night and blizzard had started which lasted all day Sunday. She seemed to be in reasonable good spirits was active and had an appetite. I was starting to get very sleep deprived. I started her on only chicken broth and waited for Monday morning to take her to the vet. The vet questioned me. Was there anything she could have gotten into. I didn't think so. She had no fever. The vet gave her subcutaneous fluids to prevent dehydration and told me to give no food at all that day and sent me home with pills to give her. The next day I was told to put her on small amounts of rice and chicken. It worked. She finally got better. The funny thing is that the minute I walked into the house from bringing her to the vet, I realized what had happened. It just came to me. She'd eaten about a dozen sauce covered chili peppers that were in the bottom of the 'empty' Chinese food container. So that came to $8.25 for the orange flavored chicken, $117.94 for the vet bill, 4 sleep deprived nights for me, and one very vary bad tummy ache for Cocoa who spent more than a few hours squatting outside in a blizzard. The funny thing is, I'm almost sure she'd do it again given the chance. On the other hand, I have been fully conditioned not to leave chili peppers around.


  1. Now that is quite a story! I'm glad she's okay, too bad it took a vet visit to help her out.

    I thought my doggie was food obsessed in the way she topples the trash...but she is nowhere near this obsessive!

    She's still cute with that food bowl in her mouth though!

  2. Andrea9:12 PM

    You were not home but, there was also the time she opened and ate the inside of some ant traps that smelled like peanut butter, and unlike human poison control animal poison cotrol charges you. Likely the small amount of poison needed to kill ants was not nearly enough to harm a large dog.

  3. Our German Shepherd (now just over 2 years old) is like that. His absolute favorite weird food is metal objects. I was putting some air vent covers on the wall after painting the walls one day and he stole the screws without me realizing it (he's very sneaky). He also steals money - not the paper stuff, just the change.

    His second favorite weird food is cloth. He shreds his plush toys, rope toys, the towel we put his water dish on (he's REALLY messy), the blanket we got for him to lie on... fortunately, he doesn't shred our shoes and hasn't shredded a sock in a long time.

    You've got a real angel for a vet, staying the night with Cocoa like that. What a wonderful person.

  4. Anonymous3:41 AM

    I also have a GSP who is an opportunistic eater. I have had to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide. It's the worst when she tries to eat the vomit.

    I keep a bottle of activated charcoal caplets on hand to bind any toxins that she may have ingested.

    One thing I've used for diarrhea is canned pumpkin. It works as a kind of natural diagnostic tool. It will firm up stool from 'dietary indescretions' and stress, ect., but if the dog has something seriously wrong, such as giardia, it won't work, so I know to go to the vet.