chewing himself raw?

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Buddha's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-08

my 7.5 month doberman has recently(past 2 days) has been knawing on his knuckles and theres no fur or skin there now, im going to try bitter apple on his knuckles but im affraid thatll hurt,  and if i catch him i say no and redirect his attention. any other suggestions?

andrew's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-12

This could be behavioral, it could be allergies, its could be mange or it could be a symptom of greater concern. Please consult a vet!

 

My opinion;

Behavioral, try to expend all your puppies energy, all of it. long walks, games of fetch or I like to work in the yard and keep them engaged, it looks like they enjoy being part of what ever you do. hand them a branch, let them check out the tools and make them "come along" when you move.

if you try redirection you need a high value asset, not just the same old toy they have had for ages.

Allergies;

My experience is to cook rice and chicken in a rice cooker, two days on that diet and they look like different dogs.

Mange, vet

Symptom of virus or disease, vet

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

I would definitely say the first step if to get checked out by a vet asap.  That way you can rule out any physical problems, such as Andrew laid out.


I've heard that dobies have something of a propensity to develop nervous habits like this, especially if they were taken from their mother too early, but I don't know how much of that is dobies' actual psychological makeup, and how much is poor breeding and/or care common in this area.  :-/

Buddha's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-08

he was taking from his mother at 11 weeks, i talked to the vet but they looked at it and said they have no idea unfortunately ive decided lately that the vet i go to isnt very knowledgable cause they gave me the wrong advice twice but my trainer has no idea why its there either its perfect circles on both knuckles absolutely parrallel

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

Did the vet take a scraping or a swab or anything?  If not, I would probably try finding another vet.  >.>  But maybe that's just me.


If they're perfectly round, that might be ringworm...  again, a vet matter.

andrew's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-12

perfectly round sounds like ringworm, which is a fungal infection not a worm incase you don't know.

You can clean this up with a medicated shampoo or I treated my dog with a tea tree antiseptic cream. My dog had it on his belly and looked like this


Dogs pheromones are produced partly between the toes of the paw, chewing the paws can be a sign of separation anxiety. you can buy jackets with pheromones infuse which settle the puppy down. Alternatively you can buy a cheap shirt and wear it for a day and give it strips of it to them. Don't give the shirt unless you want it hunting the washing!

scotty's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-06

Pet Profiles

This sounds like a 'hotspot' to me.   I had a dobie, Griff, who had hotspots on both knuckles and we could not get them cleared up.  We tried all remedies, the vet took scrapings - nothing, we tried various medications, he wore an ecollar for what seemed months, in fact we had to add an extension to the ecollar as he could find ways of reaching that paw to lick.   Sometimes it would heal up and you would think that was it but next morning you would find that he had licked his knuckle raw again.   There was no obvious reason.   He got lots of exercise and playtime, he was with the family all the time so boredom was not the issue.   I think it becomes a habit but what starts it off I don't know. 

I would recommend searching for 'dog hotspots' on the web, there is lots of information available and photos for you to compare with your dogs skin.  I wish you good luck if it is hotspots, very frustrating condition to treat.

Kim
Kim's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-05

I echo everyone's suggestion to get him to the vet, and make sure there's not a disease or fungal infection going on.

If there's nothing found, acral lick granulomas ARE a problem with Dobermans along with several other breeds. My girl Lib had a horrible one. I tried everything and spent probably well over $2K trying to find what would heal it. I even tried Valium. Nope, not working. I couldn't put anything on it, because she had Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and she couldn't take any pain relievers or medications for the same reason. It was a constant worry for me, because hers was so severe she ended up on three legs.

What I finally found worked, after YEARS of trying everything, was either a far infrared lamp or a Light Relief machine pad over the granuloma for 20-30 minutes every night. A wise old vet told me once - if it's wet, dry it up, and if it's dry, get it wet. Because the granulomas are wet, you want to dry them up, and both the lamp and Light Relief did it. I do think a laser would have the same results - but they are much more expensive. (Even treatments are about $40 per session.) Both the lamp and Light Relief are available on Amazon, and cost around $100 each. Both relieve pain dramatically, which is why dogs constantly lick the granuloma.

By the time Lib went Home, her granuloma was one third the original size, and the improvement happened over 6 months. She was almost 15.

I think it's important to make sure his spine is aligned too - if vertebra in the spine are pinching, it can cause them to chew on their legs. ('Cause they can't reach their back, and because the pain can radiate down the legs.)

Lastly, Libby was a dog that absolutely HAD to be able to run. I think my putting her on a leash once we were out of the yard had a great deal to do with her starting to lick herself. She had been used to running over 120 acres for a minimum of 45 minutes every day, and she would run full tilt, non-stop. (Something she couldn't do in the back yard.) I couldn't let her keep running, because she started killing off turkeys and rabbits and woodchucks, and she would also cross the road and go to the neighbors. (She was really stubborn, and wouldn't come when called. My fault for poor training when she was young, I know.) Her granuloma started after I curtailed her running loose every day. (Even though we walked 4-6 miles every morning.)

She was an extremely sensitive hyper dog. I think she needed to burn that energy off every day.

Best of luck to you! I hope you get things resolved for your boy.