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My Dog Ate Goose Poop

Is It Normal For Dogs To Eat Goose Poop?

My dog ate goose poop! Now you are wondering if you should panic?! No, you shouldn’t panic, “it is really unlikely that a dog would get sick from eating goose feces”-Dr Marie From Ask A Vet. Most of the time a dog’s intestinal tract is pretty resilient to a bacterial infection.

Why My Dog Ate Goose Poop

It’s not uncommon for dogs to eat goose poop, and this behavior can be somewhat unsettling to many pet owners. When dogs come across goose droppings, they may be drawn to them out of curiosity or because they find the scent appealing. While it’s not the most pleasant habit, there are several reasons why dogs engage in this behavior.

Medical Explanations

There is a rare neurological disease called Canine Deterrent Palatability. This disease causes dogs to lose their sense of smell and taste. This makes it so that they eat things that are harmful because they have lost the ability to know what is bad for them.

This will usually only happen to senior dogs over the age of ten. Dogs whose teeth are missing or wearing down have a hard time chewing kibble. As a result, they want to eat things that are softer and easier to chew like goose poop, grass, or leaves.

A lack of glucose can cause your dog’s appetite to increase. This leads to excessive food intake. Also, diabetes prevents the stomach from absorbing liquids. This causes the dog to not only eat a lot but to drink a lot. Your dog might be eating goose poop because its wet, squishy and provides hydration.

It is not unusual for dogs to have parasitic worms. Most of the time this will cause them to eat their poop because the parasites are leashing the nutrients. A dog may eat poop to try to compensate for this.

This is a disease that affects senior dogs (over the age of seven). Over production of cortisol is the cause of Cushing’s disease. It increases a dog’s appetite because cortisol is a hunger hormone. This makes your dog more likely eat poop.v

Steroids increase a dog’s appetite and poop is one food source that is easy to find.

Deficiency of certain vitamins in your dog’s diet is one of the main reasons why dog’s eat poop. For the past fifty years or so commercial dog food has been pre-packaged and processed. Some processed food is lacking certain ingredients found in natural foods. Experts believe that this lack of nutrients may be behind the increase rate of dogs eating poop. Some boutique kibble is not balanced and lacks nutrients. While many of the boutique kibbles are high in protein, they lack key vitamins. This could explain why dogs who eat goose poop often tend to crave other things like grass or leaves. 

Vitamin A: Let’s start with the most common one, Vitamin A. A lack of vitamin A can cause a dryness of the mucous membranes lining the mouth, nose, throat, and intestines. This makes eating poop more likely because it has small amounts of Vitamin A.

 Amylase: Next, we have an enzyme called Amylase. Amylase is in the saliva and helps break down starch. Starch turns into energy and dogs who lack this enzyme are lethargic. There are high amounts of amylase in grass, leaves and poop

 Zinc: If your dog is low on Zinc, they have a hard time breaking down their kibble all at once. This makes poop a better choice than kibble because its everywhere and they can pace themselves.

Non-Medical

Some dogs eat goose poop due to social learning. This is especially common in puppies who use social cues to survive. If this is the case, they will usually grow out of it. 

Dog’s sense of smell is between 10,000-to-1000,00-time smore acute than ours. They can smell all the individual parts of the poop. Geese eat a diet of grass, seeds, and natural foods. This makes goose poop seem very appealing.

Curiosity has led dogs to eat all sorts of things. This includes rocks, grass, leaves, sticks, dirt, rabbit poop, deer poop, squirrel poop and of course goose poop. But this is usually only the case for puppies. Dogs usually experience it once and decide if they like it or not.

A dog can’t tell the difference between a small piece of poop and a tasty treat. In their mind, poop is kibble. They lick it up without evening tasting it (much like some dogs do with kibble).

Dogs are scavengers. When they are hungry their natural behavior kicks in. They will go after anything that might have enough nutrients to satisfy them. Therefore, you will often see dog’s eating poop, grass or leaves when it is time to eat.  

Dogs under stress will often eat their poop. This is common in both puppies and adult dogs. They are trying to calm down by stimulating their brain. When they eat their brain releases happy hormones.

Symptoms of eating goose poop

Why Eating Goose Poop Can Harm Your Dog?

Are you worried because “my dog ate goose poop”? Eating goose poop can be harmful to your dog because of parasites and bacteria. For the most part, dogs who eat goose poop are not at risk for any real long-term problems. They may have an upset stomach. If your dog ate enough of the parasites or bacteria he could be at harm. Medicine may be needed if the dog ingested large amounts of the parasites or bacteria.

Goose feces can contain bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are harmful when ingested. Eating contaminated droppings can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Fecal matter, including goose poop, may harbor harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. Ingesting these bacteria can cause severe gastrointestinal infections in dogs, which may require veterinary treatment.

Geese can carry parasites like roundworms and tapeworms in their feces. If your dog consumes infected goose poop, they can become infested with these parasites, leading to health problems such as weight loss, lethargy, and digestive disturbances.

In some cases, geese may have ingested toxic substances from the environment, which can then be passed in their feces. If a dog consumes goose droppings contaminated with toxins, it can lead to poisoning and a range of symptoms depending on the specific toxin involved.

Frequent vomiting and diarrhea resulting from ingesting goose poop can lead to dehydration in dogs. Dehydration can be severe, requiring medical attention.

Dogs that engage in coprophagia (the consumption of feces) may be at higher risk of developing secondary infections or oral health issues due to the transfer of bacteria from the feces to their mouths.

Bacteria In Goose Poop

Medical issues can indeed arise when a dog consumes goose poop, and it’s crucial for pet owners to be aware of the potential health risks associated with this behavior. Goose droppings, like any feces, can carry a range of pathogens and contaminants that may harm your dog. Here are some of the medical issues that can result from a dog eating goose poop:

Symptoms

These can cause vomiting and diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps after a dog eats it. There is a risk of toxin and infection when dogs eat goose poop.

Treatments

Vets prescribe antibiotics to treat the E. coli infection. Treatment last between 5-10 days.

Symptoms

Campylobacteria causes diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever.

Treatments

It usually goes away on its own, but it can sometimes be fatal too. It is best to contact your vet immediately. Vets prescribe antibiotics like erythromycin

Salmonella is a bacterium that infects geese and can pose a danger to your dog if they eat their poop. Salmonella is responsible for causing food poisoning.

Symptoms: This leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The infection will become chronic if the salmonella is not expelled from the dog’s body. This could cause arthritis or pancreatitis.

Treatment: The antibiotic most frequently used in Salmonella-positive dogs was metronidazole

Since listeria is a bacterium that is found soil, water and some food sources it can be relatively easy for your dog to be exposed to and become infected.

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and more.

Treatment: This can be very serious in some cases but the good news is that the infection is treatable with antibiotics

Dogs may also contract Canine Brucellosis from eating too much bird droppings. This is a bacterial infection.

Symptoms: It causes chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, fever, and muscle aches. It can lead to abortions if contracted by pregnant dogs. It can also cause liver damage if contracted during the first trimester. It may also lead to meningitis in humans.

Treatments: In dogs, brucellosis is difficult to cure, and relapses are frequent. You will need to spay or neutering your dog. In addition, vets will administer antibiotics for several months. Vets will also perform frequent blood tests to track treatment progress.

Intestinal Parasites (Giardia and Coccidia)

Intestinal parasites can cause your dog to have chronic diarrhea, weight loss, gas, and frequent visits to the bathroom. This could last for several weeks or months. It may go away but you should take them to their vet for some tests.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is found in goose poop.

Symptoms

Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and a lack of energy.

Treatment

It is important to note that cryptosporidium cannot be cured. According to CAPCVET “few drugs are consistently effective against cryptosporidium.  This means that if your dog has contracted this parasite then they will have it for the rest of their life. Your vet may prescribe medication to slow down the symptoms but there is no cure for this disease.

This is a protozoan that lives in the intestines and can cause serious disease if ingested by your dog. You can find it in water sources and in dried up goose poop. However, giardia is very host specific according to Dr Marie. This means that even if a dog ingested it, they would not get sick. Therefore, if your dog did end up getting giardia it was most likely from drinking water. My dog Loki got giardia from drinking from the Fox River which is not known for its quality.

Can Affect Humans

Giardia is dangerous because it can spread to humans or other animals.

Symptoms

Your dog will likely become very thirsty. This is because this parasite takes out a lot of the moisture in the intestines leaving them dry and hard.

Poop Color & Texture

The stool may contain blood which can make it sticky and slimy like glue or paint. It also may have a green tinge.

Treatments

Vets will prescribe medicine to flush the parasites out of your dog’s body. Fenbendazole and metronidazole are the most frequent Giardia killers. Vets prescribe these drugs for 10 to 14 days to treat giardiasis. 

Coccidia is a parasite that can live in the intestines and cause your dog to have diarrhea for months. This is another protozoan that comes from eating poop contaminated by bird droppings. Like cryptosporidium, it needs feces to infect a dog.

Symptoms

Coccidia causes dogs to have chronic diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, gas and must use the bathroom frequently.

Treatments

Vets treat coccidiosis with sulfamethazine or ponazuril. Treatment usually last 5-25 days. Proper sanitation is also necessary to clean the infection from the surrounding environment

Worms In Dog Poop

Other Diseases Associated With Eating Goose Poop

Dogs eating goose poop can potentially be exposed to various diseases and health risks due to the presence of microorganisms, parasites, and pathogens in the feces. These diseases can affect dogs when they ingest contaminated goose poop. Here are some of the health concerns associated with dogs consuming goose feces:

Goose poop is grass and water. It may also cause them to develop Gluten Sensitivity. This is also known as canine Celiac Disease. Most vets put dogs on an elimination diet to determine if the dog does have celiac disease.

This is the inflammation of the pancreas. This causes abdominal pain along with vomiting and diarrhea. If the pancreatitis swells your dog could have an obstruction. This will require surgery to remove the blockage so that food can pass through the system.

Symptoms Of Goose Poop Ingestion

If your dog has eaten goose poop, it’s important to monitor them for symptoms because there are potential health risks associated with the ingestion of feces. Here are some symptoms to look out for. If you notice any of these symptoms or if you have concerns about your dog’s health after they have consumed goose poop, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian for guidance and evaluation. Your vet can perform necessary tests and recommend appropriate treatment to address any potential health issues and ensure your dog’s well-being.

It’s essential to monitor your dog’s diarrhea closely, especially if it persists for more than a day or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, or dehydration. If diarrhea is severe or persists, seek veterinary attention promptly. Your veterinarian can determine the underlying cause, provide appropriate treatment, and help ensure your dog’s recovery.

It’s crucial to monitor your dog if they exhibit vomiting after ingesting goose poop. If vomiting is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, or blood in vomit, you should seek immediate veterinary care. Your veterinarian can diagnose the underlying cause, provide appropriate treatment, and help manage any complications that may arise from the ingestion of contaminated feces.

It’s essential to monitor your dog if they experience a loss of appetite after ingesting goose poop. A decreased appetite can lead to nutritional deficiencies and dehydration if it persists for an extended period. If your dog’s appetite does not return within a day or if it’s accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it’s advisable to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can assess your dog’s overall health, identify any underlying issues, and recommend appropriate treatment to address the loss of appetite and associated symptoms.

It’s important to note that lethargy can be a sign of various underlying health issues, and not all cases are directly related to the ingestion of goose poop. If your dog displays lethargy after consuming goose poop, it’s advisable to monitor them closely. If the lethargy is severe, prolonged, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or dehydration, you should seek veterinary care promptly.

It’s important to note that a mild fever is typically a sign that your dog’s immune system is actively responding to an underlying issue, such as an infection or inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. While a mild fever itself may not be a cause for immediate concern, it’s essential to monitor your dog for other symptoms, especially those related to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfo

It’s crucial to monitor your dog closely if they experience weight loss after ingesting goose poop or exhibiting any concerning symptoms. If your dog is losing weight or showing other signs of illness, consult with your veterinarian for a thorough evaluation. Your vet can identify the underlying cause of the weight loss, recommend appropriate treatment, and develop a plan to address your dog’s specific health needs. Early intervention is essential to ensure your dog’s well-being and prevent further weight loss or complications.

If you notice that your dog is drinking significantly more water than usual after eating goose poop or experiencing gastrointestinal issues, it’s crucial to monitor them closely and consider consulting with your veterinarian. Excessive drinking can be a sign of a broader health problem, and your vet can perform a thorough examination, conduct diagnostic tests, and determine the cause of the increased thirst. Addressing the underlying issue promptly can help prevent further complications and ensure your dog’s well-being.

It’s important to monitor your dog if they exhibit frequent bathroom breaks following the ingestion of goose poop or any gastrointestinal issues. While occasional diarrhea or increased urination may not be cause for immediate concern, persistent or severe symptoms should be addressed. If your dog continues to have frequent bathroom breaks or displays other concerning symptoms like dehydration, lethargy, or loss of appetite, consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can assess your dog’s overall health, diagnose any underlying issues, and recommend appropriate treatment to alleviate the symptoms and ensure your dog’s well-being.

Should I Call The Vet?

If you notice any of these symptoms take the dog to the vet immediately. If you do not notice any signs or symptoms, then you can check their poop for color and consistency. Make sure that they are moving their bowels regularly and looking healthy. If there are any changes in the feces, then bring your dog to the vet.

Can Dog's Die From Eating Goose Poop?

It is very unlikely for a dog to die from eating goose poop unless it has eaten too much at one time. This is because the above parasites and bacteria have overtaken the immune system. The dog will become sick and show symptoms. If you see excessive vomiting’s or diarrhea for more than 24 hours you need to contact your vet.

9 Ways To Stop Your Dog From Eating Goose Poop

Preventing your dog from eating goose poop, also known as coprophagia, can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can try to discourage this behavior: Remember that it may take time and consistency to modify your dog’s behavior. Be patient and persistent in your efforts to discourage them from eating goose poop. Additionally, a combination of these strategies may work best for your individual dog, so feel free to experiment to find what works effectively in your particular situation.

If there are certain areas where geese migrate too, avoid it.

Do not allow your dog to roam off leash where geese roam. This area will become a buffet for them

Use a traffic leash which has two handles. One handle is near the clip. This allows you to keep your dog close to your body and not scavenging for goose poop.

You could provide antibiotics and a vitamin supplement to your dog. Yet, it is hard to say which one as you would need to do test to determine which vitamin your dog is deficient in. You could provide a general supplement like this one.

Changing food away from unregulated boutique food could help. Move away from highly processed food. This would prevent your dog from needing to outsource his dietary needs.

Asking your dog to look at you while you heel is called a focused heel. A focused heel is useful when you want to get pass a goose minefield. Instead of looking down your dog engages with you.

Teaching your dog to ignore something should be the first command they learn. To teach leave it follows the steps below:

Both tools can prevent a dog from scavenging. Muzzles completely prevent the dog from picking up food. Gentle leaders keep the dogs head up.

If your dog is eating geese poop because he is hungry you should feed him before going on walks. This will help prevent eating out of hunger.

If its in your backyard it might be better to just clean it up. 

What Should I Do When My Dog Is Trying To Eat Goose Poop?

When you catch your dog in the act of trying to eat goose poop, it’s essential to take immediate action to discourage this behavior and protect their health. Remember that patience and consistency are crucial when trying to modify your dog’s behavior. It may take time for your dog to break the habit of eating goose poop, so be persistent and continue reinforcing positive behaviors. Additionally, addressing any underlying issues, such as dietary deficiencies or stress, can also help reduce the likelihood of coprophagia. Here’s what you should do:

In a calm but firm voice, give your dog a command like “leave it” or “drop it.” These commands should be part of your dog’s basic training repertoire, and your dog should understand them.

If your dog doesn’t respond to the verbal command, gently pull on the leash to redirect their attention away from the goose poop. Be careful not to yank the leash too hard; the goal is to guide them away from the feces, not hurt them.

Quickly provide a suitable alternative, such as a treat or a toy, to shift your dog’s focus away from the goose droppings. This can help reinforce the idea that there are better things to pay attention to than feces.

When your dog complies with your command or chooses the distraction you’ve provided, offer praise and a reward. Positive reinforcement helps reinforce the desired behavior.

Use Your Training & Then Pull Them Away From It

Your first step should be to command leave it or look. I understand that this is not a great solution for even the best trained dog. This is because teaching leave it creates a value system. We are asking them to turn down a $100 bill (the poop) for the $1 bill (the treat). If that is the case, you need to pull them away from the poop. Therefore, we use harness on walks. Harnesses are not training tools. We use harnesses to prevent injury.

Final Thoughts

My dog ate goose poop and he is fine. However, its important to keep any eye out for symptoms of serious diseases. The most important part is managing your dogs behavior. This is by using one of the nine techniques described above.  

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