My dog keeps chewing on himself!

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: My dog keeps chewing on himself!
By Gracious95 (Gracious95) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 01:20 am: Edit

Yep, I have another problem.

I have a German Shepherd that's nine years old, and he bites himself a lot. He just chews on parts of his body until he yelps (and that's AFTER it lost the fur and it bleeds). He has lots of little bloody patches on his body, and they're always some on his feet. We have no idea why, and he's been doing it all his life.

The vet hasn't been a help either. Once we took him when he was young, and they said he had "growing pains." Since he's nine and still doing it, it can't be that. Recently, he bit quite a big section on his back, and it just looked disgusting, and my dad took him to the vet. They just gave him pills to heal it fast and to keep it from getting infected (Okay, and how is that going to keep him from biting it?). So, they obviously don't know either. It's a bit frustrating.

But, today I saw this one patch in particular on one of his top leg joints, it seemed swollen, pink and bumpy. Nothing like I've seen before, so I don't know what it is. I cringe when I look at it. Makes me wonder if it's a tumor or something? I can't show my dad because he's not home and he's not coming anytime soon (he drives tractor-trailers). So, I don't know what to do for now.

Really though, does ANYONE's dog do this besides mine? I always wonder what's wrong with him. He's kind of fat because I couldn't walk him anymore since he would limp from his leg-biting, and people might think we abuse our dog or something, lol.

I took pictures and everything, just to find out I couldn't put them on here! Oh well. If someone wants a picture they can get my email from my profile.

By Alphamom (Alphamom) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 02:16 am: Edit

Check a vet website as I am not a vet. May be allergies to diet or a severe fleabite reaction. Steroid treatment could ease itch, swelling, and pain. Some skin conditions are common with certain breeds. Tumors can be quite common, especially on older dogs. A vet should determine if it is benign (not cancer) or cancer. Removal is sometimes recommended. Please get treatment so the dog is comfortable. Just a little extra care could make a big difference to your dog's life. I can tell you really care about him.

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 02:43 am: Edit

Take him to a better vet, and ask questions. They have online vets that are very good at answering questions, so try that out.

By Mellowmom (Mellowmom) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 09:24 am: Edit

our dog had this problem many years ago and we went to many vets but not until we went to a vet dermatologist did we find the answer. She had some kind of mange or scabies. It doesnt always show up under the microscope unless you do a few different skin scrapings. After it was diagnosed it was very easy to treat. Good luck to your poor little pup.

By Over30 (Over30) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 03:49 pm: Edit

If your dog is highly allergic to flea bites, one bite can cause severe skin problems, itching, etc. Other allergies can do the same, including food, grass, other insects. The dog then scratches, bites, etc., and a staph infection can set it. You really need a good vet to deal with this. We were also told it could be thyroid problem, but the initial treatment along with allergy shots has cleared it up, so we didn't have to go through the thyroid testing. You might want to do a google search on this.

By Lame (Lame) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 01:41 am: Edit

Well, if it is nothing serious, then when you see your dog starting to chew on a new spot, before he's broken the skin, spray it with bitter apple spray. The dog will find it revolting and stop chewing on his skin. Better to itch than to bleed, I think.

By Chemgirl (Chemgirl) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 02:58 pm: Edit

Your dog's millary dermatitis (skin problems) may a result of a diet allergy, as Alphamom suggested. My cat had the same problem, so my dad, who is a vet, BTW, changed her food, and she no longer has a problem. I'll check w/ my dad when he gets home to see about other possibilities and let you know if anything comes up.

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 03:17 pm: Edit

Gather a handful of raspberry leaves. Add to a quart of boiling water---as if making tea. LET COOL.

Sprinkle the COOL liquid over the affected areas. This gives relief to a number of different skin problems. You would still need to determine the underlying cause.

By Rachelvishy (Rachelvishy) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 05:07 pm: Edit

give him lots of attention and petting too, that always helps my dog

By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 01:44 pm: Edit

My dog seems to have a similar problem too. He's always scratching and biting himself. It seems to have gotten better by buying another brand of shampoo and by taking him to the vet.

By Gracious95 (Gracious95) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 12:23 pm: Edit

How would I convince my dad to take him to another vet?

I showed him, and he's like, "Oh well, he's old anyway.."

By Over30 (Over30) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 01:02 pm: Edit

Once a staph or other infection sets in you'll almost have to treat it. Save yourself a few hundred dollars (or more, depending on how severe it is) and see the vet now.

By Girlforever101 (Girlforever101) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 01:41 pm: Edit

My dog did that too, it was really nasty. We put this bitter tasting stuff on his bitten areas(you can buy stuff like that in any pet store), and something else to help heal skin.

By Alphamom (Alphamom) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 02:05 pm: Edit

If your Dad refuses to take the dog to a vet, because of the expense, perhaps you could work with the vet or someone on his staff. He's already seen the dog and may be able to sell you medication (it may take a few tries to get what works) or shampoo that would minimize the discomfort. I hope your Dad doesn't want you to use that "Oh well, he's old anyway" philosophy on him someday! Talk to the vet, they want to help, and good luck!

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