A dirty mouth

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Sometimes Adagio looks older than his days (all 74 of them). Is he worrying about the state of his gut? Is that why he’s eating dirt?

Steve and I often roll our eyes over the fact that all puppies do the same things. I could tick off a half-dozen behaviors that every one of our CCI charges has engaged in during their youngest days (they all love to squeeze into tiny spaces such as under the couch, they all chew up their bedding, etc.) But some come up with novel tricks. Kyndall, for example, was the only one who gobbled up fallen hibiscus blooms. Adagio is the only one who eats dirt.

At first we thought he was merely smelling it. Or licking it.

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It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on.

But close observation has revealed that often he is transferring the grains of soil from the ground into his mouth, where they are masticated (briefly), and swallowed.

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Sometimes there’s telltale evidence.

We have no idea why he does this, or how bad it is for him. I plan to ask other puppy raisers what they’ve experienced; maybe even consult with one of the CCI experts.

An interesting coincidence is that, along with Adagio, we were given a week’s supply of “Pro-Pectalin tablets.” We’d never heard of them before, but a note explained that the CCI national veterinarians have begun to recommend the stuff “for pups with soft stool. Pro-Pectalin contains kaolin and pectin in addition to a probiotic (to restore good bacteria to the GI tract.)”

Adagio hasn’t had any diarrhea, and his stools are about the same as those of most puppies we know (sometimes firm and sometimes goopy). But we shrugged and gave him the pills (which he eagerly consumed). We used them all up and didn’t plan to buy more; they’re not cheap.

We’re not sure that Adagio’s dirt-consumption has increased since we finished up the pills. But as far as I know, kaolin is a form of clay. Could he be eating the dirt because he’s craving the clay in it for some reason? We’re leaning toward a month-long trial of more of the pills (along with tight limitations on his snacking in the flowerbeds.)

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