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New adult JRT: possible issue or worried parent?

828 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  flipgirl
We got a new Jack Russell from the SPCA about 4 months ago. He is about 4yrs old and wasn't fixed until we adopted him. No other pets in the house.

About a week ago he started eating the weedy grass that grows in the side yard when I take him out there to pee. He will sit and nibble at it for a few minutes if I let him. He shows no interest in eating the regular lawn out front.

His appetite for normal food is good still, and we haven't seen him throwing up at all.

He also seems to be sneezing occasionally and itching himself more lately, but I can't tell if this is just me being a worried new parent or not.

Finally, the last three days he has been making this throat clearing noise when we start our afternoon walks. He only does it a few times usually and doesn't seem distressed by it.

I've never had a JRT before, so he's a new experience for sure.

The only thing I can think of is maybe he's having an allergic reaction to something... Last week I switched his meaty treat from beef to lamb, so maybe he's having a reaction to that?
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Anything is possible but I wouldn't worry too much. If he continues or if you see any other symptoms you could give your vet a call and express your concerns. Eating grass/weeds in and of itself is nothing to be too concerned about. I had a rescued Rottweiler that used to eat grass all the time. It sort of became a joke that she was part cow and liked to graze. It was never an issue either. She lived to be 13 which is practically unheard of in Rotties.
If you notice any other "allergic type reactions" give your vet a call. :)
Oh and by the way, Welcome to the forum. :) God bless you for rescuing.
you may be linking 2 things that are unrelated.
you have
dog eating grass- normal
dog making hacking/clearing throat- not normal but not overly concerning
dog scratching- allergy? could be the food.
try eliminating corn, wheat, and soy from the diet (read your dog food label!!!) and give it 6 weeks.
What are you feeding him? As mentioned, it could be a food allergy and could be related to wheat, corn or soy. But it could also be the protein he's allergic to. If this is the case, then try a novel protein such as duck or venison - try to choose a food that has a single source protein as opposed to multiple proteins. Natural Balance makes a Duck and Potato and a Venison and potato formula. Eagle Pack makes a Lamb and Rice (lamb used to be the protein of choice when a food allergy was suspected but it's not so novel anymore but you can always try it). Nature's Variety's Instinct formulas have different proteins I think.

As for the hacking, it could be reverse sneezing? Sometimes it can sound like a 'hork' like they're clearing their throats and other times, it sounds like they're choking and can't catch their breath. If this is the case, you can press down on his tongue or close his mouth and it should stop. It's normal and doesn't affect him, although it will probably affect you more! :) However, because of the itching, I would go to your vet to see if it could be a food or environmental allergy.

As for eating grass, he probably just likes it. Some dogs will eat it to make themselves throw up but most dogs just like it. Just make sure it hasn't been treated with pesticides.
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