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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!!