Coprophagia: Is Your Dog Eating Poop?

September 29, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

One question I often get especially with new dog owners is “How do I get my dog to stop eating poop”? Eating poop, also known as coprophagia, can be caused from an underlying health problem and in some cases can also be the cause of health problems. However there are other reasons for your beloved family member eating poop.

Many people think that dogs eating poop means they are missing something in their diet. This is not exactly true, instead it may be what is in the dogs diet causing the issue. Many of the commercial diets are high in carbohydrates and some dogs have problems completing digesting carbs. Many dogs are “deficient” in pancreatic enzymes capable of digesting the higher carb diets. Its not that they are deficient but rather they are not suppose to be eating that many carbs. The thought is that the dog is trying to rebuild its enzymes by eating poop and/or eating already digest food. I am not sure the true reasoning, but many times changing a dogs diet to a higher protein less carb, like a grain free or a Raw diet can stop the poop eating. (There are not many scientific studies on copraphagia, so many of these suggestions are based on experience)

Chronic Pancreatitis and diseases like Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) cause a true deficiency in pancreatic enzymes and not surprisingly these dogs can develop coprophagia.The pancreas produces the enzymes to help digest food especially plant material and carbs. Adding enzymes to these dogs diets will help in digestion of the food and help recurrences of pancreatitis, thus stopping the poop eating.

Dogs suffering from malabsorption from digestive disorders such as allergies, intestinal infections, inflammatory bowel disease, or even true malabsorption disease have a tendency for coprophagia. Any dog that is eating poop on a regular basis needs to visit a vet in order to determine if one of these diseases is a possibility.

There was a study done by a large dog food manufacturer some years ago into the favorite flavors of dogs. The results were rather disgusting and amusing. One of the top flavors of dogs, one that they would eat very regularly is not beef but rather fecal material i.e. poop! So in some cases your dog just likes the flavor!

Eating poop can cause health problems such as intestinal infections and more likely parasite infestation (having worms). Dogs that have a propensity for eating poop will tend to have more parasite infestations and may need to be dewormed on a more regular basis.

So now what happens if your dog is not eating poop due to a health problem but one of the other causes such as just even liking the flavor (ugh!)? Well can you believe this – there is an entire blog/website devoted to coprophagia in dogs! Vernon Lee the dog poop guy has an ebook and a website for the sole purpose of providing the poop eating dog owner answers and solutions to their problem. Check out his site and solve your dogs poop eating issue at The Dog Poop Diet

If your dog is eating poop do not be seriously alarmed it is a common problem and there are many reasons your dog can be experiencing coprophagia. It is important to see your vet about it to make sure it is not a health related issue, but many times it is some other reason. If you have a story about your dog eating poop or advice for owners experiencing this issue please leave a comment below.

Buying Horse Drugs Online

September 27, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Pharmacy Rx symbol
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One of my clients today was excited to find Bute powder online at the cheapest price she had seen. I did write her the prescription but with a warning of buying horse drugs online can be dangerous.

The internet truly is the wild west out there – it is the land of buyer beware. Companies have sold expired drugs, re-labeled drugs,  counterfeit drugs, and drugs that have not been stored properly. All of these situations can be dangerous for your horse. One of the big concerns is that of improperly stored drugs that have lost their effectiveness.

There is no way for you as a consumer to know if the drug that you are buying from a pharmacy online has stored the drug like it should have been stored. It might look the same, has the appropriate label and even has a good expiration date, but has lost its effectiveness because it was stored in a warehouse that was not climate controlled and was exposed to excessive heat or cold.

The FDA has been trying to figure out a way to solve the growing problem of online scammers selling drugs in the human pharmaceutical industry and now finding similar problems in the pet drug industry – Purchasing Pet Drugs Online: Buyer Beware

Now of course there are some companies selling online that  are reputable and follow the correct procedures in operating a pharmacy. They maintain patient confidentiality, quality control of their products, and require prescriptions when appropriate.

So how do you find a reputable online company selling horse drugs that are safe?

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has a program called Vet-VIPPS an acronym for Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. It is a new program and the FDA recommends if you purchase from an online pharmacy that it be Vet-VIPPS accredited. It is a voluntary program but the requirements are stringent. At this time because of the requirements and how new the program is there are only 6 companies on the list – Find a Vet-VIPPS online pharmacy

It can be safe and very cost effective to buy your horse drugs online, but you need to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your horse. The cheapest is not  always the best. Be wary and smart about purchasing online. I would suggest purchasing from a Vet-VIPPS and if your favorite online pharmacy is not on the list I would give them a call and find out why they are not on the list. There should be no reason why they should not be if they are reputable and can make the criteria. There are only 19 criteria and they are all important, if the pharmacy can not meet the criteria you should not do business with them.

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Secretariat Film to Debut in Lexington

September 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Will be a great event. IF you can attend you should. If you are into horses it is a once in a lifetime event. If you are not into horses you should go anyway because it will still be a once in a lifetime event.

Disney’s Secretariat Film Debuts with Lexington, Kentucky Gala Amidst World Equestrian Games Eventing Hoopla

On October 2, the Secretariat Festival will be held in nearby Paris, Kentucky, with tours of Claiborne Farm and a Secretariat look-alike contest for horses. This event sounds like fun, too!
And yesterday, we learned that Mrs Chenery is in the spirit of the day! Her Secretariat Foundation will host a debut of the film in Lexington with a fundraiser for equine charities on Sunday, October 3.

The screening will be held at the Kentucky Theatre on Sunday, October 3rd at 6:00 pm. Guests are invited to join the attending racing celebrities and Hollywood stars in a red carpet walk prior to the screening and enjoy an exclusive cocktail reception at nearby Portofino’s restaurant following the film.Read more at


Top 10 Emergency Conditions

September 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

When is it an emergency for your dog? Good simple article giving you an idea what we as vets actually consider an emergency.

Amplify’d from

When Is It An Emergency?

Top 10 Emergency Conditions
  1. Any type of serious trauma (e.g., hit by a car, a fall from a moving vehicle, car accidents, gunshots or deep puncture wounds)
  2. Electrocution
  3. Difficulty giving birth
  4. Animal bites, including snake strikes by an unknown species
  5. Burns (chemical or thermal)
  6. Near drowning
  7. Smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation
  8. Obviously broken bones
  9. Exposure to extremely cold or hot temperatures
  10. Ingestion of a possible poison (including human and pet medications)



Horse Owners Take Notes – Sheath Cleaning

September 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This is for all my horse clients that have calm horses yet refuse to clean their gelding sheaths. It’s not a big deal and is part of good horsemanship. Now obviously if you have a pill of a horse that refuses to let you do it then fine I will tranquilize when we do dentistry and get it done.

Horse Health Care – Gelding and Stallion Sheath Cleaning

©  2010 Cherry Hill © Copyright Information

Depending on the individual horse’s smegma production, the sheath should be cleaned about once or twice a year. You can clean the sheath somewhat with the penis retracted into the sheath, but you can do a more thorough job if the penis is down. Once a horse is accustomed to the procedure, he will likely relax and let his penis down for cleaning. Usually the best time for this is on a warm day after a work out when the horse is somewhat tired and relaxed. If the horse is very touchy in his genital area, you could have your veterinarian tranquilize the horse so your horse will be more manageable and relaxed.



What Hoof Angle?

September 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Barefoot hoof, lateral view. Coronet band (1),...
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I was at a barn the other day and they had a new farrier come in and tell them that all the horses need to be at a specific hoof angle. I was asked “is this correct?” My short answer – NO

There is no specific hoof angle that every horse needs to be – the studies that have been done have shown that healthy hooves are seen at angles from 50 to 60 with the average being around 55. However that does not mean that every horse needs to be at a hoof angle of 55.

So what hoof angle should your horse be at?

hoof angle

The easiest way to see where the angle should be is to take a small 6 inch ruler and lay it along the front of the pastern. The ruler should be parallel to the front of the hoof. Then measure the hoof angle and that is where it should be :-)

The reason I gave you this way of determining is that hoof angle can change as the horse ages.

The problem with this method is that it does not take into account any abnormalities with the horse such as navicular disease or damaged ligaments/tendons. If the horse has dropped fetlocks then obviously it will not be appropriate to change the hoof angle to match that of the pastern.

Even with this small problem this method will provide the best information for the normal average horse and allow for a balanced healthy hoof.  If the front part of the hoof wall is not parallel to the pastern ask your farrier and/or your veterinarian if there is a reason why it is not.

Each horse has similar but different angles to their shoulder, fetlock, pastern and everything else in their body. No horse is exactly the same so there should not be an exact hoof angle that one needs to abide by when trimming your horse’s hoof.

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September 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Using Feedburner now for my feed it makes it easier for subscribers and to manage the feed of Dog Kinetics.

Stop Dog Barking Non-Shockingly

September 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A male Rat Terrier barking.
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One of the big complaints of dog owners is barking dogs. Just the need to stop dog barking has resorted owners to taking drastic measures, including bark collars and even having a dog surgically debarked.

Well Never Shock A Puppy has a great blog post today including two ways to help train your dog to stop barking. One of them is a game you can play with your dog. A better treatment of your pet than shocking him is to play a game.

Speaking of games – they are giving away prizes for commenting on their blog post – so head on over there and give them your opinion – Never Shock A Puppy:Barking Dogs

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Dog Health: Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy

September 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Do you want an alternative to Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Rimadyl for your dog’s arthritis? dog health

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) is a viable alternative to drugs for the treatment of pain and inflammation in dogs due to a variety of causes such as arthritis, surgery, and wounds. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy  affects pain perception in many different ways. It affects calcium ion movement, endorphin levels, acupuncture point stimulation, nerve regeneration, circulation, tissue oxygen, and even cellular metabolism. All these affects help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

How does it work? No one really has a definitive answer but there are some good theories and some good scientifically based research pointing to some very likely causes of the success of this treatment. One of the more prominent and most likely reasons for the reduction of pain and inflammation has to do with the calcium ion movement that an electrical field causes in the body. PEMF therapy causes a natural anti-inflammatory process to occur more rapidly. It binds Calcium and in a cascade of events produces Nitric Oxide (NO), a natural anti-inflammatory. NO then continues the natural healing process by reducing pain, improving blood flow, reducing swelling and helps in the production of a molecule called cGMP, a growth factor producer. This growth factor producer helps in the regeneration of blood vessels and tissue growth and remodeling.

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy
In the past the machines that produced the electromagnetic fields were large and very powerful. New research however has suggested that the fields do not have to be so large to produce great healing effects. Also with the advancement of technology now we can produce a good healing PEMF with a very small device powered by simple batteries. One of the devices available for dogs and horses is made by the company ASSISI Animal Health. Assisi makes 2 types of units one for the veterinarian for use in the office and a portable PEMF unit for an owner to bring to the barn and do treatments themselves. Considering that treatments should be given for up to 15 min twice a day for 2 weeks or even longer for dogs suffering with arthritis, the portable units are an excellent choice. The cost is about $250 for a unit which gives 90 15 min treatments which is about $2.75 a treatment and should last about 6 weeks.

One of my clients is currently using them for her dog with severe degeneration in its knee joints. The dog is doing very well with nutritional supplements and using the unit every other day for 15 minutes and no need for pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories, so there is no risk of stomach ulcers or liver damage.

PEMF is a great tool for veterinarians and dog owners in the treatment of pain. Check out Assisi they will send information to your veterinarian for you.

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Horse rescued near Dillard gets Facebook following | The News-Review –

September 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Way to go Grace! That is the way to be successful be tenacious! This horse obviously wants to live.