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Golden retreiver is eating her tail

May 21st, 2006, 08:42 AM
I have an eight month old female golden retreiver, named Dakota. She is very active and healthy but she has an issue with her tail. When she is laying down she likes to chew the tip :fingerscr of her tail. It's to the point that it actually looks as if someone has given her tail a hair cut. I am not sure why she's doing it or how to stop it. Any suggestions.... I want my baby to have a beautiful tail. Is she missing something in her diet? Maybe just bored? If you have had this happen to your dog and have any thoughts, please help us...

jesse's mommy
May 21st, 2006, 08:47 AM
Have you been to the vet yet? It could be an allergy. There's no fleas right? Have you done anything so far? When did this start? It could be something neurotic or some kind of anxiety. Do you have a picture you can upload? Maybe some members have experienced this before.

Lucky Rescue
May 21st, 2006, 09:02 AM
It has been seen in zoo animals that boredom will sometimes make them mutilate themselves.

How much hard exercise is your dog getting? An 8 month old golden is normally pretty high energy.

May 21st, 2006, 11:04 AM
No I have not taken her to the vet yet. I was hoping that somone else had experienced this and would be able to offer some insight. I don't have a picture but I can tell you that she is trimmimg the ends of the hair so neatly that my husband thought that one of the kids or I cut the hair with scissors. We regularly deflea her so that is not the problem. She gets lots of excerise. We have a large piece of propery and she runs constantly. Nothing has really changed in her environment. No changes at home. We only noticed that the tail was looking trimmed within the last few weeks. We don't actually see her eating it so we have to assume she is doing it through the night. She does like to eat things out of the ordinary so we have to watch her closely. She also eats her dog toys rather than playing with them. Even a tennis ball will be stripped bare of the covering if we don't watch her......Hope this helps:fingerscr

May 21st, 2006, 02:01 PM
Still sounds like boredom. Do you take the dog out and do stuff, or does it just run around on the property on it's own? A lab is really high energy. Running by itself isn't generally enough.

May 21st, 2006, 02:26 PM
I agree with do need to spend some quality time "with" your dog to help prevent boredom.:D

Also, what are you feeding her?:pawprint:

May 21st, 2006, 03:11 PM
I agree too. Sounds like this dog needs a good full-out play session more often. A dog running on its own and a dog playing with you are not the same. Dogs need the interaction.

What do you mean by you deflea her regularly? Does she actually get fleas and you give her meds for it or do you just deflea just in case?

May 21st, 2006, 03:32 PM
I don't know.... it may not be boredom, it may be habbit. Layla has always been a tail chewer. (She used to chase it too, but once she figured out that it's stuck to her butt, she gave up.) She has never had lack of exercise since I got her, and since she litterally started chewing the first day I got her, I think it is something that she started before I got her. I've seen thevet about it: no allergies, no fleas, nothing. Like your girl, she only ever chews the very tip of it, so that instead of tapering to a point, it's blunt ended.
This may be your case too. Has she always chewed on it or did this start recently?

That being said, it may also be a dietary deficiency. What kind of food is she eating?

May 21st, 2006, 06:17 PM
Theres lots of things it could be but I think your dogs tail is itchy... and heres some tips I have for you... of course taking your pup to the vet is the best idea, but here you go...
Your dog may be allergic to its food, it happend to shyla... and she lost a lot of hair because of it. She was allergic to the chemicals in the food so we fed her either canned or home-made food... maybe you could try that.
It could also be that your dog is bored, try getting more toys and things that interest your pup.
Try bathing your dog regularly to reduce any itching.
Fatty Acids can help reduce itches.... so marine oil can help with that.

Things it could be...
Fleas, Airborne allergies like pollen etc., ticks or lice.....
Theres many things it could be but I recommend seeing a vet, because I also would love to see pics of your puppy with a healthy tail and body :thumbs up good luck to you and your puppy

May 21st, 2006, 07:28 PM
Thanks for all of your ideas. We did change her food recently..possibly around the time that this started. We do have a large piece of property as I stated before... but she is NEVER outside alone. We are always with her playing and throwing toys for her to retreive.. after all that is what she does best. She gets a bath on a regular basis because she LOVES the water and will wait in the tub for us... We deflea her as a precaution, but have never seen fleas on her. We use the Advantage drops. We do have lots of toys and things to play with, which she eats if we don't watch closely, so I really don't think boredom is the answer either.. maybe I will take her to the vet and see what he thinks.. :)

May 21st, 2006, 09:57 PM
Theres also a possibility that maybe you are drying out your pup's skin by washing it too much... hopefully its something small like that! :)
Its a very good idea to take your little one to the vet let us all know what happens...