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Old 12-14-2012, 09:41 PM
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Brutus is chewing long fur off his rear

Hi everyone, my name is Courtney and I just joined this forum. I have a 2.5 year old golden male named Brutus Maximus. To explain his chewing/fur eating issue, I'll start with some background information in hopes someone on this forum has had a similar problem or may have some advice.

I adopted Brutus back in June of this year. The woman that had him before me had been feeding him ProPlan chicken and rice. I wanted to use a better quality food, so I put him on Verus chicken and rice. He was very difficult with eating this food. I would have to call him back to the bowl several times each meal. While this food did not seem to give him any skin problems aside from a hotspot or two in the summer, he simply would not eat it; so I put him on Blue Buffalo chicken and rice. He loved this food, absolutely gobbled it up. However, about 10 days after starting the food, I came home to one side of his rear chewed very short with one small area chewed raw to the skin. It got infected and I had to take him to the vet a few days later. The vet suggested making sure it wasn't a flea allergy (it was not- I saw no fleas and he is on Advantix) then get him off the BB and try a unique protein food. So, I then tried Nutro Ultra LID Venison and Brown rice the sensitive skin and sensitive stomach formula. He has been on that for about 4 weeks now, but in the last few days I've noticed chewing on the tops of his paws and in the same hind area as he chewed before.

He does not chew his rear when I am home. He does, however, bite/chew at the top of his paws and the hair is shorter there too. I thought taking him off the chicken (I also changed all of his treats) would help. Should I try going grain free or is it possible this is all behavioral? I work a full 8-9 hour day, but dedicate a good bit of time every morning and evening walking him and playing with him. He has plenty of toys and does play with them when I am home, but I have no idea if he really does when I am gone. I am just not sure what to do. When he chews his skin raw, the vet bills are very high, and I just can't handle much more. There is no sign of skin infection, bumps, or any of that. I was thinking the next step could be to try Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato grain free LID. Perhaps the omega 3s would help the skin? ANY thoughts or opinions would really help here. Thanks so much for listening!!

Courtney
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:57 PM
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are his #2s runny? Did you take a stool sample to the vet to have it checked? Did you try to go back to the food he was eating before these problems started and see if it persists - assuming he did not do this on the previous food? Did you try to contact the previous owner and ask if he ever had this kind of problems before?
I do not mean to scare you and from what you are indicating he either chews his bottom or his paws. Our Jack who was almost 16 yo developed a tumor on his behind - initially it looked like hemorrhoids- and he kept on chewing at it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:07 PM
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We had similar issues with Samantha. A novel protein is good but I would second going grain free. Sounds like it may be an allergy. Try slowly changing to a grain free, chicken free blend. We've had good luck with BB Wilderness Salmon, but there are lots of other great foods in the same category!

Good luck and I look forward to hearing other's input!
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:11 PM
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You might try grain free, but I would also wonder if it's behavioral. Is it possible to try doggie day care a day or two a week and see if he stops the chewing when he's occupied with other dogs and activity? I wouldn't change food and do day care at the same time since you wouldn't be able to tell what worked. Just a thought....and good luck fixing the problem.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:37 AM
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Thanks for the input everyone!
Claudia- yes he has been seen by a vet for an exam and bloodwork (because he is getting neutered in January). Everything checked out fine both with the physical exam and bloodwork. Last week I had to treat him for whipworms so his stool was runny, but tthat was the reason. I assume he picked them up somewhere around the grounds of the apt complex and he is on HG, but that product does not kill whips. Prior to that fecal being doing and whipworms being discovered, his stools were fine on the venison food, even better than they were on the chicken. I have talked to the previous owner before, but his past living situation was one where more people and dogs were around so he was probably more occupied than he is now, even though i do put in a lot of effort in doing things with him
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:55 PM
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I had your exact experience with whipworms while my dog was on HG (my vet prescribed HG and did not carry Interceptor. Brooks had been having diarrhea, had numerous fecal exams but the ww eggs didn't show up---then he got really sick and was bleeding internally, ended up in ER......on the weekend of course so it would cost more, oh, and I had VPI at that time and they refused to pay because they said that worms were preventable--Grrr).
Interesting, though, Brooks also started chewing at his long fur on the upper backs of his legs about 3-6 months after his lovely long fur back there first grew in. He never chewed it down to the skin, just chewed them off to about 3-4 inches. He did it for a good while, then finally stopped doing it. I never figured out why.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:10 PM
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I don't know if it's related but Molly chewed off the feathering on her arms. She would do it when she was bored (when no one was home or when waiting for me to get out of bed). I'd wake up to her leisurely chewing away. It turned into a habit. Weeks of bitter apple got her to finally stop.


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Old 12-16-2012, 09:20 PM
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Hi all! I have started slowly switching Brutus to a grain free food. I am trying Natural Balance sweet potato and fish. Hopefully this will help out. I also may try bathing him more often, as I have a good oatmeal shampoo that is supposed to control itch. Just out of curiosity, has anyone heard of a dog having an allergy to sweet potato or peanut butter? I know dogs can develop allergies at any time to anything and that it is most commonly the protein or grain, but just wondering if anyone knows if sweet potato or PB allergies are common? Sweet potato was the 5th ingredient (I believe) in the blue buffalo food that I had Brutus on when his severe chewing/biting started. I didn't give that much consideration given that the natural balance is grain free and limited ingredient.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:22 PM
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Hi Molly's mommy- thanks for the response! Its nice to hear I am not the only one dealing with odd chewing issues. I have used the bitter apple on occasion (times when he seems to be chewing more), but perhaps I'll try it daily for a few weeks to see if that kicks the habit. It's just so sad that all his butt feathers are gone and I just hate when he gets down (or close to) the skin. Hate to see him do that to himself. I sure hope this resolves soon!
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:57 AM
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Sorry this is a little delayed, but hopefully you will see it. I've never heard of sweet potato allergies but did want to pass along one thing our vet recommended. We always got hot spots in the summer and fall after a bath with Samantha. Our vet recommended using Johnsons and Johnsons baby shampoo for baths because it's extra gentle. It has solved our problems.
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