Can a Dog Get Sick From Manure?

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While the ASPCA considers eating manure to be a normal behavior for dogs, that doesn't mean it's a healthy one. Eating feces can cause serious illness in a dog, so you shouldn't allow your dog to indulge in the habit. Otherwise, you could end up with a pet who needs more than a good tooth-brushing.

Manure and Sickness

When your dog eats manure, he may be consuming intestinal parasites that will infest his body. He is at a lower risk if you know that feces come from an animal who is worm-free, such as your well-kept house cat. Eating feces -- especially horse manure -- to excess can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. The waste of large animals like horses and cows is problematic because, if they have been recently wormed, the medication as well as worm fragments may be present in their stool, and consuming it can make your dog ill. If your dog consumes manure from a strange or unknown animal, consult your vet and schedule a checkup -- and talk to a trainer about breaking the habit.

By Tom Ryan

WebMD: When Dogs Eat Stool (Coprophagia)
ASPCA: Coprophagia (Eating Feces)

About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.