At least she's stopped chewing her tail... Any Dis dog owners out there?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Magpie, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Magpie

    Magpie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,584
    Slowly, over the course of a year, my dog licked all the hair off the underside of her tail. We thought at first it was just a bad habit, but she got more and more and more persistent about it, the harder we tried to make her stop.

    We sprayed her tail with Bitrex. She licked it off. We put ointment on it. She licked it off. We tried hot spot spray - she thought that was especially yummy. We bought a cone. It was too short - the dog's a contortionist. We bought larger cones. She couldn't sleep. She started scooting, trying to rub her tail on any rough surface, including concrete. I crocheted her a full body suit! :lmao: She chewed through the thick cotton tail and made it bleed. So finally, we took her to the vet.

    The vet scratched her head, looked puzzled, and said, "I've never seen anything like this before! It looks like each individual hair follicle is involved." Checked over the dog, couldn't find any other trouble spots, and said, "It's just her tail. Hmm." So she decided to throw antibiotics at it for two weeks, plus a medicated ointment, plus antihistamines to quell the itching.

    We dosed the dog this morning... and she doesn't need the cone any more. Which is wonderful! But now she's passed out on the couch, semi-comatose. She's not even biting her nails, which is her favourite pastime. I have to call her name three times to get her to respond to me (but then she came over and licked my hand before going back to lie down). And she's sleeping with her eyes open, which looks freaky.

    Any one else have an issue like this with their dogs? I'm assuming the antihistamines are making her dopey. When should I worry? (When she doesn't get up on command, I'm guessing.)

    What about walks? Should I cut them short, if she's this sleepy?

    Just wondering if anyone else has been through anything else like this with their dog.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. AB6876

    AB6876 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    204
    My dog had what I thought was a hot spot on her neck ( the underside) she scratches it till is has no hair. I tried all the stuff you tried and noting worked. Took her to the vet and he said it was allergies. Dogs show their allergies in their ears and on there skin unlike humans who cough and sneeze.
    He gave me a prescription for prednisone. I give her half a pill ever other day as needed. It is the only thing that works. She stops scratching that spot. Times she does not need it for weeks then again she may be on it for a couple of weeks. It is pretty inexpensive too.
    Good luck!
     
  4. Magpie

    Magpie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,584
    Our vet said she didn't think it was allergies, because she couldn't find any other spots on our dog. And the skin around her bum was normal (whereas a food allergy would have made it irritated). She kept peering at our dog and saying things like, "Why is this only on the underside of your tail, sweetie? Why isn't it anywhere else?"

    But I'll definitely ask, if the antibiotics don't clear things up!

    P.S. Did you crochet a bunny suit for your dog, too? ;)
     
  5. lizbaby007

    lizbaby007 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    326
    I would not rule out food allergies. We had a shar pei that had a "hot spot" on her tail. Nearly licked the thing off. Turned out she was allergic to sweet potatoes. Switched her to a limited ingredient diet that was made of lamb and rice (not much else) and she was fine!
     
  6. Magpie

    Magpie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,584
    That's what she's on, though... lamb and rice and not much else, other than grabbing a few tiny bits of veggies from the floor when I'm chopping up dinner.
     
  7. mrsv98

    mrsv98 Gracie's Mama, Certified chicken wrangler

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2001
    Messages:
    5,544
    Did the vet check for mites? They are microscopic and can't be seen y the human eye but can cause terrible itching. Since it is localized it would make sense that it is something like mites or even fleas (though you would probably find evidence of fleas on other areas).

    The other common cause once allergies and infestation have been eliminated is anxiety. Once dogs start "worrying" an area it can be hard for them to stop. You might consider an anti-anxiety medication like prozac and see if that helps.
     
  8. FLCyndi

    FLCyndi Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    395
    We have a boston terrier that chews his tail-nowhere else. He has skin allergies. Vet recommended benadryl-doesn't help, just makes him sleepy. He gets a steroid shot 1 to 2x per year depending on how bad it is. This works wonders.
     
  9. Auggietina

    Auggietina <font color=blue>The sky was streaked with reds, p

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,456
    My dog started with his belly and then within 6 months and chewed his hair from his sides and his tail. Went to the vet twice. He could not figure it out. Did research on the internet and he had all the symptoms of having a yeast overgrowth.
    So I changed his diet to a grain free diet. He almost immediately stopped the scratching and the chewing. It took 8 months, but his coat came back so full and healthy, I am convinced that what was wrong with him.
     
  10. Magpie

    Magpie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,584
    I don't know if she did or not... she looked very closely, and seemed taken by the fact that each hair follicle looked inflamed.

    Anxiety was actually my first guess! The dog's always been a bit on the neurotic side - she sucks her paws and bites her nails to the point where they've turned visibly brown, despite her being a black dog. The vet said her saliva stains her paws. But she's never done damage to herself before.

    We exercise her regularly, and she's good with most other dogs - extremely submissive personality. She's rarely left alone... maybe once a week, tops, and never for long.

    Oh... I'd never heard of that one before! I'll check it out.
     
  11. Magpie

    Magpie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,584
    This is my dilemma - the benadryl worked immediately. She's showing no desire to bite or chew, so I'm guessing it killed the itch. BUT - she's also quite lethargic.

    So I can't see myself giving her this long term, as I really would prefer to have a dog, not a furry doorstop.

    Here's hoping the antibiotics kick whatever it is!
     
  12. tuckerkeys

    tuckerkeys official cookie taster

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    753
    OP, sure sounds like allergies to me! One of my dogs used to constantly lick between her paws -nowhere else.

    Please try a new food out! GRAIN FREE is what you want for a dog with allergies, as well as a different protein in the grain free food, such as bison or salmon. There are many many different grain free dog foods to choose from nowadays, it's almost maddening! It can take 2-4 weeks for the new food to kick in and the licking to go away. Also, a wonderful additive to the food that works wonders with dog allergies is a fish oil pill. no need to get a "pet grade" one just use ones you would take yourself. I get mine from costco.

    My dogs eat a grain free salmon based food from the costco believe it or not. It's kirkland brand and made by the same manufacturers that make taste of the wild. Some other excellent grain free choices in dog food are blue buffalo wilderness grain free, halo grain free, natural balance grain free- there are just too many to list! Dogs who scratch and itch are usually allergic to the corn, wheat, ash additives all in regular good old dog food. Even the expensive "name brand" foods such as iams, eukanuba and science diet are all filled with absolute garbage for dogs.

    If you want to see if it is the grains and additives in the food before you actually buy a bag you can also try out a diet of boiled chicken and green beans for @ 2 weeks. Sometimes, dogs are also sensitive to chicken sthis may not work either - good luck & please let us know how your fur baby is doing!
     
  13. clutter

    clutter <font color=FF66FF>Princess's Mom<br><font color=b

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    3,626
    This is also an allergy symptom.
     
  14. Feralpeg

    Feralpeg Living and Loving Windermere!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2000
    Messages:
    18,070
    I agree with others. It sounds like a hot spot. My goldens have always had hot spot issues. Mine had flareups when the seasons changed. It seemed to be pollen related.

    It is not unusual for a dog to be lethargic after taking those meds. Just let her sleep. She's probably exhausted after dealing with the itching. My vet gave me a spray to put on my dogs tail and other hot spots. It's a local anesthetic. Once the pollen let up, the hot spots normally cleared up. I also put my dogs on special dog food for allergies.

    OP, what kind of dog is she? Some breeds are very prone to hot spots.
     
  15. Magpie

    Magpie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,584
    Thanks, I'll check it out!

    Got my fingers crossed. :thumbsup2
     
  16. skater

    skater <font color=blue>Change sometimes stinks.. doesn't

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,641
    I work for a dog and cat food company, and I can't tell you how many people solve problems like this simply by buying a good quality food without corn and other processed grains. There are also many good limited ingredient foods that often work for the more difficult cases.

    Its possible there is something else going on, but its worth it to try the simple solution first :).
     
  17. Magpie

    Magpie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,584
    She's a cocker spaniel/poodle cross.

    Here, I just snapped a picture of her: [​IMG]

    This is not her normal expression. Nor is she ever quite this flat. Usually she's very responsive to things going on around her. On the plus side though, she's not whining, the way she was in the days before we took her to see the vet. (She became very obviously uncomfortable last weekend, running from one spot to the other and trying to climb on top of things and crying a fair bit - today she's just a lump.)
     
  18. skater

    skater <font color=blue>Change sometimes stinks.. doesn't

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,641
    She's cute!
     
  19. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    22,839
    Am I reading this right that you waited a year to take her to a vet for this?

    Generally a short course of steroids solves the problem as it decreases the inflammation (and resulting pain and discomfort) involved.

    What may have started out as a physical problem could have become a "compulsion" where it went on so long. Of course one would have anxiety if an itch or discomfort is driving them crazy and they can't get to it or make it stop! Think of how we would feel in the same situation!

    No steroid? Hot spot 101 = steroid. She must have had a secondary infection from the scratching and biting if given antibiotics. I take it her anal glands were ok?

    This is too much antihistamine for her. It should be enough to help stop the itch but not so much as to make her pass out or become unresponsive. You may have to cut back the dose.

    It may or may not be food related. Personally, my bet would be more an allergen that the underside of her tail was coming in contact with. Re-look at her environment to see if there's anything that could be causing this to happen. Hopefully the medication she was given will help. If not, when she wakes up you might be back to square one.
     
  20. Callie

    Callie Always Dreaming of Disney Magic

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,580
    My sisters cat has allergies. She kept getting a bald spot every now and then on her back. Also she gets into sneezing fits. We didn't know why! The vet gave her some allergy medication that my sister gives her now whenever she starts sneezing a ton, or getting a bald area!
     
  21. usnuzuloose

    usnuzuloose DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    153,255
    Both of mine used to itch terribly, then I got fed up with the vets saying it isn't the food. I switched there food without corn. They still struggle with some allergy's but as long as I give them a benadryl they are fine. They no longer itch and there skin is clearer than it has ever been. I would start with the food.
     

Share This Page