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What Is PICA In Dogs

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Dogs can chew anything when it comes to food because they can only explore the environment through their mouths; by swallowing, mouthing, and chewing, they can determine what is and is not suitable for eating. They may develop major health problems if they chew and consume improper materials like metal, plastic, linen, trash, dirt, rocks, paper, or even feces frequently. PICA disorder is the name given to this compulsive consumption of improper foods.

Causes of PICA

  • Presence Of Parasites

Parasites such as gastrointestinal parasites, can cause PICA in dogs. The most common are the roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.

  • Diabetes And Thyroid

In some cases nutritional imbalances, endocrine diseases (such as diabetes or thyroid disease), or diseases of malabsorption or maldigestion can cause pica.

  • Separation Anxiety And Boredom

Pica in dogs can also be a result of an emotional or psychological issue like separation anxiety or stress. Some dogs can turn destructive due to anxiety and eat a part of, or all of what they destroy. A dog that is not given enough mental or physical stimulation, may seek something unusual to do to relieve boredom or burn off extra energy.

Symptoms Of PICA

The primary symptom of pica is excessive chewing or eating of non-food items, although there are several other symptoms brought on by doing so. Additionally, a dog's symptoms may change based on the items or substances it consumes.

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Chronic bad breath

  • Lethargy

  • Lack of appetite

  • Improper Digestion

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