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Name: Shar
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2013
 

Question:
Why do most animals even carnivores like cats eat some specific type of grass if they are experiencing stomach problems?



Replies:
Shar,

That is a good question. Because of cellulose and other components, grass is typically not digestible by carnivores. The ingestion of grass may induce vomiting which may help relive the ‘upset stomach’ the carnivore is experiencing. That feeling is often due to excess bile in the stomach. Once the excess bile is gone the ‘stomach ache’ goes away. We often see dogs doing this with rapid results of blades of grass mixed with slimy yellowish vomit.

I hope this helps, Regards, Louis M. Huzella, DVM


Hi Shar,

Thanks for the question. I do not know of a specific answer to your question. I would guess that there may be bacteria on the grass that would be beneficial to digestion. Alternatively, the fiber in the grass may aid in digestion.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions. Thanks Jeff


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