Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday morning Sheba picture

Sheba's itching problem has gotten bad enough that in spots, she's bitten off all her fur and then kept going, leaving sores. You can't see them in the picture because I've deliberately chosen an angle that hides them (you might still be able to see a little bit on her back right leg), but they're there. We've tried everything we can think of here (anesthetic sprays, baths, oatmeal baths, benadryl, changing her bedding, changing her food), and none of it seems to make any difference (the benadryl might help slightly, but it's such a small amount that any perceived improvement might be wishful thinking). And still no obvious indications about what's causing it in the first place. I feel like a bad dog dad. So she's got a vet appointment on Tuesday, which is too damn far away but also the best we can do.

My primary worry is that this is going to turn out to be a mold allergy, because if we have mold, I suspect that the plants will be indirectly responsible. Not that I'm so thrilled with the plants lately anyway. It might be nice to have a reason to get rid of some of them, but I wouldn't be okay with getting rid of all of them.

Not sure what the best-case scenario would be. Maybe a laundry detergent sensitivity? I guess the best explanation would be that she was biting holes in herself because she's just that hungry. I'd feel way worse, but it'd be even easier to fix than the laundry detergent thing. I doubt that's our problem, though.


M.O. said...


are you letting your dog interact with other dogs on a regular basis, i. e playing, hiking trips with other dogs? Sometimes certain illnesses that dogs have are related to psychological/social issues.


mr_subjunctive said...

M. O.:

For the most part, no, she doesn't. She used to, on walks (stop and let her sniff another dog for a couple minutes and then move on), but we kind of stopped taking her on walks because it was so miserable to have her trying to yank our arms out of their sockets for an hour, and trying to train her not to yank was just not working at all.

Which is bad of us, I'm aware.

orchideya said...

Poor Sheba. I hope you find the cause of this nasty problem and will be able to eliminate it. As for yanking: did you try the head collar? We have very hyper, large hunting dog and she is a big puller, she used to just drag me around on the walks. With this collar even our son can take her out.
We have this one.
She didn't like it first few days but then associated it with walks and didn't mind putting it on at all. Try it.

mr_subjunctive said...


We haven't tried the head collar, no. (I'd kind of forgot about the suggestion, actually, so thanks for the reminder.)

I considered taking her out for a walk this morning, but: the wind chill was 7F/-14C. So I decided she could wait for another day or two.

MO said...

Hello again.

This is my advice. Take your dog on regular daily (!) walks, where she can roam freely for at least an hour - without being on a leash.

At the same time, try finding a friendly dog owner in your neighborhood who will allow your dog play with his/her own dog - maybe on a lawn or somewhere on the countryside.

Dogs need to have their daily walks. They need to have the chance to explore their immediate surroundings and interact with other dogs. This extroverts them greatly.

It almost sounds as if your dog has developed a psychosomatic illness.

Former dog owner with twenty years of experience.

MO said...

It's me again.

> I considered taking her out for a walk this >morning, but: the wind chill was 7F/-14C. So I >decided she could wait for another day or two.

You need to walk your dog every day no matter if it storms, rains or snows. When I still had my dog, I walked with her first thing in the morning at around 7 am for at least one hour. Then during the day I or someone else from my family would walk with the dog again in the afternoon and in the evening before going to bed. During the walks we would play with her or have interaction with other animals (dogs, cows).

If you (and your partner) do that and invest let's say at least 2 1/2 hours every day spending such "quality time" with Sheba, you'll have a healthy, robust and *happy* dog, who is extroverted and spends no time at all with mutilating herself.