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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 30360
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I was advised by an on-line vet

Customer Question

I was advised by an on-line vet (Dr Ralston? - I can't remember) to try For-bid to stop my Labrador eating other dogs' faeces. I bought it through Amazon - very expensive because of the shipping cost from the USA - and having given it to my dog as instructed find it has not made any difference. Visiting another website I read that For-Bid stops dogs eating their own faeces. So I am stuck. Any suggestions? xxxxxx xxxx-xxxxxxx.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'll follow up for Dr. Ralston for you. You're not stuck quite yet! Here's a thorough overview of coprophagia for you:

Coprophagia is seen more frequently in puppies but most eventually outgrow it. Puppies may indulge in coprophagia as harmless investigative or playful behavior and owners must be cautious not to inadvertently reinforce the behavior by giving the puppy additional attention when it consumes feces.

Pets that are underfed or placed on an overly restricted diet may have a voracious appetite which may also include coprophagia. Pets that have been overfed, and those with gastrointestinal conditions such as malabsorption or trypsin deficiencies may have higher amounts of undigested ingredients remaining in the feces. These feces might then be palatable enough to appeal to some dogs. Similarly, horse and cat feces can be particularly appealing to some dogs.

It is commonly thought that inadequate exercise and environmental stimulation may make a dog more likely to consume its own feces.

The ultimate cause of coprophagia in adult dogs has always been elusive. Some feel that the problem is behavioral, while others are convinced there is an organic reason. Soft stools, incomplete digestion of food within the stools, evidence of steatorrhea (fat in the feces), increased stool frequency or volume, or a voracious appetite might indicate a problem with maldigestion or malabsorption. Other gastrointestinal disturbances such as inflammatory bowel disease, systemic health problems including renal failure and endocrinopathies (unlikely in an otherwise normal 3.5 year old Ozzie), medications such as glucocorticoids (prednisone, e.g.), central nervous system diseases or any disease process that causes polyphagia (increased hunger) might lead to picas (eating non-digestibles) and coprophagia.

Recent research has suggested that there may indeed be a medical component to the problem in some cases. In a small study of nine coprophagic dogs, all had at least one laboratory abnormality that could explain the problem. The laboratory profile included a complete blood count, complete biochemical profile, amylase, lipase, trypsin-like immunoreactivity (TLI), vitamin B12, folate, fecal fat, fecal trypsin, fecal muscle fiber, trace minerals including zinc, selenium, copper, iron, magnesium and boron, and fecal sedimentation (an ova and parasite exam). Most had borderline to low TLI (suggesting pancreatic exocrine enzyme deficiency) while others had abnormalities in folate, Vitamin B12 or other nutrients.

As you can see, in a dog in which Forbid isn't appropriate, it might be wise to have blood work performed. Ozzie's vet can determine if all of the above is necessary. For instance, checking trace mineral blood levels might be waived if Ozzie is eating a high quality adult food.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX What you have written in your reply is largely what I had received previously. What annoys me somewhat is the fact that I bought For-Bid at quite some expense from America when it should not have been recommended, that is if the info I read on another website is correct, namely that For-Bid is indicated as a cure for dogs that eat their own faeces.


I wonder if under the circumstances I should not have had to pay for the original advice, even though, not having found out that For-Bid did no good at all for my dog, I rated the advice highly.


Kind regards


xxxxxx Xxxxx-xxxxxxx.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
You're correct, Marlen. For-Bid makes our dog's feces distateful.

I'm afraid that I'm not privy to your financial arrangement with the site. I know that there's a 100% guarantee of your satisfaction, however, and so if you [email protected], customer service will sort out how you wish to handle the deposit you left with the site.

You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.