August 27, 2012

White Dog shook her head and sighed. "It is always something, eh, momma?" She was looking over my shoulder at her brother Oso whom I was holding as Steve slathered his little legs with vinegar. "Phew, it smells like Easter Eggs in here," she muttered and hopped down.
Oso has tortured his front legs by chewing
Both Oso and Nuka have had terrible trouble all summer with chewing on their legs. At first we thought it was an environmental allergy and tore out anything suspicious in the yard. But that did not solve the problem. We tried Benedryl cream, herbal anti-itch lotion, a special canine soothing agent, bitter apple, hot spot relief, and a few I cannot even remember the names of. Each worked great the first time, but then my stubborn AWD and OAWD decided it wasn't so bad after all...the deterrents were like steak sauce on the legs they were cannibalizing.
Although Nuka is hereditarily cursed with bad skin, she is not helping by her chewing
We have been fanatic about brushing out their coats and washing down with soap those areas. At this point I am almost convinced that the problem is in their heads not on their legs. Dr. Julia laughed and suggested the dreaded cones to stop them, but Oso was so pathetic that after two hours of drama we took it off...it DID keep him from chewing...and the memory lasted for about 20 minutes.

The WDA gets vitamin supplements, are bathed/groomed with gentle herbal shampoos that contain skin conditioners, and eat fresh mackerel as their main protein (which has tons of skin and coat benefits). Steve has even tried rubbing the hot spots with vitamin e oil. We have ruled out mites, fungus, bacteria, diseases.

I took a page from when my dad was trying to break my youngest sister of sucking her fingers. We covered the well-licked leg parts with hot sauce (forgetting that the WDA lives in the land of spicy foods), mustard (Nuka actually thought this made the fur taste BETTER), the fridge yielded no help.

The cupboard produced a bottle of distilled white vinegar that we use for cleaning because it is non-toxic to pets. "Why not," White Dog prompted (I know she was experimental mostly because SHE wasn't the subject), "it stinks, tastes awful, what have you got to lose? Give it a try!"

Know what? It works! Of course, the house smells like we color eggs year round but neither Oso nor Nuka will chew when the vinegar is applied...and the deterrent last almost all day. Finally their furry white bodies can heal the rawness...and I don't stay awake worrying that they will cause an infection in themselves.

Of course, WD reminded me, there IS always the taped-on sock!


Brian's Home Blog said...

You could put it on everyone and smell like a WD Salad Bar. That has to be so frustrating for all of you.

Angels Amber and Max DaWeenie and Mom said...

I think our Reno used to have the same allergy and would chew his legs and feet raw. (Eskie thing??) The only thing that helped Reno was a trip to the vet, a cortisone shot, and Predisone for a couple of weeks until he healed. I never did like using the steroids but it's the only thing that helped him.

Dachshund Nola said...

I chewed my feet (and tail, back, sides, belly) before we discovered my food allergy. It's so awful!

Jo's World said...

Did your vet do a skin scraping on these pups? Otis our late Scottie was scratching himself and making us all crazy, vet did a scraping and found a little mite of some kind and we got it taken care of right away. Maybe the vinegar will do the same thing?


Tweedles -- that's me said...

Thank goodness for vinegar! I hope the itchy spots get all better.

GOOSE said...

I sure the vinergar last until the problem can be solved or just go away.

Suka said...

hey WDA,

Oh, Oso! I had no idea, poor thing! Not a good thing to eat your own leg! BOL! Please stop. I am sorry you feel the need to do that, but really, we like you better with all your legs! I am furry happy teh vinegar worked, It is amazing how the simplest things can sometimes do the trick. Of course, I would have thought the hot sauce and mustard would have done it!

Nuka, I am sorry you suffer the same fate. Please know my paws are crossed for both of you that you are able to overcome this awful habit. I suppose it is like when a human chews there fingernails to the skin. A nervous habit? Anywoofs, take care of yourselves you silly pups! Please love your legs, don't chew them. :->


Angel Ginger Jasper said...

Vinegar has so many good properties and helps in so many things. I am glad it seems to be helping the sweet one's because those legs look so sore.. Hope it stays good.. Hugs GJ xx

The Daily Pip said...

We use vinegar around our house, too. It's about the only cleaning solution that is not toxic to rabbits (as well as other furries). Maybe we should try it with my sissy to help her stop sucking her thumb.

Your pal, Pip

Kari in Alaska said...

we have lickers, but no chewers

Stop on by for a visit