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Eating hair?
  • My guess is that its due to the crazy 70 degree weather we had last week, but Joey has started blowing his coat yet again. He has taken to eating the hair he finds. I'm not concerned about it, but I'm wondering if there is any reason I should be.

    Can any of you guys think of a reason I should try to prevent him from doing so?
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    other than hairy poops that can create poo dangles, no.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
  • xremiixremii
    Posts: 254
    LOL LJ. Pong had the same thing happen the other week.. agh. It was my hair too. Honestly, who thinks hair is yummy? Pong's been blowing her coat for a couple of weeks now. We just furminated her and it seems like she's creating more hair as we furminate.. wtf!
  • I'm with LJ.
    Other than bungee jumping waste, he should be fine.
    Kuma sometimes eats one or two threads of my or Nat's hair (length is pretty much the same so hard to tell, hehe) and then you know what happens.
  • sujewelsujewel
    Posts: 2541
    Well, I've never heard of dogs eating hair, but I suspect (especially with Shiba) that they eat their hair to keep their space clean. In cats, hairballs are not a light matter. Here's what I found doing a quick little search:

    Nothing is quite so alarming as hearing the "hack-hack-hack" of a cat trying to cough up a hairball. And almost nothing is as disgusting as seeing one on the floor, unless it is stepping on it at night in bare feet. Ughh! Seriously though, although hairballs may be the topics of jokes among thoughtless humans, they are a source of discomfort or worse, for cats. Hairballs pose a potential danger by blocking the passage of digested food through the intestines, causing an impaction.

    Hairballs are formed when a cat grooms itself and swallows hairs. Since hair is not easily digested, it can compact with undigested food in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Impactions are serious business, and sometimes must be removed surgically. In lesser cases they can cause painful constipation, something no concerned caregiver wants to wish on her cat.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Obsessive hair eating: trichotilomania. I think we call them "gastric trichobezoars" aka hariballs. Occasionally I have seen some cats that required enemas and disimpaction under anesthesia. More often I have seen this with rabbits requiring surgical intervention or euthanasia. I think dogs have big enough small bowels and their hair is not as fine so they should be able to pass it on thru as long as it isn't eating a huge pile (why?)."Common sense isn't so common"
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    I heard somewhere that a lot of hair can get stuck in the intestinal tract and cause blockage. So far, that hasn't proved true with my pups, since they love to eat cat hair, dust bunnies and any hair left on the brush after brushing our own heads.
    Even if Joey is only trying to eat his hair, I'd keep an eye on him to prevent him from accidentally ingesting human hair. Unless everyone in your household maintains a nice buzz cut, the human hairs can kind of get stuck on the way out and dangle until either you or the pups can pull it out.
  • actually, and maybe its the difference is species - I'm not as educated as I'd like to be, but when I give my dogs prey food with fur still attached, I was told the fur is actually good for digestion and has added fiber..

    having said that, Hachi would eat the hair she was always blowing, never enough that she could make a meal out of it, but enough that it came out quite obviously on the other end. My guess is that you, Dave, keep your place clean enough that he's only finding bits and pieces and it probably won't cause an issue. Can you ask him to 'leave it' and give him something much more tasty than hair when you catch him?

    Don't yank human hair!!!! It can sever organs! Let it pass naturally or Ask your vet!
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Sorry, didn't mean yank, more so meant break or cut off what was hanging out or the pup will keep pulling at it or scoot till it's gone. Tikaani had a hanging hair that we didn't realize was there and cut himself scooting in the cement sidewalk.
  • From what I have seen eating hair has nothing to do with dogs keeping their space clean or any calculated purpose at all. Dogs do goofy stuff and decide to taste all sorts of things.

    Actually as young dogs most chase after dust bunnies and fur because it is interesting as it tumbles about. Think of the dog when it plays with a toy and starts pulling the fuzz off. IMO Shibas are attracted to hair attached or not and find it super interesting as it tumble across the floor or yard. Once they get the fuzz stuck in their mouths the have a hard time extracting it and so they just swallow.

    Sometimes with heavy shedding Shibas will get furballs like cats do. A half a teasp of Laxistat or Laxitone every other day during shedding should work if the dog gets really bound up and has trouble eliminating.

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2008-12-29 16:16:52
  • Thanks guys!

    If I say "leave it" in a normal tone of voice, he will stop immediately---I don't even have to use my "I mean business" voice. He's blowing pretty heavily right now so there are clumps of hair all over the house, especially right after he has a good scratch. He generally won't go up to a clump of hair that is just sitting on the floor, but if its one that has just come out due to scratching and is still moving he is all over it. I've been watching his poops and they have been normal so far. I'll just keep an eye on things.

    Thanks again!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    I am glad my Shibas are not the only idiots blowing their coats in December. Bella does a pretty good job of not ingesting it, but Nola's poops are full of hair. However, I have never seen her actually eat it. So I am not sure exactly how she is eating it.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • CrimsonO2CrimsonO2
    Posts: 1165
    "So I am not sure exactly how she is eating it."

    She isn't meticulous about grooming herself is she?

  • ShibaToshiShibaToshi
    Posts: 33
    Toshi has started eating hair as well, I haven't caught him eating his hair, more like mine or my sisters or my Mum's. We all have long hair, so I don't know which is which.

    We've had a few dangling poops and sometimes it hurts him and he'd go crazy, whining and crying, sounding like he just got murdered. We pick him up and distract him with a treat while we slowly pull it out.

    I'm kinda worried about it, should we be doing that? Or should I take him to the vet to get some laxatives? I'm trying to keep as little hair as possible in my room so he won't eat them.

  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    The vacuum cleaner is your best friend. :) Vacuum as much as possible to get the 'shed' human hair up the best you can.

    But despite frequent vacuuming, Nola (who is sick and does things she would not normally do) still find a straggling piece of my hair to ingest. And on occasion, it will get stuck coming out. If this happens, I just cut it with a pair of scissors (never pull it out, it can cause severe damage to the colon). And yes, I carry scissors with me on walks and potty breaks now.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    All my dogs are blowing their coats, so there are big piles of dog hair around no matter what we do.

    And Leo, the Kai Ken pup is just grazing. He has twice vomited up big chunks of hair. It's kind of like having a cat and hairballs!

    I'm trying to keep the hair swept up but with three dogs blowing their coats, it's hard! Luckily it's not my hair (though I suspect he would do that too) so we haven't had the dangling poop problem!
  • brscrnsbrscrns
    Posts: 447
    I occasionally have the same problem with grass. The dogs will eat long grass and then it will get stuck coming out the other end.
  • Tanuki has sections of poop that are compressed hair. Both him and Katsu have had the stuck poo thing too.
  • DakotaRose42DakotaRose42
    Posts: 152
    I have a grass problem too, especially at the lake when I am not observing them as closely as I do at home. We come back to town and have at least 1.5 days of green, grassy puke to clean up. I tease that they were cows in a previous life, but sometimes I wonder about their poor tummy's! What is the grass obsession? Shiba will eat her hair too, but we try to clean that up as quick as possible.
    ~Steph and Wade~ Proudly owned by: Shiba and Lyla
  • HibariShibaHibariShiba
    Posts: 204
    Ponta tries to eat his fur, but we don't let him. He'd probably eat our hair too, but my wife is a clean freak and doesn't leave enough hair for him to eat. He's been shedding for more than two months now (is that normal?), and still leaves considerable fur where he's been. We have several tape rollers around the house--look like paint rollers, but they have sticky tape, which you roll to get hair and then tear off one layer of tape when it's no longer tacky enough to hold new stuff. They help a lot. Ponta tries to bite at them, but seems to like it when we roll them over his coat to pick up stray hairs (it's nowhere near sticky enough to yank fur out that hash't detached yet).

  • I have a real issue with hair eating for Okami. Not her own fur, but MY hair. I've got really long hair down to the tops of my thighs and I tend to "shed" just like Okami, lol. But because of this, I have to make sure I always vaccuum every few days because Okami is a string eater/carpet licker for some odd reason.

    She has eaten some of my hair before that's had a tough time coming out the other end, but thankfully she's always passed it and it doesn't happen often. My worry is it getting wrapped up in her intestines because my hair is so long.

    I have caught her a few times trying to eat a piece of my hair, but she makes so much noise trying to lick it up that I always end up getting it away from her before she has a chance to eat it. I've been vaccuuming even more lately just to be safe ;)
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    My dogs will eat hair and/or fur, but not huge piles of it. So far there have been no problems at all, just a bit of fuzzy poop and a dangly bit every now and then.

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