Post # 1
A few months ago I posted about how my 5 year old Collie-mix (Shiner) had been gnawing/licking/biting at his backside to the point of creating an open sore. (http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/dog-biting-himself-rawbloody/)
During our initial vet appointment Shiner was perscribed 2 antibiotics, given an E-collar and a steroid shot. We kept him in the collar for 2 weeks and then got him an inflatible collar once the wound was healing. Well. Apparently he was able to get at his wound with this inflatible collar and he reopened the wound so it was back to the vet.
We were perscribed another round of antibiotics and instructed to come back for a follow-up appointment; the vet seemed to think that something was inside the wound and Shiner may need surgery to correct the problem. We followed up, and the doctor seemed to think all was well and surgery was not needed after all and that a few weeks more and he should be healed.
Only it didn’t heal. Turns out that our second dog (Rebel) was licking the wound, keeping it open. Back to the vet for more antibiotics and we put Shiner in a t-shirt in addition to his e-collar to keep Rebel from being able to get at the wound and to continue to assure Shiner couldn’t reach it. During this vet visit the doctor took a sample of the fluid and sent it for testing. A week later she called to tell us the wound wasn’t infected.
The wound heals. Or, it did.
He’s back at it again. It’s not nearly as severe and we put him back in the e-collar and a t-shirt again to make sure he didn’t get another abcess. Fortunately because we have been keeping the hair shaved around the original wound we were able to catch it quickly; before it was hidden under his long fur.
I’m just so frustrated. I am trying all that I can to be a good pet-mother but it doesn’t seem good enough – one step forward and two steps back. He eats a grain-free diet, since noticing his irritation I have given him a bath with a soothing oatmeal shampoo. He’s been being walked in the middle of the day since this first started, months ago (I worried it might be boredom or anxiety making him do this). I’m giving him vet-approved dosages of Benadryl to soothe itching and he’s on a flea preventative (K9 Advantix II).
We’ve arranged for another appointment on Saturday and we think it may be a cyst.
Shiner is the first dog I’ve had on my own and I just want for him to get better and I feel like a massive failure.
Post # 2
Check this out: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HHSIYQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
read the reviews: they say more than what I could. It really does smell strongly of pine, but it works… And if it doesn’t work for your pup.. Well it’s just a $12 experiment
Post # 3
I ciould’ve sworn I posted on your original thread but I don’t see it. Anyway, is it at the base of his tail? Around that area?? If so, I had read about a dog, I’ll have to look it up, that was having a similar problem in my area. Let me know. (I have to try to remember this story I read where they discovered a problem)
Poor guy, that has to be so, so very uncomfortable for him.
Post # 4
This is my absolute favorite doggy shampoo:
It works AMAZING, and since it’s both antibacterial and antifungal, hopefully it will clear up whatever he has going on.
Also, has he been tested for environmental allergies? My boo thang was scratching his mouth so hard that it was bloody and raw, and he was also developing hotspots in random parts of his body, making him so miserable that he lost 10 pounds. Like you I kept taking him to the vet where they would do the whole antibiotics and steroids routine. That was putting a bandaid on the issue, not solving it. I finally brought him to a new vet, where he was tested for environmental allergies. Turns out he is allergic to every type of grass that grows in Louisiana (where we live) as well as pine trees, which is pretty bad considering we have a forest behind our house.
We started him on Heska immunotherapy injections, and while the dosing is pretty rigorous at first (2-3 shots per weeks, then gradually decrease) he is now to a point where he only gets a shot once every 6 weeks. He hasn’t been on steroids or antibiotics since, and his skin and fur is so beautiful. He’s been on the immunotherapy injections for about 3 years now, and I couldn’t be happier. Here is some info on the immunotherapy:
To all Bees: If you have ANY questions about trying immunotherapy for your itchy dog, please PM me. I truly believe this regimen saved Boomer’s life. He responded immediately to the regimen, and has been doing great since. While humans show their allergies with watery eyes and stuffy noses, dogs show it through their skin. It is so worth it to not have a miserable best friend.
Post # 5
Yes! It’s just above the base of his tail.
I’m at my wit’s end and so upset because I know he’s uncomfortable and there’s so little I can do about it. The ony positive that’s come out of this is that our bond has strengthened – he can definitely tell that I’m trying to help him.
Post # 6
Okay, I’m not doctor, of course! But let me contact the person I know that I think also knows the story on this rescue dog that was biting her tail really bad and it turned out to be something kind of weird. She’s fine now, though. Man, I hope I can remember the right person that knows this…. stay tuned!
Post # 7
Shiner has not been tested for environmental allergies but I am definitely going to bring it up on Saturday – this can’t keep going on. I need to fins something to make him get better and stay
Post # 8
That is exactly how I felt. I felt so horrible that Boomer was so miserable, and I felt guilty even though I knew I was being a responsible mom. The immunotherapy was seriously a life saver. Before he got tested, he was being tested for food allergies, which he is allergic to some things. However, the environmental allergies were the main culprit to his misery.
Post # 9
This used to happen to my mother’s dog from spring until late fall. It ended up being an allergy. The vet didn’t properly diagnose it until he took a biopsy of the area.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2016 - Theater
Have you had him “tested” for pain? My dog gnaws on her ankles and paws when she’s sore elsewhere (mostly her back and hips) and she’ll stop if we alleviate the aching with appropriate pain medication or therapeutic massage.
In any case, have him tested for allergies and try to soothe itchiness and irritation, but maybe bring it up with the vet if an actual itch is not what is causing him to gnaw and lick.
Also don’t feel like a failure, fellow Bee! You are being a good, responsible pet parent and doing your best to get to the bottom of this. Trust me, I see failed pet parents on a practically daily basis and you don’t sound like you should be grouped in with them at all. Chin up!
Post # 11
Maybe you should get a second opinion from a different vet?
Is it possible he has anxiety and licks as a way to deal with stress?
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2016 - Charleston, SC
I haven’t read the responses, so I’m sorry if this was already mentioned! My lab had a “hot spot” on her paw, and it sounds really similar to what shiner is experiencing. She bit it open constantly and it was really sad to see her reopen the wound every day. To be honest, it didn’t go away for years and she was on antibiotics for it for basically the rest of her life. I don’t say this to scare you. My dog had a really great, long life, but it was just one of those things that no one could ever figure out.. You might have to get creative in your approach. She was in a cone for a while, which definitely helped keep her away. Not a sustainable solution, but good for when the wound is really bad. My parents ended up putting a sock on her and binding it with duct tape, which seemed to work. There’s also a product made for horses that tastes bad (think bitter apple or red hot flavor)…you can bandage the wound and spray the bitter stuff on and around the bandage to try to dissuade your dogs from gnawing on it. Good luck! I hope you find a solution to the problem, but if it turns out to be just one of those weird things, know you’re not being a bad dog mom! You’re doing your best 🙂
Post # 13
I have worked for a veterinarian for 4 years, just FYI.
Step 1: get a 2nd opinion. It always helps to have a second pair of eyes on the situation, as they may have experienced this issue in a patient before.
Step 2: when looking for a second opinion, find a veterinarian who carries a product called Apoquel. It is newer to the market, so not everyone has huge supplies, but at our office we literally call it the “miracle drug.” It alleviates itchiness and breaks the itch cycle, and is extremely safe and effective.
Step 3: keep itchy dog in e-collar/ shirt (shirt if the other dog is licking it), and seperate them if needed.
Step 4: gradually change diet over to a novel protein. This would be something like duck, venison, rabbit, salmon, bison, etc.- something that he’s never had before. Make sure the food has no chicken, turkey, beef products in it. Cut out any treats- it’s hard, but trust me. Be sure not to give ANY people food, and when giving treats, use something hypoallergenic (pill pockets makes a duck flavored hypoallergenic version).
step 5: if still no improvement, get quotes for allergy testing options.
i hope this helps! Trust me, the hardest part is cutting out treats, but it’s worth it.
Post # 14
Okay, found out this other dog’s problem was due to a cropped tail. Is your dog’s tail cropped?
If not, I agree with PPs. Allergy tests (my cocker had multiple allergies) or a 2nd opinion. I feel there should be some medicine he can at least take to relieve his itchiness til it’s figured out.
Post # 15
I agree with the second opinion. Our first pup had constant vomitting and our initial vet said is was some disease that needed all these meds and regular urine and blood testing. We were happy to do it to keep her healthy, and then we moved, so moved vets to keep the treatments up. The second vet was not so convinced and put her on a special food as she felt it was not what the original vet diagnosed as. Turns out she was right, and all out dog was needed was a modified diet. Point being, second opinions can be really helpful.