Pica

 

Pica is an appetite for, or the behavior of eating, non-nutritive substances (e.g., sand, coal, soil, chalk, paper etc.). Pica can be dangerous to dogs, with a risk from eating dirt near roads that existed prior to the phaseout of tetra-ethyl lead in gasoline or prior to the cessation of the use of contaminated oil (either used, or containing toxic PCBs) to settle dust. In addition to poisoning, there is a risk of gastro-intestinal obstruction or tearing in the stomach or blockage of the esophagus.Pica in dogs may be a sign of Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, especially when it involves eating substances such as tile grout, concrete dust, and sand. Dogs exhibiting this form of pica should be tested for anemia with a Complete blood count including Hematocrit levels, or Packed cell volume.