Contact Us    Help    Site Map    About Us   

Eating Feces

I have a 6 month old Weim who loves to eat rabbitt dropings in the backyard. He also will eat larger animal dropings in the field, such as deer, raccoon, horse, etc.... I was told that this a common habit of the breed and is not too harmfull. It seems like it is impossible to stop him from eating the dropings and I do not underdstand how it could not be harmfull. Please let me know if you have heard of this before and what are the potential side effects of this wonderful habit. Thank you.

Gives a whole new meaning to "morning fresh breath" doesn't it? This is a very common situation in dogs and foals called coprophagia or "stool eating". Often these animals will eat their own as well as other animals stools (maybe if they didn't act like they enjoyed it so much it wouldn't be as offensive). Except for grossing out the owner this habit doesn't seem to affect the dog, most of the parasites are poorly transmittable to other species (my lab has probably eaten several metric tons of horse poop and doesn't get horse worms). One possible important exception may be raccoon feces, they carry a nasty ascarid (roundworm) called Baylisascaris that is possibly transmitted to dogs and to humans. Little is known of the importance of the dog as a risk factor for transmission of raccoon ascarids to people. suffice to say, stay away from exposure to raccoon feces, get regular fecal checks for your dog and life is grand. Feces eating in dogs is so common that my Navaho friends tell me the Navajo word for dog literally means s--t eater. On that pleasant note I'll say Adios.

Dr. Mike

<< Back to Q&A

follow us on: