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Penny's Biting Compulsion


Guest annickaandjef

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Guest annickaandjef

Hey all.

 

New member of the forum - I made an introduction post in "Intros and Bios" last week.

 

Our Penny has been adjusting to her new life in Chicago for the past two weeks (she came home on December 29th).

 

She came to us with a deep bacterial skin infection on two of her legs, which she bites and licks at obsessively. We did not realize how bad the infections were until she came home. We took her to the vet, who diagnosed her and gave her 3 weeks of Cephalexin. We began treating her and e-coning her during the night and while we were out of the house for progressively longer periods of time. She's had no expression of anxiety when we leave or return, and loves her crate.

 

Yesterday, when I got home from work (we were gone from 9am to 3:45pm), I uncrated her, removed her cone and took her out to the backyard. She was happy to see me and happy to run around. When we got back in to the house, I saw her back leg, one of the legs where she has a lesser version of the bacterial infection on her front leg. She had bitten off all of the fur and most of the skin on her haunch. It wasn't bloody, per se, but very red and clearly VERY painful, though she wasn't limping or licking it. We were shocked that she was able to get around the large cone to her back leg while in the crate.

 

We drove her to the vet, where they shaved down both of her legs with the infection. They also did a stool on her, and discovered that she has giardia, as well. They gave us a maximum-size cone as well.

 

So, Penny is now on Cephalexin, medicated wipes for her very painful-looking legs, Pepcid for the antibiotics, and medication for the giardia. She has to wear her cone when we're not sitting right next to her, including at night. We're terrified of crating her during the day because the new cone, which is so large that she can't easily turn around in the crate. And she's clearly miserable wearing it.

 

We're trying to get her outside for longer periods of time (we live in Chicago, where it's been in negative temperatures for the past five days and it's not safe to go on longer walks). Our vet also recommended feeding her entirely through puzzle toys to keep her busy. But other than that, we're so worried and at a loss. She is our first dog and I feel so terrible that she's in such pain - and evidently stress, though she had not show it initially.

 

Any thoughts or advice on how to manage a sick, adjusting pup in a new environment, or on toys that help refocus compulsive biting/licking, would be much appreciated.

 

Annicka

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Have you told your adoption group about the infection? IMO they should not have adopted out until the dog was medically cleared. You should not have to pay these medical bills.

Edited by macoduck

 

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Muzzle her with a stool guard. And you may need skin biopsies. I had a greyhound with a skin infection. We did repeated rounds of Cephalexin without success. Finally did biopsies and found a fungal infection below the skin (so it never showed on skin scrapings or under black light).

 

Although toys to refocus her attention are a nice idea, you can't rely on her to ignore the irritated skin. A muzzle is painless, she'll still be able to drink through it, and it's much less annoying and less hazardous than the e-collar. She needs to be muzzled any time she isn't under your direct supervision. And even then you might have a problem with her rubbing or scratching the infected legs (Silver learned to scratch the front leg with her back foot). But clearly a cone has been useless--and it's a nuisance--so please use the muzzle. She'll be annoyed by it, but not harmed.

 

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
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darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Guest Clawsandpaws

Agree with Macoduck.

 

Also, a cone is not always effective, as greyhounds are also part time gymnasts and can twist and bend in all sorts of impossible ways! A better option would be to buy a kennel muzzle with a stool guard, not only will it be more comfortable, it is probably a safer option.

 

 

Your group may have some available to give to you, but if not, you can buy them through http://www.gemgreyhounds.org/GEM-Store/category/muzzle/

Edited by Clawsandpaws
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Guest annickaandjef

Agree with Macoduck.

 

Also, a cone is not always effective, as greyhounds are also part time gymnasts and can twist and bend in all sorts of impossible ways! A better option would be to buy a kennel muzzle with a stool guard, not only will it be more comfortable, it is probably a safer option.

 

 

Your group may have some available to give to you, but if not, you can buy them through http://www.gemgreyhounds.org/GEM-Store/category/muzzle/

 

Thank you, Macoduck, Clawsandpaws and KF in Georgia.

 

Our adoption group is aware. She was treated with Cephalexin before we adopted her, and they said it improved a bit. They paid for the first round of antibiotics as well.

 

We did buy a muzzle - she seems to be able to get her teeth to make contact with her legs while wearing it though. Maybe a stool guard would solve that problem, eh? Can a stool guard stay in in-crate overnight?

 

KF in Georgia, I actually found your post last week while researching skin infections on GT...thank you for the advice. I wonder if Penny is also dealing with a fungal infection beneath it all. We're taking her back in 10 days for a check-up, but perhaps we'll go sooner than that.

 

Thank you all!

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Yes! :nod My Truman is a compulsive licker when it comes to small cuts or injuries. He never lets anything heal- just bites and licks it back open. The muzzle stool guard combo has been an amazing tool. The other thing you may want to consider is a low-dose sedative, at least temporarily, since this is clearly driving her crazy. Our vet gave us Valium the last time Truman got stitches on his leg. It calmed him down so that he wasn't miserable while his injury was healing.

 

ETA: Yes, the stool guard solves the problem of them being able to get their tongue through the holes. And they are MUCH easier to crate this way. Our guys can do everything normally with a muzzle and stool guard, even go out the dog door.

Edited by a_daerr
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Guest RMarie

what about sweatpants? Haven't others used those?

That was my thought. Maybe get some jammies or something on her to literally cover up the skin.

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Guest BlueCrab

That was my thought. Maybe get some jammies or something on her to literally cover up the skin.

My thought too. Sweatpants in kid's size or kid's pajama pants. Would certainly provide a second barrier in addition to whatever the muzzle / stool guard does.

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We have successfully used child-sized sweatpants or long-sleeved tshirts to keep the pups from licking over the years. They get used to them quickly and it really does help a lot. The skin is still able to breathe which is very helpful.

Jenn, missing Shadow (Wickford Big Tom), Pretty Girl (C's Pretty) and Tori (Santoria)

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Any thoughts as to an underlying cause of the skin infection, such as allergies? Is she on any medication to address the itching/inflammation? She is likely not just licking/chewing out of compulsion, but because she's actually itchy. Options include oral or topical antihistamines or steroids, as well as fish oil supplementation.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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Guest annickaandjef

Any thoughts as to an underlying cause of the skin infection, such as allergies? Is she on any medication to address the itching/inflammation? She is likely not just licking/chewing out of compulsion, but because she's actually itchy. Options include oral or topical antihistamines or steroids, as well as fish oil supplementation.

Hey JJNg,

 

We haven't really talked about an allergy - she came to us with this deep infection on her leg and it seems that the focus has been on treating reactively, rather than a proactive identification of an environmental problem like an allergy. Maybe because she's been in transit/foster for the past few months.

 

She's currently on Cephalexin, and some medicated wipes, as well. The vet hasn't suggested anything like steroids yet, but I think we'll raise the question when we go back for a follow-up next week.

 

Our adoption group also suggested changing her food to Taste of the Wild or Natural Balance, so I'm going to pick some up tonight and start gradually switching it out.

 

We tried the muzzle/stool guard last night, but she immediately used the muzzle to itch her arm. So we definitely need to get some PJs before we try that again, so she can't itch directly with the muzzle.

 

I'm also going to pick up some sweatpants for her :)

 

Thanks all!

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I worry about leaving them alone with a stool-guarded muzzle (which we use every single time ours go out!) -- I worry if they throw up with it on they will suffocate.....

 

ps. and definitely contact GO about this (guessing you adopted from GO?)...

Edited by RaineysMom

Kim and Bruce - with Rick (Rick Roufus 6/30/16) and missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (Lab) (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (Schipperke) (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (GSP) (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
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