View Full Version : Little Ms. Junk Eater finally got colitis...related she loves hot pepper sauce!

24th January 2011, 04:27 PM
Not real surprised this happened. Vet said it was bacterial based on stool test and very likely something she snatched up fast in the yard or on a walk. She is quickly recovering on meds and got some extra fluids as she had some dehydration due to a few loose stools.

But... we have a real time with Ms Gracie the Junk Eater! She can be almost obsessive about poop, especially deer poop around the area. It is more of a behaviorial thing that she got used to as a pup I think. We did not get her until 5 months old and she had been allowed to run loose with her siblings and other Cavs at the breeder's unsupervised I think and picked up this habit. Most of the time we are able to prevent her from getting stuff but she is a fast gal and can snatch up a piece of poop or some garbage fast. :*gh:

We have tried spraying stuff with Listerine mouthwash with limited success. Works a bit better in the house than outside. So I tried some tabasco pepper sauce... just a drop smeared on a cabinet corner in the house that she likes to chew on and shouldn't. Was suggested by several trainers. Sooooo... she LIKED IT! Actually licked it happily and wanted more. I can't even do that myself! I wouldbe on fire. :yikes

Any ideas of deterrants to spray on things or do we have to watch her every minute of every second or keep her in the crate most of the time? Bitter apple also bombed. Was not crazy about it but only delayed her a bit.

theresa d
24th January 2011, 07:11 PM
I am interested to see replies to this also! I too have a rubbish eater,literally,ate the entire contents of the bin a few weeks back,also suffers colitis,not surprisingly! we've changed location of the bin by the way but some other things are more difficult to keep out of the way!

24th January 2011, 10:32 PM
Unfortunately the only way to bombproof your puppy from grabbing random things is keeping them on leash, using the leave-it command, and redirecting to appropriate items to mouth on, chew, eat, etc.

Keep the house puppy proofed to the extreme, and if you cannot watch your pup, yes, in the crate she goes.

Another thing I would recommend is when your pup decides on her own to go for something appropriate, make a big deal! Start to play, praise, and give out treats. Sometimes dogs learn to grab "bad" things simply to get attention!

About the poop eating, you said she seems the most obsessed over that. Sometimes dogs are poop eaters due to a lack of some sort of nutrient in their diet. What is Gracie eating? Otherwise, it can simply be just that deer poop smells and tastes good to her haha! Gotta keep the yard clean of it and/or keep her on leash outside to prevent her from continuing with succeeding on with her habit.

24th January 2011, 10:33 PM
I am interested to see replies to this also! I too have a rubbish eater,literally,ate the entire contents of the bin a few weeks back,also suffers colitis,not surprisingly! we've changed location of the bin by the way but some other things are more difficult to keep out of the way!

Well, at least I am not alone! How can just petite cuties who are so prissy about getting their paw wet want to eat so much junk... even poop! I could not believe how she just licked at the Tabasco sauce and clearly wanted MORE!!!!! :badgrin: So not many other options out there to try that she won't eat except maybe some old kibble that she hated. Maybe I could puree that with some vinegar and spray it on stuff.... I am truly at wit's end.:bang:

25th January 2011, 06:32 PM
For cabinets, baseboards, and drywall it might be easiest to protect these using plexiglass. You probably buy custom sized pieces, and use adhesive to get to stay on the walls, etc.? I have known several people who have done this, but never had to use it myself, so I don't know too much about it.

25th January 2011, 11:16 PM
Great ideas. The vet believes this is more due to bad habits and just liking the taste of poop than her diet. She is putting on weight and looking very good overall. So we are focusing on training and restricting her access to poop on walks. We are going to add a tad of Meat Tenderizer to her food so that at least she is not interested in her own poop as much. The Listerine on the cabinets worked pretty good so that she no longer chews on those, but I think Gracie is really a Cajun dog because she sure liked Tabasco sauce! Geez!

Cathy Moon
26th January 2011, 10:50 PM
I would not be giving a dog listerine, tabasco sauce, or meat tenderizer.

Just calmly say no, and redirect her to something she's allowed to have - a safe dog chew or toy.

Also, when you cannot be there to watch her, put her in a exercise pen (x-pen) to keep her safe.

Pick up her poo and dispose of it before she gets to it. Many dogs eat poo - it seems to be natural for them. You just have to get to it first!

26th January 2011, 11:20 PM
I would agree with Cathy. These are chemicals that I can't believe would be good for a dog -- if you read the Listerine bottle for example it says if children -- much larger in body size than a cavalier! -- swallow any of it, to seek medical attention immediately. I cannot see how it could be OK for a really small dog to ingest it if it is considered a health risk for children. Most of these 'deterrents' are old wives tales and a waste of time.

Poop eating is really common. Almost all dogs will eat cat poop if they get a chance, and many will eat their own or other dog's poops. I have one who is sometimes interested in other dog's poops. It means I have to keep a close eye on her and for all my dogs, I immediately pick up feces and dispose. They all will eat deer poop in the park as well. None of this is dietary deficiency, they just clearly like the texture and/or taste (I think poop eating is rarely caused by dietary problems but sometimes it is).

As with most problems, managing the issue so that the problem isn;t there in the first place (here, meaning just picking up her feces the moment she goes) is the best approach and if she loses the habit she is likely to be a lot less interested over time. Often older dogs grow out of this interest too.

As for chewing on things -- this is the typical age for chewing. Again. management is key: don't give her the opportunity. Use an xpen to restrict access, keep her under supervision, and redirect her in a positive way to things she CAN chew as her teeth and jaws NEED to chew hard things at this age.

I would strongly recommend reading the first three articles I have posted here:


26th January 2011, 11:33 PM
The vets are the ones who suggested these deterrents, very diluted and sprayed on the items in small amount. In fact, several Cavalier training books also suggested and so did people who contacted me from the local Cavalier Club. But, sounds like there are other viewpoints on this. In the end, it did not work anyway. I did immediately removed her access to the items sprayed when I realized she liked the flavors.

Since she is attracted to all poop, not just hers, it is a bit hard to get up all the poop in the streets from deer and other dogs/cats. POSITIVE: I have been able to get a new technique to control her when walking to better keep her away from things like this. So training has helped alot on the walks, which is where most of this happened.

27th January 2011, 05:40 AM
Have you tried bitter apple? They have it at petsmart. I never really used it but may cousin did.

My cousin has a weinreimer (don't know how to spell) but is older than ella and has had several different trainers and camp. Quite the handful. I remember when she was a puppy she was told to use a spray bottle with water. I just remember she only had to spray once or twice (not directly at her eyes but near her face and from a distance) because when mia would see the bottle she would stop. Now I don't know what people will say about this but it helped with that one. Chewing etc.

I think I was blessed but all I would really do and still do is say in a tone "no no ella" or eh eh (can't spell right) its the tone I think I use that makes her stop. Its not normal and so she knows something is wrong. Of course then I praise good girl ella.

I don't know if that's the right way but you have to give praise when they stop and come back after but tell them when to say NO. I don't do it often so she knows that I mean business. She also knows when she did something she shouldn't. Tail between legs, not looking at you. She knows when she's in the 'dog house'

For me that is with food. Leave one thing on the coffee table that I'm eating and it doesn't take a minute for me to turn my back and she has it. So like they said about having to watch, I still do when it comes to food. It doesn't take 2 seconds for ella and she has it. However when I say drop it or leave it (if their is food or something when we walk), other commands you have to work on she will. (Most of the time)

The trainer should help along with the classes. I don't know how I got so lucky but I know my aunt and uncle are amazed at how great she has always been. Then again, their daughter has the wild dog.

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27th January 2011, 09:13 AM
My girl Belle was notorious for chewing on the furniture when she was pup. Whenever I turned my back, I would hear gnawing. So, I started watching from the side of my eye whilst keeping loads of chew toys and bones handy. Then as soon as she started for the leg of the table: BOOM, I threw her toy her way and said something nice like "Yummy, chew on this!" and when she did, I would give her some strokes and praise. After a few months she caught on. Redirection helps a lot on this...

I don't mean to compare puppies to children, but they are a lot like them, it takes some a long time to catch on to what you want them to do and others no time at all. But if you keep at it, they'll learn and turn into a great dog. Show her you are a strong leader and give praise for the smallest things she does right. Give her positive attention and ignore the negative. I don't think that crating her is always a good idea, but giving a time-out, where she doesn't get your attention works wonders. Another thing Belle used to do is bite us a lot while playing, too hard sometimes. When it hurt too much, we would do what her littermates would have done, yelped and quit playing (usually by turning our backs or leaving the room). After a while she realized what she was doing and modified herself.

I think you guys would benefit from a training class, you can find a local one that would take just 30-60 minutes a week. Every dog needs training and discipline, it would help you guys so very much! Anyway, this is too long of a post, but hoping it was helpful for you in some way. Good Luck!

27th January 2011, 09:56 AM
I spray citronella on my fence gravel boards in the summer as Poppy has her nose stuck under the fence hunting for toads all day long in the summer if I don't. It smells horrid and there's no way she'd lick it.

27th January 2011, 11:28 PM
We do have more training on the way. And have been able to get to stop chewing on the cabinet corners. Just took alot of reinforcement...and yes, positive works the best!