Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:26 pm Post subject: wont stop biting himself..
My 1 year old pugger Champ wont stop biting himself. He costantly is biting the base of his tail, his feet, and scratching his face. I have checked him numerous times for fleas and cant find a single one on him. He is currently on Andvantage so I dont think it is fleas.
I also thought it might be allergies so I gave him half a benadryl, which only made him sleepy and hasn't helped with the ithching.
He isnt losing hair yet in these spots but Im concerned that he may begin to since this is sooo frequent.
Does anyone have any idea what maybe causing this and how i can relieve this problem?
Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:31 pm Post subject: Re: wont stop biting himself..
my mimi constantly chews on her feet and scratches her face. i was told it was more than likely a food allergy but she has to be on special food for bladder stones so i dont really get a choice in the matter
Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:36 am Post subject: Re: wont stop biting himself..
My 5 month old pugger does this same thing. I asked the vet about it, and she didn't seem to worried about it and claims that the chewing is behavioural. I do find that he does it most when he has been scolded or told no. I am interested in additional responses.
Joined: Sep 19, 2007 Posts: 3527 Location: Tidewater Virginia
Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:21 am Post subject: Re: wont stop biting himself..
Chewing on paws, etc. can be a behavioral thing, but you should look at all the alternatives.
Usually, the behavioral chewing/licking is something a dog will do when bored. So you come home to a chewed paw or hot spot, but they don't do it as much when you are there. It can become a habit though, but you should have seen evidence of licking/chewing before.
Some dogs can use licking as a security blanket behavior. Tallulah licks me frantically when she's upset by something, but she doesn't lick herself for comfort.
To respond to Champsmom, it could be food allergies, but it could also be seasonal or environmental. If this chewing coincides with a particular pollen season in your area, it could be that. If you've changed laundry detergents or soaps, it could be that. I wouldn't rule out fleas because he's on a flea med. All the flea meds only work when the flea bites the dog. So even if the fleas are biting him and dying, they are still biting him. My two girls have flea allergies (to the saliva of the flea) and will scratch like mad with only one bite.
Fleas spend the majority of their time not on the animal, so you could be missing them, too. Just to be sure, I'd treat your house and yard for fleas thoroughly. Also, fleas in certain areas of the country have started to become resistant to certain medications. Talk to your vet to see if they've noticed that Advantage isn't working in your area any longer.
If you think it's a food allergy and want to go that route, you have a couple of options. You can look around for an allergy food. I think Natural Balance has one. I'm sure other brands have them as well. It may be called a Limited Ingredient Diet. Or you can make your own food with a new protein source and a new carbohydrate source. Most people start with duck and brown rice or venison and brown rice, etc. You can only feed those two foods for a few weeks. Then gradually start to add in other foods, one a month or every two weeks. That way, when/if he reacts to an ingredient, you are able to recognize it.
Do some research on the common allergens for dogs as far as food. Corn is a big one, then there's gluten, grains, beef, poultry, tree nuts, etc.
Talk to your vet about the proper dosage of Benadryl for Champ. The dose you gave him may not be enough to stop the itching. If you notice a hot spot starting, try to dry that up ASAP. I use neosporin and Gold Bond powder on top of it. If you aren't giving him Benadryl, you can use Benadryl cream to help with the itching, then put Gold Bond on top. You can't use oral and topical Benadryl together because it can overdose them. But you have to be on top of those hot spots, because they can get infected very quickly. Check the areas he's chewing for redness and heat. When my girls get hot spots, they don't lose the hair there, but the spot is underneath the hair. If that happens, you need to shave that area if you can or cut as close as possible with small scissors to expose the spot, then treat with a soothing cream and powder.
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