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Old 02-15-2017, 12:22 AM
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Default Desperate for answers- Chewing back paws to death!

Hi, as the title reads, I am desperate for help. I posted here a few years ago when considering adding a second dog to my family. Well, I did, and then I added another. I have 3 dogs now.

This problem is with my 3rd dog, Lucy. Lucy is a 2.5 year old Chihuahua/Dotson rescue from the county pound. I've had her for a bit over a year. From the start, Lucy was a tough case. When we got her, she had severe toy aggression, severe anxiety, and attacked (badly) my dog monkey on 2 occasions. She's gotten better mentally. Patience and love has really made her come around like you wouldn't believe.

However, about 6 months ago, she started chewing her back paws. She also started developing sores under her arm pits and occasional blisters on her stomach. I took her to the vet- the vet said food allergies. She was put on a pretty expensive limited ingredient duck and potato food (natural balance). This didn't help (but she's still on it). Back to the vet. Vet prescribed her Apoquil. I did some research on Apoquil before giving it to her. I came to the conclusion based on research that this seems to be the miracle/killer drug. There were so many accounts of dogs being immedietly cured of their allergies on this drug and then 6 months later their immune system starts to shut down and they're plagued with nose bleeds,seizures, comas, you name it. Stopping the med solves these problems in these cases. Needless to say, I was too scared to give this pill to my dog.

Back to the vet we went. This time (about a week ago), the vet prescribed Prozac for Lucy. She said the paw biting could be a mental thing since she is very clearly anxious/neurotic. The problem I have with this is that if it's mental and not allergenic, why are her arm pits/belly also extremely irritated and why does she develop blisters on her stomach? Also, why her back paws if it's mental? Her front paws are way more accesible (she's a bit fat) and her front paws are completely untouched. I've been giving Lucy the Prozac for about a week.

Today I got home from work and her paws are worse than ever. They're almost bloody! I truly don't know what to do at this point. I don't know where to turn. I feel like the vet isn't helping me and isn't taking the time to put any thought into this. I have no idea what to do for my dog. I don't make much money, but I'd spend my last penny to fix her issue. That being said, I can't waste much more money on care that isn't helping her only to end up back at the vet a few weeks or months later.

Has anyone ever had a situation like this- can anyone point me in the right direction on how to help her? Please help.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:54 AM
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Have youl tried coconut oil? I'd try that in a small dose (1/8th of a teaspoon to start) first, increasing the amount every 4th or 5th day if it doesn't give her diarrhea. Once you get to a 1/3rd teaspoon, stop increasing for a while. You can also give this as a topical medicine. Just rub it in/on her paws and tummy and armpits. You would half to watch her so she lets it absorb. It is natural and I have not heard of any side effects. Good luck. I suppose you have tried one of the soft collars so that she couldn't get to her paws?
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Old 02-25-2017, 12:49 AM
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The paws and the other sores could be separate issues, or not. I have fostered lots of dogs, and many of them have the habit of chewing on/playing with their back paws. I think it can come from not being raised in a stimulating environment with enough toys/chewies, but that is just my theory. My last dog was on Prozac for a while, and it took probably a few weeks for it to kick in, and to find the right dosage. I would give that some more time, and communicate with your vet. After a week, they may ask you to raise the dosage. Just keep an eye out for zombie dog behavior. That means the dosage is too high.

As for the armpits and belly, these are usually areas with little to no fur, depending on the dog's coat. Could there be something she lays on she could be allergic to? Does she scratch at her belly and armpits, or do they just look bad?

You may also try a different limited ingredient food if you cannot afford allergy testing to narrow down your choices. You should see a difference within a month if a food is going to help.
First time Chihuahua owner with many years of dog experience!
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