why does my dog bite his hair off
If your dog s fur chewing is the result of itchy skin, there are several possible reasons. Allergies Allergies in dogs are common and usually manifest within the first six months of age to three years old and can affect any breed or sex of the dog. However, atopic dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction affecting the skin is more common in Chinese Shar-Peis, Wirehaired Fox Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Dalmatians, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Lhasa Apsos, Scottish Terriers, Shih Tzus, and West Highland White Terriers. Atopic dermatitis may lead your dog to chew off his fur to satisfy an itch that won t go away. Skin Disorders Your dog s sebaceous glands, which are just below the surface of the skin may overproduce sebum, an oily or waxy substance that is used to waterproof and protect the skin. When this occurs, your dog s skin will flake off in scales or possibly look red and inflamed. Seborrheic dermatitis will also cause your dog s skin to become itchy, and he will scratch and chew at his fur to relieve himself. Usually, a foul odor is also associated with this type of skin disorder. Infections An open wound or scratch, if left untreated, can quickly develop into an infection.
Additionally, untreated allergies or skin disorders can cause your dog to scratch and chew his fur off, which may then lead to a secondary infection. Yeast or bacteria can cause secondary infections. Malassezia overgrowth is a common yeast infection that affects dogs that chronically chew at their fur. Your dog s mouth and the environment may also trigger a bacterial infection, especially if your dog has self-mutilated his skin through chewing off his fur. Insect and Parasite Bites Insect bites from fleas, ticks, flies, or mosquitos can cause your dog to chew at his fur at the site of the bite leading to an inflamed area known as a hot spot. Hot spots are acute moist dermatitis and can become large red lesions very quickly. Hot spots develop by disturbing the natural bacteria on your dog s skin and causing it to overgrow through scratching or chewing on the skin at the site of the insect bite. Bacterial overgrowth will further exacerbate the area, and your dog will chew harder trying to satisfy his itch. Stress and Anxiety Stress from change or separation anxiety can adversely affect your dog and he may self-mutilate by chewing his fur off.
Dogs require companionship and stimulation. If your dog is starting to chew on his fur and no underlying medical condition is apparent, he may be lonely. Other destructive behaviors will also accompany separation anxiety or stress, such as incessant barking, destroying furniture, or scratching at doors and walls.
The title pretty much says it - my dog, Chewy, has been biting and pulling the hair out on her front arms. Her name was given before this problem started. :) It's not every day, and I cannot find a pattern but about every week or so I'll come home from work to chunks of hair pulled out around the house (normally all in the same area where she was laying), or wake up to what sounds like carpet being ripped out, which is an awful sound. This has been happening for probably a year and a half. About my dog She is about 2. 5 years old and is a Chow/Lab mix. She is honestly the nicest dog I have ever been around and NEVER gets aggressive (I only mention that because I know it is common for Chows to be aggressive/protective). She was fixed as soon as she was old enough.
What we've done/tried so far Keep her hair trimmed (especially around her arms/paws) because we thought that the length might be bothering her (and if it were shorter she might not be able to bite it as much). This had little to no effect. Taken her to the vet, several times. The vet thinks Chewy has anxiety issues, which I agree with completely. We've tried a couple of different medications, the latest being Amitriptyline HCL, but haven't had any luck. Her anxiety We've moved 3 times since we've had Chewy, which I think has contributed to her anxiety of being in a new place. However, we've been at our new house since July 2014 so I would hope that wouldn't be an issue now. She also has a fascination with being under things. Coffee tables, end tables, chairs, our bed, anything she can fit under, she'd rather be under it. She sleeps under our bed every night, and is under our coffee table in front of me as I type this. I've read this could have something to do with feeling protected. I should also mention that she isn't shy at all. She has no issues with people or people coming over, etc. ; she greets anyone and everyone pretty much immediately.
That is why I am unsure about her feeling "unprotected" when she is always under something. Allergies I am not 100% sure that Chewy has allergies, but she might. When she was a puppy, our vet told us that she might have allergies and suggested we switch to a grain-free food. She's been on grain-free food ever since, although we aren't too particular when it comes to treats, etc. , not having grains. She doesn't appear to have allergies to me (but I am not a vet and she hasn't been tested for allergies to my knowledge). Bathing I've also considered the fact that she might have dry skin, which could cause itching and thus her biting her arms. She honestly isn't bathed very often. She's an indoor dog but we really only bathe her when she absolutely needs it (i. e. gets muddy outside). I'm wondering if she needs to be bathed more often, possibly with a shampoo that can moisturize her skin? Here is what her arm looks like right now, you can see the baldness (this is her left arm), although it doesn't look that Has anyone ever seen or heard of a dog doing this before or have any ideas/suggestions that we could try to get her to stop?
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