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Dog Question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am a cat person and have never owned a dog till now .... 6 months or so ago we found ourselves with a 11 yr old , blind chocolate lab who was about to become homeless.

Hes been healthy but now something weird is happening ( yes we called the vet ) . He is suddenly biting off chunks of fur on one leg and on his hind .... theres no open wound just red irritated skin . We don't see any signs of fleas on he or the cats .... We have an appointment on the 17th of September and cant get him in any sooner.

What could cause something like this?
post #2 of 12
Sounds like an allergy of some kind - lawn chemical, food, etc. I'd take him in for a vet check. It could also be ringworm too.

We have a yellow lab (6 yrs old)
post #3 of 12
can you try a different vet ?? this is not a ER situation yet but the red skin could be come infected and three weeks is a long time to wait 11 while your at the vet please ask for a senior blood panel
post #4 of 12
Get a second opinion from a different vet.

At his age I agree with Jen, he needs a senior pannel done.

I also think that this could be allergy related (What food are you feeding him? What flea/tick/heartworm prevenative is he getting? Is he indoors only or does he stay outside too?)

It could also be done out of bordeom.....even though he's of an advanced age he still needs daily exercise and stimulation (you can come up with things to do with him that get around his disability). How many hours a day would you say he gets attention/exercise?
post #5 of 12
He could have allergies. My mom's wire haired fox terried has seasonal allergies. He'll bit himself so hard all the hair on the insides of his legs are gone and his skin is red and rashy. It clears up quickly once he's on meds in the summer/fall.

Good luck! Hopefully it's just allergies!
post #6 of 12
Allergies, stress, boredom...all of these, or a combination of them can cause this sort of thing.

Get some bitter apple spray, and give him some benadryll twice daily (one tablet each time) This will help prevent chewing (bitter apple) , and aid in suppressing the 'itch' (benadryll). This should 'tide you over' till he get's in to the vet.

You can also wrap it lightly with vet wrap, and put some antibiotic ointment on it (before wrapping)...then spray with the bitter apple. Perhaps get an E-collar (not the electronic, the elizabethan cone, type... )

Make sure he is getting enough exercise, and mental stimulation daily...he may be 11 years old, but he could very well just need more exercise to keep him from developing behaviors to get rid of his energy.
post #7 of 12
Our vet has us give our Golden Retriever his Benadryl according to weight, same as you would give a human. Start with the lower dosage and increase as needed. It does wear off fairly quicky, so the 4 hours schedule is a must for allergies. It can make the dog very sleepy and can interfere with their ability to pee.

A cool water bath, using oatmeal shampoo, is soothing.
Our Golden is allergic to grass, so we have to wash his feet everytime he comes in the house. Cool water again.
Ice packs, wrapped in a towel to prevent freezer burn, can help relieve the itching. Good luck with that one.

For the really bad times, we give Ben some prednisone fro the vet.
post #8 of 12
Please consult a vet on correct dosing of any medicines including OTC s
post #9 of 12
Get an opinion from another vet if possible..
post #10 of 12
There are so many things that can cause skin problems in dogs it is unreal. Even vets have a hard time pinning it down unless it is an 'easy' one or they are specialists. BTW if a dog si extremely allergic to fleas, you often won't see any fleas. That's because it only takes one or two to cuase huge problems, whereas dogs who do not have a severe flea allergy can be covered with them and not suffer anywhere near as much.

I would not use any over the counter meds that are meant for humans. It can be dangerous if you use the wrong dose and many should not be used at all. If your vet says to do it after seeing this dog then that is one thing but i would not do it. There is some hydrocortisone anti-itch spray meant for pets that you can try that will help if it is an itching problem.

Good luck!
post #11 of 12
It sounds like what's called a "hot spot." It's the time of year for them. I've heard giving the dogs licorice works to help it but haven't really seen that work. Frankly, I've not found anything that really helps hot spots. Since the dog is older though and you know little of his background I would certainly go to the vet.
post #12 of 12
When I was growing up, our dog (German Shephard mix) started doing this suddenly and found out it was exzema. He started it about that age too. The vet put him on low dosage steriod pills and it helped alot. He mainly did it in summer because the heat aggrivated it.

Also, have the vet check for mites. I had a rabbit once that did that and I thought it was stress, but the vet ran tests on her hairs and found mites that were driving her crazy. We still don't know where she got them (she was an indoor bun). I had to give her an iodine bath (THAT was a fun, and stinky experience) but it cleared up the problem.

But, I agree to try a different vet. One that has experience with older dogs. Good luck!
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