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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Would appreciate some advice please.
My 7 month old male (intact) Dobe has been chewing on stones or pretty big pebbles for a while now. Have tried to stop him with a firm NO!, but to no avail.
He has vomited up a couple of smaller stones in the early hours of the mornings..... vet was not too concerned.
However, I arrived home from my shift at the Emergency Room on friday night at 2345 to find him vomiting. At fist he vomited up a small little stone, and thereafter mucous and froth, then grass (as he was cropping it like a horse) as he was trying to clear his stomach.

After a sleepless night for both of us, I had lost count of the amount of times he vomited. Off to the vet and fell through the door as they opened yesterday morning. Vet decided to keep him overnight on IV fluids but was not really interested in my question about him having an x-ray. She is not my normal vet, and when she called me to say he was looking well, no vomiting, I then insisted on a x-ray which was grudgingly done and of course showed his digestive tract packed with little and some pretty big stones. BIG shock to vet, despite the Hx I gave her on his stone eating habits.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, they did another x-ray series today and the stones have moved into the large colon, but two are still in a dangerous place in the upper digestive tract. If they dont move we will need to re-asess the situation.... I have insisted that surgery is a last resort.
So he remains in hospital today and tonight while we wait for him to hopefully to pass them.

My problem is, how to stop him from doing this again. He and his sister (also 7 months) have more toys than most kids to play with and they have a 3 acre garden to play in as well as interaction and stimulation by my husband and myself.
Since we both work shifts, its hard to watch his every move, and I do not crate my dogs, never have and never will.
I am starting them on a new food called Eagle Pack which I have heard really good reports about, just in case he has some sort of deficiency. However, his sister does not eat stones. Am just trying anything at this point to avert this situation again.

Have thought of a muzzle, but that scares me as to what will happen when we are not here to monitor him with his muzzle.
He certainly does get enough to eat and is a healthy weight.

Would appreciate any input.
Thanks very much
Helen
 

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Im so sorry to hear about your boy, I hope he recovers well. I have no experience in this...but some suggestions do come into mind.

I see you do not want to crate, sounds like they have unlimited access to go outside (doggy door)?

I guess some things to try is, removing the rocks? if you have a fairly large yard, maybe fence off the area they can only go to, where all rocks are cleared?


I wish you and your boy the best, and good work on drilling the vet for necessary xrays.
 

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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Im so sorry to hear about your boy, I hope he recovers well. I have no experience in this...but some suggestions do come into mind.

I see you do not want to crate, sounds like they have unlimited access to go outside (doggy door)?

I guess some things to try is, removing the rocks? if you have a fairly large yard, maybe fence off the area they can only go to, where all rocks are cleared?
Thank you so much for your advice. I actually meant to mention that the land we have here although grassed, is very stony and the grass is just on top of the stones...... can't even plant anything. If I buy a plant to bring home, my hubby always aks if I bought the hole to go along with it.
Sadly it is like this for quite a depth as we have our own bore hole.

The house has one screen door left open for all the kids to come and go as they please when we are not here and when we are here as Kela, the Old Girl, is terrified of thunder and panics when storm clouds build up and Queensland is a highly tropical place, storms can build without warning and she feels safe inside.
So they have the outside door to the bedroom open for them to have access.
Thank you so much for your input, very much appreciated.
 

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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
NEVER leave a dog muzzled while unsupervised.

Your dog needs medical attention for those rocks. If that is surgery then so be it. Get on that with a good vet.


http://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-corner/67428-how-stop-puppy-eating-nature.html
Thank you.....which is precisely why I said we are not muzzling him when we are not here. He is at present receiving medical attention. I am medically trained myself and therefore know where the danger zones are within the digestive tract ergo: surgery is the last resort.
 

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When Jasmine was just a little younger than your dog she had to have emergency surgery to remove a handful of rocks...not fun!

Is there an area that you can fence off that is on cement or some other surface? If not I would crate or at least not allow them access to the outside unsupervised.

You say you won't crate yet you are willing to take the chance of your dog having to have life saving surgery? Or even worse...
I don't know for me if I had to crate to solve the problem I would do it. You may only have to do it through puppyhood.
 

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Other than provide him with a safe stone free area - I can't think of anything you can try many dobermans have issues/compulsions with eating inappropiate items and crating confining them is the only way to keep them safe. In your dogs case crating/confining sounds like it would save his life.
 

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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When Jasmine was just a little younger than your dog she had to have emergency surgery to remove a handful of rocks...not fun!

Is there an area that you can fence off that is on cement or some other surface? If not I would crate or at least not allow them access to the outside unsupervised.

You say you won't crate yet you are willing to take the chance of your dog having to have life saving surgery? Or even worse...
I don't know for me if I had to crate to solve the problem I would do it. You may only have to do it through puppyhood.
The only reason I dont crate is that I had never even heard of it growing up with Dobermanns in South Africa. I emigrated here to Australia and heard about it for the first time. I dont know anything about it and what I have read does not seem to fit in with people who work shifts. I would find it inhumane to keep a puppy closed in a box for 10 to 12 hours. Please understand that we have only ever had adult Dobes that we have rescued from abusive homes, puppies are new to us.

We do not have a cemented area for them... we built this house with the Dobes in mind and have made it as grassy as possible to prevent hygroma.
I am genuinely asking for advice, not because I am an idiot, but solely because I have the welfare of my precious kids in mind. I am always willing to learn anything that will make their lives better.
 

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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In this breed intestinal obstruction is common because they are dobergoats. In your case, possibly OCD as well.

I wouldn't be equating this to humans.
Thank you EmilyB, which is precisely why he is in hospital under the care of a vet....... to my mind he is in the best place and decisions as to treatment will be made as the xray series reveals each day and the progress of the stones is monitored..... As stated, he is on IV fluids. His own vet returns mane and will take over.
Anaesthetic is dangerous..... it will kill as quickly as anything. Major surgery, animal or human is dangerous. I will not be precipitous.
 

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The only reason I dont crate is that I had never even heard of it growing up with Dobermanns in South Africa. I emigrated here to Australia and heard about it for the first time. I dont know anything about it and what I have read does not seem to fit in with people who work shifts. I would find it inhumane to keep a puppy closed in a box for 10 to 12 hours. Please understand that we have only ever had adult Dobes that we have rescued from abusive homes, puppies are new to us.

We do not have a cemented area for them... we built this house with the Dobes in mind and have made it as grassy as possible to prevent hygroma.
I am genuinely asking for advice, not because I am an idiot, but solely because I have the welfare of my precious kids in mind. I am always willing to learn anything that will make their lives better.
You don't need to keep him in a box. Done properly crate training is a very useful tool my dogs spend most of their day in crates with the doors open since to them it is a safe comfy place to relax. You could just confine him to a safe stone free area with gates or an exercise pen. He will also need to be monitored when he is outside so you can correct the behavior.
 

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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Other than provide him with a safe stone free area - I can't think of anything you can try many dobermans have issues/compulsions with eating inappropiate items and crating confining them is the only way to keep them safe. In your dogs case crating/confining sounds like it would save his life.
Yes, it seems to be that way..... I did not realise this problem was so rife. It sounds as if crating may be the answer....but for 10-12 hour periods? I have no idea what the answer is.
 

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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I fear death by more painful means, for my pet. It's happened a lot here, for lack of veterinary intervention.

My girl had bone cancer and was still having dental surgeries, for quality of life.
I dont mean to be rude, but as I have re-iterated numerous times in my posting.... my boy is in hospital being monitored via xray at present. There is no lack of veterinary intervention. I feel attacked by you, and I resent this as I am doing my level best for my precious boy, as are my vets.
 

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I'd say work on crate training for now, and look into digging up ground and fillin it with more soil and lay more grass...so the rock is more in depth of the ground?

Or you could as suggested lay some concrete or brick even? Make it a fairly good size and fence it to your doorway?

Either way, you will have to do something with the yard regardless if you crate or not. If it were me, doing so will put my mind at ease. It will be a pricey fix, but well worth preventative to more emergencies.

Btw does your boy have a habit of digging? Might want to correct that too, could be how he is getting to the rocks.
 

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Having seen many dogs with obstructions come through rescue. Waiting for the stones to pass can cause the intestines to die and become neucrotic resulting in large portions needing to be removed. Knowing he is under a vets care and being monitored is a good thing, but I'd rather operate and remove the stones if it were my personal dogs.

Having said that I'm not a vet nor do I know the size or amount of stones causing an issue with your dog so waiting for them to pass may be the best option. So in your case I'd follow the vets advice.
 
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