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Dog biting me when I try to help...

BabyJessy
December 16th, 2008, 01:59 PM
My Pom, Jessy, has a yeast dermatitis (vet confirmed by microscope). We chose to try a natural treatment ("NZYMES") over the chemical (miconazole) at this point. As we wait for the natural program to take effect, she is very itchy and red, and she mutilating herself every time we leave the room. She even managed to find a way to chew her back leg in spite of the soft elizabethan collar when I was brushing my teeth. She has also found a way to rip up her underarms with her back legs. Thank goodness I'm not working right now because I have to watch her all the time (very draining..). The big problem is that when she is scratching herself and I tell her "Jessy, no - I can do that for you" she bites me (viciously) when I touch her with my hand or try to interrupt the mutilation. She is a small dog but she has pierced my skin on occasion. I understand that she's in discomfort but should I just dismiss this bad behavior in light of her "suffering"? Is she just reacting as a dog would react because of my intervention? Should I discipline her in some way? If so, how? She knows I have never hurt her purposely and we are very close. I am trying hard to be patient but today when I interrupted her scratching she jumped up at snapped at my face for the first time - I was so surprised and angry at her (I yelled - loud) :yell:. It made me realize I need to ask my pals on Pets.ca for advice !!!!

Baby Jessy's Mom :sad:

PS: It's funny how she doesn't try to scratch or bite during her walks and her "barking at the mailman" sessions???!!! Makes you wonder..... :frustrated:

bendyfoot
December 16th, 2008, 02:06 PM
Poor thing sounds really uncomfie :sad:

Some thoughts. If the E-collar's not working, it's not fitted properly, she should not be able to reach her hind legs. You'll have to find another size, or perhaps a more traditional harder plastic cone for now. As for the upper body, I'd invest in a few doggie tshirts. Even better (and cheaper) try to find some used baby shirts with a nice thick material, and let her wear those. Another thought would be to try some Soft Paws...they're little rounded soft plastic covers you clue onto the nails (normally used to keep kittehs from scratching furniture, but would work here to protect the skin a bit).

As for the biting, if you can't interrup the behaviour by moving her right now (it very well could be an over-reaction caused by pain), I would consider having her wear a light "house leash" and a collar so you can move her head with the leash rather than your hand (only have her wear the leash when you're home to supervise, obviously). If she does snap, I would just say "no" sternly right now, and ignore. Has she ever been like this before or only since the skin problem started?

She's probably not scratching etc on walks because she is preoccupied with a task/something stimulating. I would stock up on some good-quality and high-value chew toys (flavoured nylabones, stuffed kong etc.) and give her something else to do with her mouth other than chew/bite.

Is there anything the vet can give that's non-steroidal to alleive discomfort until the other meds kick in?

BabyJessy
December 16th, 2008, 02:36 PM
Dear Bendyfoot,

I bought a cotton dog T-shirt but Jessy is already a hot dog (she seeks cool places to lie down) which could be a reason why she has this yeast problem in the first place - yeast likes heat and humidity. This is why I am reluctant to put a shirt on her which will warm her up even more...I guess I'll have to weigh the pros and the cons...

As for the Soft Paws, I never noticed them before in the stores but could she pull them off? She pulls off socks in no time (she's like Houdini!).

I do give her a Kong and what we call "the football" (looks like a mesh football) with yeast-free treats every day but she gets fed up if they're not out in 3 minutes and takes off and starts scratching again...believe me, I've tried everything - even bringing over a doggie play pal - but she ends up focusing on herself as soon as the novelty wears off.

On the natural program I'm not supposed to give her Benadryl to soothe the itching (and honestly, I don't think it ever helped her); I apply a baking soda/water solution to help the itching (as advised) and a cold compress on the really bad spots but there's nothing much else to do except try to entertain her (as time allows!) and have patience, which is wearing thin!

As for the biting, she has snapped in the air at me a few times in 4 years (she's not an angel) but her present behavior is definitely not normal. I know it's because of the discomfort (especially when I treat the affected areas) but it's really getting to me. I don't know what I should do about it - I don't want her to develop any bad habits that could linger after this is all over. And I don't want to react in a way that could affect her psychologically! It's a high pressure time around here...

Thanks so much for your advice - it's much appreciated and I will see if I can find the nail guards.

Baby Jessy's Mom

bendyfoot
December 16th, 2008, 03:19 PM
Dear Bendyfoot,

I bought a cotton dog T-shirt but Jessy is already a hot dog (she seeks cool places to lie down) which could be a reason why she has this yeast problem in the first place - yeast likes heat and humidity. This is why I am reluctant to put a shirt on her which will warm her up even more...I guess I'll have to weigh the pros and the cons...

I used a sports t-shirt for my shepherd...the breatheable kind that wicks away moisture/humidity...worked well

As for the Soft Paws, I never noticed them before in the stores but could she pull them off? She pulls off socks in no time (she's like Houdini!).

They're like little fake nails and they're glued on tightly just to the nail itself. With the cone on, she should not be able to reach her feet.

I do give her a Kong and what we call "the football" (looks like a mesh football) with yeast-free treats every day but she gets fed up if they're not out in 3 minutes and takes off and starts scratching again...believe me, I've tried everything - even bringing over a doggie play pal - but she ends up focusing on herself as soon as the novelty wears off.

On the natural program I'm not supposed to give her Benadryl to soothe the itching (and honestly, I don't think it ever helped her); I apply a baking soda/water solution to help the itching (as advised) and a cold compress on the really bad spots but there's nothing much else to do except try to entertain her (as time allows!) and have patience, which is wearing thin!

As for the biting, she has snapped in the air at me a few times in 4 years (she's not an angel) but her present behavior is definitely not normal. I know it's because of the discomfort (especially when I treat the affected areas) but it's really getting to me. I don't know what I should do about it - I don't want her to develop any bad habits that could linger after this is all over. And I don't want to react in a way that could affect her psychologically! It's a high pressure time around here...

Thanks so much for your advice - it's much appreciated and I will see if I can find the nail guards.

Baby Jessy's Mom


Hope that helps a bit.

chico2
December 16th, 2008, 03:59 PM
We all know how very uncomfortable itchy skin is,it can just drive you up the wall,so I am not surprised Jessy gets bity,not being able to scratch.
I don't think it's a behaviour she will keep,once she's ok again.
Hopefully the natural meds will kick in soon:fingerscr

luckypenny
December 16th, 2008, 04:07 PM
My Pom, Jessy, has a yeast dermatitis (vet confirmed by microscope). We chose to try a natural treatment ("NZYMES") over the chemical (miconazole) at this point.

Why not alleviate your Pom's extreme discomfort and treat with topical Miconozole at the very least :shrug:? You can always look for preventative measures such as change in the diet and environment in the meantime. According to the Nzymes website, it could take 3-7 months before results can be seen :eek:. Do you really want to wait that long?

Also on the site:

"Make sure to keep an eye on your petís general health and temperature and certainly please don't allow them to chew themselves to bleeding if possible. DONíT AVOID treatment by your Vet for secondary bacterial infections that are a result of pet scratching or chewing themselves." http://nzymes.com/Articles/Instructions_for_systemic_yeast_infections.htm

I think, because of the severity of your dog's case, I'd follow the advice of your vet in regards to meds to help clear this problem up.

Is this a recurring problem? Has her thyroid function been tested?

Love4himies
December 16th, 2008, 04:55 PM
I agree with LP. If indeed it can take months for the natural meds to kick in, it is cruel to allow your dog to suffer. Start the vet's meds to stop the suffering, and after it is under control then start the natural meds.

BabyJessy
December 16th, 2008, 05:10 PM
Dear LuckyPenny,

I have the blessing of my open-minded vet in treating Jessy naturally (for now - there is no major health problem) because she agrees that oral miconazole is not only hard on the liver but a lot of dogs' yeast problems return when they cease the treatment. I would love it if there was a miracle cure; of course I don't want to wait 3-7 months for this to clear up (3 weeks has been more than enough!!), but I understand that yeast issues take time to completely resolve. The fact that Jessy has only had this for a year and that we found the problem quickly means we should see results sooner than later. Most dogs on Nzymes had a marked improvement in the itching within a month, so I am hoping it will ease up soon and I think I will try your suggestion of topical miconazole on the problem spots to ease her discomfort. Thanks for that tip.

Her thyroid test was normal, by the way.... :thumbs up

Jessy is not bleeding because I keep interrupting her mutilation sessions (hence, the biting problem for which I have solicited advice). I am keeping an eye out for secondary bacterial infections and so far so good. I have even e-mailed photos of scary areas to the vet when unsure. I won't be keeping those in the family album! :yuck:

Thanks again,

Baby Jessy's Mom

Tundra_Queen
December 16th, 2008, 05:57 PM
Hi
I'm sorry to hear about your pups problem, but as a person that had a biting small dog I would say stop the snapping now.

Debbie