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Need some advice regarding my spoo!

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  • Need some advice regarding my spoo!

    So, for a few months now my standard girl seems to have developed a 'nervous twitch'. I can't remember exactly when it started because it seems to come and go. Simply put, whenever I leave, she scratches her face into a horrible bloody pulp. =/ Well, maybe not THAT bad, but it sure LOOKS that way when I get home! Blood in her topknot and everything! Mostly it's just really nasty surface scratches. I, at first, thought it was just a separation thing but then I caught her sneaking off into other parts of the house where I wouldn't see her to do it as well! At one point, she even scratched a big hole out of her topknot. I also thought it might be her ears itching her, but I went through a medication routine with her and there's currently no infection of any kind. It also happens whether her face is shaved or not. As a matter of fact, when I went a few weeks without shaving her face she seemed to do it more. The only solutions I've been able to find so far have been keeping her hind nails dremelled very short and very smooth, and putting an e-collar on her whenever I leave. Even doing that she seems to find ways to sneak off when I'm not looking and give herself a good gash. Completely besides the fact that she looks horrible always having scabs on her face or that she might start giving herself bad scarring, I'm really afraid she's going to scratch her eyes badly! Some of the scrapes I've cleaned up have been right in the corner of her eyes. Basically I'm wondering if anyone has some longer term solutions besides just keeping an e-collar on her all the time. =/

  • #2
    My first suggestion would be to get a medical checkup to see if there was any medical reason behind the problem...anything from fleas to allergies. How often is she bathed? Maybe there's a product you use on her that makes her itchy? What about her diet? Has food changed in the past several months? Could it be some kind of food allergy? It may even be an OCD kind of thing where is started out with just an itchy head, and became a bad habit which would then mean there would have to be training to break the habit.

    Thats about all I can think of. Poor girl. Hope whatever it is, she stops soon!


    • #3
      First thing would be a visit to your vet to rule out any medical reason for the itching. What food are you feeding? After a vet has ruled out any medical reason. You may change her food. Even if she is eating a premium, she may have developed an allergy to the protein source in it. After those changes, I would apply Soft Paws to her hind nails and give her more interesting, "puzzle" type toys to keep her busy. Just a couple at a time and rotate them on a regular basis so she doesn't become board with them.
      Lisa VanVleet, RVT


      • #4
        I don't really have any advice or know what's causing her to scratch her face like that but I will tell you this: When I clip my Poos faces I spray Chris Chrisstensen's Peace and Kindness on them to help relieve any irritation. I also do it on Schnauzers in areas where I clip really close and it helps a lot. I know you said it wasn't just after clipping but if you notice some itching anytime I would try it and see if it helps relieve it. I think it also helps promote healing. Maybe a little benadryl might help relieve it. I would imagine it could be an allergy. That's probably some things I'd consider trying. Hope she gets better.
        "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."


        • #5
          I agree, take her to the vet. And while you're there have her teeth examined. It might not be an itch. It could be a toothache.

          If you rule out any medical issues, it might be OCD. You'll need to discuss your options with your vet if it is.


          • #6
            I have 2 client's that if they ever give their dog any wheat, they break out in sores on head, maybe it's the diet?


            • #7
              I was thinking something with the teeth. But I to would say vet only because she is scratching her face by her eyes and man that has me worried for you!!!! I really hope its an easy fix and please let us know how she is doing.


              • #8
                Thanks for the responses guys! I work at a vet so the doctor has seen her numerous times. Heck, her vet stops in just to say hi to her and check out her ears every day because she always goes to work with me. Her only thoughts were that it might be from irritation from shaving her face. So I stopped shaving her face for a month and it kept happening. I also use the Davis Aftershave every time I do shave her face down.

                She's currently on a prescription t/d diet but we had her on anti-allergy food before that to see if it'd help at all. She also had her teeth cleaned in August and, besides really bad plaque build up, she had no problems. Which is another frustrating thing..she had her teeth cleaned in August and they already look like they were never cleaned. I even brush her teeth twice a day. Thus the t/d diet.

                I'm thinking it might just be as Lonestar said: a bad habit that started when her ears were itchy or something and now I have to find a way to break it. The Softpaws idea was definitely great! I'll be sure to order some right away.

                I almost wish that she had nervous licking or something instead. Anything besides turning her face into hamburger! =/


                • #9
                  Wish I could help.....

                  I'm sorry I gave you a defective dog I'd refund your money but I didn't ask for any; she got a good home and that's the most important thing.
                  Give her a hug and kiss for me and tell her I said to stop it!
                  ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
                  Apparently common sense isn't all that common
                  *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*


                  • #10
                    Vet scraping?

                    I am thinking that demodectic mange could be trying to get hold. This could be the scratching before it actually shows. I don't know if a skin scraping would show at this point. Since it shows on the face (and sometimes toes) first, I would be suspicious of this. I would not give her medication for this yet, probably, just a decent food. Also, yeast problems can start without showing as much, with itchiness happening, and your dog's diet provides a wonderful bunch of non-dog food that helps yeast to thrive. (More below about that.)

                    Demodectic mange occurs - as I just posted a day or two ago - when the immune system is "hit". One of the things that can almost guarantee to start it is steroid shots. Since you say you have had allergy problems, I am wondering if your dog got any steroid shots or steroid medication. If so, you need to help boost her system by giving her a decent food. Many things can depress the immune system: poor nutrition, other meds (antibiotics, heartworm meds, flea topicals, etc) and stress, for instance. I know vets love the expensive prescription diets, but I just took a look at the ingredients of the Hills t/d food. Yuck!!

                    Here are the main ingredients (i.e., the first 5-6 listed): Brewers Rice, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Soybean Mill Run. What the???? If you do some research on food, you will find that you NEVER want a food with anything "by-product", nor do you want more grain than protein. Yet your dog is trying to survive on a diet full of grain with little protein. Try something like Taste of the Wild, or perhaps Evo. Your dog needs some protein, and it looks like she is getting very little.

                    I don't know what your dog was eating before, but if you don't know how to read the ingredients list, you will simply be guessing, and not giving your dog the nutrition she needs. If you were feeding a typical vet or grocery store brand before, you were feeding corn and by-products. I don't know what is up with your dog's teeth, but poor nutrition doesn't help, so you may want to make a switch (slowly, as in over a week or two) and see how she does. I have switched and improved many dogs' diets over the years, and usually you can see a noticeable difference within one month, and things just get better as the dog gets an improved diet. PM me if you have any other questions. I am not a vet, not a nutritionist, but have learned a lot from a wonderful holistic rescue lady, plus reading more, plus seeing results.

                    Good luck - just give your dog something with better nutrition and see what happens. I have seen numerous dogs with supposed allergies who have no problems - or at least far fewer - after getting a truly good food.


                    • #11
                      Maybe she needs a five mile jog twice a day and something to occupy her mind between those jogs.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for your response and concern, Debbie. To start, she only started the t/d diet last week as a way to manage what my vet can only describe to me as 'her saliva making her teeth bad.' Before that, we tried the anti-allergy food as a possible way to stop the face scratching; she has no other allergy problems that have been apparent and doesn't scratch or lick any other areas. Before that she was on Solid Gold: Wolf King with Showstopper suppliment. I've done quite a bit of research on nutrition for her over the time I've had her. We actually tried putting her on Evo and Taste of the Wild but they gave her some fairly bad stomach issues (read: explosive diarrhea) even being introduced very, very gradually. Believe me when I say that I don't like the fact that she's on t/d as I know the ingredients are horrible, but it doesn't upset her stomach and this was the only solution my vet could give me for her teeth besides getting full cleanings once every three months. =/ That said, I can certainly understand why you'd think from my previous posts that she was living on Pedigree or Beneful or something. I've definitely thought about switching her back to Wolf King but it's a very long, messy process to change her food because she's so sensitive to it. Actually, the t/d was the first food that didn't give her the runs during the transition.

                        As far as the possibility of mange, I certainly suspected it but, after some thought, this has been going on and off since about March. I did have the vet do a scraping the last time she started up with it and they found nothing. At this point she doesn't even have yeast in her ears to make them itch.

                        And Moonie, you certainly didn't give me a defective dog. She is the absolute love of my life and I wouldn't trade her for anything! Sure she has a few issues, but so does everyone. =P


                        • #13
                          Oh, and as far as exercise goes, she goes to work with me every day, then after work we head to the dog park which has a built in agility course and we do that for about an hour. If it's too wet, we go to the agility-course-in-a-barn and practice that or I just throw a ball for her for an hour. So, it might not be a five mile run (with my fat butt it'd probably better for both of us!) but she's certainly not a total couch potato!


                          • #14
                            How 'bout amputating the foot that she scratches with?!

                            I'm sorry I couldn't help myself. When AmElena asks for help, she needs done everything else possible. Caly has the absolute best home, she gets the best care and is worshipped by both Am and her fiance.
                            My own dogs wish they could trade places with Caly
                            ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
                            Apparently common sense isn't all that common
                            *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*


                            • #15
                              But if i amputated her feet I wouldn't get to paint her nails!

                              But really, thanks Moonie. I appreciate your confidence in me! Caly is definitely the spoiled princess!