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Hello,

I am a newbie here and first time poster. 

 

My 2 ½ year old, male, multi-gen ALD recently started licking & biting off his hair on one leg.  As a background, I purchased him from a reputable breeder that is a member of one of the two ALD clubs.  I feed him Nature’s Logic kibble and rotate proteins each month (base is the same).  He has full run of the house during the day (9-5), plenty of toys & bones, and he has three “perch seats” in which he can look out the window. I give him a short walk in the am and longer walk in the pm as well as play time. His schedule has not changed for one year. 

I took him to the vet and she ruled out dermatitus and did not think it was allergy related. She thought it was boredom and habit.  She recommend a product called PawLife Calm Pup (treats). I purchased the product and give him one treat in the am and it seems to have helped, but I am curious if this is a safe product for the mid to long-term.  It is hemp oil infused soft chews with organic chamomile, passion flower, valerian root, tryptophan and ginger root.

 

Would love to get forum members wisdom.  Thank you so much for your input.

 

Michael

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Replies

  • I know that in theory, boredom can cause this, but I have never personally known of a dog who did this. In every case I've personally known of, there has been something bothering the dog in the area where the chewing, biting & licking is happening. That can be a bug bite, a contact dermatitis, allergies, or even a growth; I have a friend whose dog was doing this recently. A vet visit showed there to be a growth in the area that needs to be removed. Meanwhile, the dog had created a hot spot that became infected. And infection is your big danger here.

    Since the vet has examined her, I'd think we can rule out a growth. I have to agree that this doesn;t sound like allergies, since the biting/licking/chewing would not be confined to a single leg and there would be other symptoms. I don't think food has anything to do with it, and purchasing from a "reputable" breeder who belongs to ALD clubs doesn;t prevent a dog from having some type of skin issue. I'm not sure how your vet could have ruled out contact dermatitis, though. Perhaps by "dermatitis", he/she meant Atopic Dermatitis, which is the true name for allergies. I do think it would be very unusual for a normal, healthy dog who gets enough exercise to damage his skin/coat out of boredom/habit. But i can't give you any other explanation. If this were my dog, and it continues, I would make an appointment for a consultation with a veterinary dermatologist. Otherwise, your dog is going to end up with a hot spot, which can be very difficult to treat and very painful. 
    Some of the ingredients in the product your vet recommended can lower the seizure threshold in dogs. In addition, it contains oats and rice, which I would not want to give a dog who is on a grain-free diet, as it could cause digestive issues. I looked at a few of the Nature's Logic kibble formulas and they do not contain grains, not sure if your dog is on a grain free diet or not. If it agrees with your dog, I'd say it is worth trying for maybe a couple of weeks. However, I'd see a specialist if the problem doesn;t resolve by then. 

    • Thank you Karen for your kind and informative reply. Very much appreciated.

      He did have a small hot spot and the vet prescribed a topical spray. Hot spot cleared up in 4-5 days. He is on a grain free food but I do give him treats that I am pretty sure have grains (Mohter Hubbard). I will continue to monitor. 

      Thanks again for your prompt response. This seems like a great community of doodle lovers.

  • My girl will do this in the evening once in awhile if she is still hungry. Giving her some kibble with a little yogurt, seems to do the trick. She is not a big eater and sometimes it catches up with her in the evening.
  • Me too! 

  • If he's consistently going after the same spot it's worth getting him checked by a qualified animal physio or chiropractor. A pinched nerve in the spine can create abnormal sensation in the limb and this causes the dog to lick and chew on it, causing the hot spot.  Of course, he could have just got a bug bite that was itchy and made him fuss with the area. 

  • Something similar just happened to Finn.  I noticed him licking his front leg.  He ended up irritating what may have been a black fly bite.  I monitored it for almost a week, used the topical spray from a previous hot spot but just when it started to heal up he would start licking again.  A trip to the vet resulted in a cone and continue with the spray.  She felt he needed to break what was becoming a habit and I swear 2 minutes of licking set it off again.  I kept him in the cone whenever I could not monitor him and it cleared up great!! As much as I hate the cone, he did fine with it and it was better than prednisone which would have been the next step if it didn't heal!  Good luck!!

    • The cone is fine to prevent the licking, but it doesn;t prevent the intense itching that the dog is suffering. Imagine that you had a rash that itched terribly, and the doctor's treatment was to tie your hands behind your back so your couldn't scratch it. LOL! If you use a spray or something to actually stop the terrible itching, a cone to prevent the licking so that it can heal is fine, although I prefer the inflatable ones that are so much more comfortable for the dog.  

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