Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 55 Posts

·
#1 Stunner
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Java eats strangely. He kind of attacks his food, opening his mouth wide and grabbing mouthfuls of kibble, throwing half of it all over the kitchen - we're talking a 5-6 foot radius here. He's done this since he came home. It's annoying because food winds up under counters, appliances, you name it, and drives him and Violet nuts, but more importantly I worry about bloat - seems like he has to be taking in too much air that way. I've heard that putting something in the middle of the bowl would force him to slow down. I've usually heard a tennis ball so that's what I tried, did nothing. I heard a rock, but I don't just have small boulders lying around and I worry that he'd chip his teeth on it. I tried a can of vegetables (unopened, of course), and it did nothing, somehow. I took a video of it - IMG 0614 2 - YouTube. It's much worse normally, in the video he was already halfway through his food. When I first put it down, he attacks it much more vigorously - but still, even in the last few bites, it's everywhere and it seems like he's gulping down air, too. I'm willing to hand feed him if that's what it takes, he gets some of his meals during training anyway, but is there anything else that I can do? Thank you in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
640 Posts
Puppy needs to learn how to chew. I'd be worried about him choking on kibble eating like that. How about investing in some treat dispensing toys? He'll have to work to roll his food out and will only be able to eat a few kibbles at a time. All of my dogs have loved toys like the Tricky Treat ball and the Everlasting line of toys.
 

·
#1 Stunner
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
sam&macksmom, he eats twice a day, at 9am and 6pm, and usually has about 3-5 short (5-10 minute) training sessions throughout the day with a small handful of treats or kibble. He's on Earthborn Holistic, so maybe not the very best food, but not Kibbles & Bits, or I'd worry that he was maybe missing something serious nutritionally and was just unduly hungry. He's been checked out by our veterinarian, stool checked twice (negative) and haven't seen any tape segments so I don't think he has any intestinal parasites or anything.

TeachersPet, I worry about choking, too. I'll give treat dispensing toys a try, but he generally doesn't care much for them. We offered him a few different ones while his ears were taped and he was hating it, he more often than not lost interest pretty quickly. Maybe if there wasn't peanut butter or some sort of frozen thing in there and he just needed to roll it around to get his kibbles out he'd like it more. They're very small kibbles, so it wouldn't be much challenge, but it would slow him down at least. Thanks for the idea!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,803 Posts
spread some kibble on the floor and observe how he picks it up. Then put a pan on the floor with some kibble, then the bowl. Watch how he eats. Is there a difference? Does he tilt his head to one side? Does his tongue do anything? How does he swallow? It is a little odd how he eats, but it may just be because the bowls are deep and also raised.
 

·
#1 Stunner
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I watched the video again. I wonder there's an issue with his mouth or throat? When he takes some food, he lifts his head up. Just seems very odd.
That's a possibility that I hadn't thought of. Veterinarian hasn't found anything, but of course he wasn't looking for it. I was in veterinary medicine for 6 years and I don't see anything out of the ordinary, but of course not everything is visible. I had a friend with a kitten who never seemed to grow and went through the wringer with diagnostics, only for them to discover when she stopped breathing and the doctor tried to intubate her that her throat was just eaten up with cancer, too far back to be seen - so definitely anything's possible, and I intend to follow up on that thought. I will note, though, that when he's handed food of any sort, he takes, chews, and swallows it perfectly normal. A neck issue, perhaps, causing bending to the bowl to be a problem? Doesn't seem to fit with the rest of his behavior though, he bends to the ground to pick up food and toys perfectly normally. Hmmm.
 

·
sufferin succotash
Joined
·
9,168 Posts
Take the bowl and place in on the floor (on a rug so it doesn't slip around). See if he still lifts his head after every bite.


That's a possibility that I hadn't thought of. Veterinarian hasn't found anything, but of course he wasn't looking for it. I was in veterinary medicine for 6 years and I don't see anything out of the ordinary, but of course not everything is visible. I had a friend with a kitten who never seemed to grow and went through the wringer with diagnostics, only for them to discover when she stopped breathing and the doctor tried to intubate her that her throat was just eaten up with cancer, too far back to be seen - so definitely anything's possible, and I intend to follow up on that thought. I will note, though, that when he's handed food of any sort, he takes, chews, and swallows it perfectly normal. A neck issue, perhaps, causing bending to the bowl to be a problem? Doesn't seem to fit with the rest of his behavior though, he bends to the ground to pick up food and toys perfectly normally. Hmmm.
 

·
#1 Stunner
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
spread some kibble on the floor and observe how he picks it up. Then put a pan on the floor with some kibble, then the bowl. Watch how he eats. Is there a difference? Does he tilt his head to one side? Does his tongue do anything? How does he swallow? It is a little odd how he eats, but it may just be because the bowls are deep and also raised.
I haven't tried the pan specifically, but I've put food on the floor, both tile and carpet, in my hand, in bowls of different depths and on different levels, and in all cases that aren't involving bowls he takes/chews/swallows it normally. Perhaps a little hastily when it's on the floor, but normal otherwise. Any bowl of any depth or height, however, he does that. I've shown it to one of our vet techs once, she seemed to consider it an unusual quirk but wasn't concerned (at the time, I wasn't particularly either), and I never got to bring it specifically up to his doctor. I don't really know what his background is, so at first I assumed that maybe he had been underfed before he came home and was eating as quickly as he could because of it, but as the weeks have gone by and the behavior has stayed the same/maybe even worsened a little, I've gotten more and more puzzled and concerned.
 

·
#1 Stunner
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Take the bowl and place in on the floor (on a rug so it doesn't slip around). See if he still lifts his head after every bite.
Going to go do that now. I've put it in bowls on the floor before, but more to see if he still ate so overall peculiarly (he did) than to see if he lifts his head specifically. I'll report back.
 

·
#1 Stunner
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Take the bowl and place in on the floor (on a rug so it doesn't slip around). See if he still lifts his head after every bite.
Yep, exactly the same. A little slower, but I'm pretty positive that that's just because I woke him up for it.
 

·
#1 Stunner
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So he's still eating like he did in the 1st video, even with the bowl on the ground. Definitely something I would have checked out.
Exactly the same. And the first video was truly a little "less so" than how he normally is - the oddity of his eating is usually more pronounced, but I'd been watching him eat and worrying and decided mid-meal to go grab my phone and take a video to see if anyone here had any thoughts on it, so I'd picked it up for a moment and set it back down. It's more noticeable for the first half of the meal, but continues right up 'til the end. If I think of it, I'll take a second video in the morning. I'm glad that I'm not just being a paranoid mom - well not glad that there could be a problem, obviously, but glad I'm not the only one who's kind of concerned. I will definitely be having it checked out, thank you all for your input and advice. If there turns out to be no physical cause that we can identify, I'll give muffin tins a try and treat dispensing toys another try. Even if it's a behavioral thing rather than physical, it still seems unsafe to me to eat that way.
 

·
sufferin succotash
Joined
·
9,168 Posts
Hopefully it's nothing serious, healthwise.

Exactly the same. And the first video was truly a little "less so" than how he normally is - the oddity of his eating is usually more pronounced, but I'd been watching him eat and worrying and decided mid-meal to go grab my phone and take a video to see if anyone here had any thoughts on it, so I'd picked it up for a moment and set it back down. It's more noticeable for the first half of the meal, but continues right up 'til the end. If I think of it, I'll take a second video in the morning. I'm glad that I'm not just being a paranoid mom - well not glad that there could be a problem, obviously, but glad I'm not the only one who's kind of concerned. I will definitely be having it checked out, thank you all for your input and advice. If there turns out to be no physical cause that we can identify, I'll give muffin tins a try and treat dispensing toys another try. Even if it's a behavioral thing rather than physical, it still seems unsafe to me to eat that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,273 Posts
Totally random idea, but do you think he could be bothered by his collar/tags clanking with the bowl? Hopefully its nothing serious! He is so cute.
 

·
#1 Stunner
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Totally random idea, but do you think he could be bothered by his collar/tags clanking with the bowl? Hopefully its nothing serious! He is so cute.
Thanks, SpecialK! I thought we might be onto something there, the tag thing would've made perfect sense. I went ahead and fed him without his collar for breakfast. To no avail.

0429121106 - YouTube

I'll give the Kong a try for dinner.
 
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
Top