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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

In new around here, and desperate for help.

My 15 months old bichon frise has a problem since he was 4-5 months old and we never solved it.

When we bought him (3 months onl), he had something around his testicles. It looked like this:



and after few months it was like this:


After visiting several vets, we found out that the issue was biting and licking...and that is why he got this on his skin.

Then we got him elizabethan collar and skin issue was solved, it looks ok now....but the problem with biting, chewing and licking himself was never stopped. 10 months passed, he is still wearing elizabethan collar, all day long. When he is wearing it, he seems normal and ok...but the moment I take it of, he starts biting, chewing, scratching an licking. Paws, legs, back, tail, penis, anus, testicles...whatever he can reach in that moment.

He was on corticosteroids, the vets thought that is was some kind of allergy, but 4 weeks of treatment didn't help at all.

And here we are...at the start. Lot of money and nerves spent...but no result at all.

Nero is very happy dog, he likes to play, to run, he is full of life...but the moment he stops moving, he starts with "destroying" himself. I cannot imagine what would he do to himself it he stops wearing elizabethan collar.

Here is video that I recorded today, so you can see what is he like without elizabethan collar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUwk0VGGJDI
 

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How much exercise/training does he get? I'm wondering if that is a boredom/neurotic behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What specific food is your dog eating?
Taste of the wild. He was on several tastes (bison, lamb, salmon...).

What shampoos do you use?
Used many of them...even used medical ones, for bacteria and fungi.

How much exercise/training does he get? I'm wondering if that is a boredom/neurotic behavior.
Well...no so much. We go out 3 times a day, sometimes 4. But 99% of them are 10 mins duration. I wait for him to do the thing and we go back. I know it is not enough, but can it be the reason for this suicidal behavior? Also, he stays home alone for 3-5 hours a day.

As I mentioned...he was like this almost from the moment I have him. Somehow, I cannot accept that not running enough is the reason for all of this?
And if it is the reason, how can I know, how can I help him? Is there some generic therapy for boredom, or it is from case to case? There is no way to stop him doing this right now. Even when I yell at him...he don't stop. He is not afraid of getting beaten also. He just waits for me to turn my head, and he continues eating himself. And when I put him that collar on, he calms down and goes like this :D


Does this look like neurotic dog? :D
 

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I don't think I'd want to be getting too much exercise if my groin looked like that.

Personally, I would stop all shampoos for now, too much going on...

What tests have been done? I assume blood panel?

I would start with diet and possible intolerance first. If there's a common ingredient in all the foods tried that the dog can't handle then this could be a result. I'm not a fan of kibble - but Purina HA is a hydrolyzed food, and seems to work in the testing of allergy or intolerance. Try that for a few weeks to a month to see if there is any change. If your dog has a food intolerance, then he could be a good candidate for a raw diet.

When the pup had skin issues, he would get a soak and massage in warm water (no shampoo) with epsom salts. We just kept saturating him with it. Then into the other sink for another rinse in coconut oil and cocoa butter - don't rinse it out, just dry the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think I'd want to be getting too much exercise if my groin looked like that.

Personally, I would stop all shampoos for now, too much going on...
No, no...it does not look like that anymore. The picture with severe inflammation was 7 months ago. Now it looks like this:



But Im sure that it would be as bad as before if I would let him be without elizabethan collar.

I would start with diet and possible intolerance first. If there's a common ingredient in all the foods tried that the dog can't handle then this could be a result. I'm not a fan of kibble - but Purina HA is a hydrolyzed food, and seems to work in the testing of allergy or intolerance. Try that for a few weeks to a month to see if there is any change. If your dog has a food intolerance, then he could be a good candidate for a raw diet.
He was on corticosteroids. I was told that if he has any kind of allergy, those will stop it. And they didn't.
 

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My parents actually have a Bichon with similar issues. Actually almost identical issues, except he goes for his tail usually. He has actually made himself bleed because of his biting.

For Buddy (who was a puppy mill puppy and has a lot of problems ranging from physical to mental problems), we know he has allergies to a point. Have you done an allergy test on Nero? Not just taking the medicine but actually had his blood tested? Sometimes something like grass can be the cause of the allergy. Also, for Buddy, he is a little neurotic. He actually is on doggie downers because when something bothers him, say his tail tickles his back when it flips over it, he will obsess. In that scenario (which he actually did) his tail would tickle him so he would start biting his back and then obsess over it and make himself bleed. So for Buddy he is on doggie downers to help with the neurotic tendencies, and if he starts to itch (his allergies flair up so Spring and Fall) he gets a benadryl.

I highly recommend you talk to your vet about an allergy test, and ask if it can be a mental thing possibly. Good luck!
 

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So, corticosteroids - safe to assume prednisone correct? It doesn't always work for specific allergy or intolerance. Pred is an immuno suppressant, and the drug itself can do funky things to the endocrine system. Big one is that is can drop thyroid function - and a hypothyroid condition can actually exacerbate what you see in your dog.

Right now, nobody is sure what you are dealing with. Is it medical, intolerance, psychological - you have to start somewhere. That start would be a very basic food trial hydrolyzed diet for a few weeks, if no change at all then it'll be on to step 2.


Are there any other symptoms? Itchy ears? Overall body scratching?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I highly recommend you talk to your vet about an allergy test, and ask if it can be a mental thing possibly. Good luck!
We have no reliable test here...I'd have to go to another state to do it. Al least, that's what local vets told me. It is very expensive and we do not have good allergy tests here.


So, corticosteroids - safe to assume prednisone correct? It doesn't always work for specific allergy or intolerance. Pred is an immuno suppressant, and the drug itself can do funky things to the endocrine system. Big one is that is can drop thyroid function - and a hypothyroid condition can actually exacerbate what you see in your dog.

Right now, nobody is sure what you are dealing with. Is it medical, intolerance, psychological - you have to start somewhere. That start would be a very basic food trial hydrolyzed diet for a few weeks, if no change at all then it'll be on to step 2.
Yes, prednisone. I just checked local stores...they have Hills Z/D and they told me that is is the best possible food for allergies. Is that true? If it is, I can start with that and give Nero that food for a month or two and see will there be any changes...


Are there any other symptoms? Itchy ears? Overall body scratching?
if you check the video from my first post, you will see how he behaves.
He had ear inflammation once, and in that period I started giving him prednisone for and that ear inflammation was gone. Funny, prednisone solved the second problem, but itching did not stop. :)
 

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Vets are giving out pred like candy...

You have to start somewhere, food trial is the cheapest - may be something or may be nothing. As much as I hate Hills, the Z/D should be fine for a three or four week trial if that's all you can get. It's not a food I would give a dog for life. If you do this, feed NO treats at all for 3 weeks to a month, just the kibble.
 

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if you check the video from my first post, you will see how he behaves.
What a cute little bugger. :) So he is itchy all over.

Baths are important as well through the process, if there is an intolerance, it's likely it's seeping out through the skin and it's important to flush the skin. Look up using apple cider vinegar treatments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Vets are giving out pred like candy...

You have to start somewhere, food trial is the cheapest - may be something or may be nothing. As much as I hate Hills, the Z/D should be fine for a three or four week trial if that's all you can get. It's not a food I would give a dog for life. If you do this, feed NO treats at all for 3 weeks to a month, just the kibble.
Apart from Hills z/d, is there any good (or better) hypoallergenic food brand that I can give him?
 

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Apart from Hills z/d, is there any good (or better) hypoallergenic food brand that I can give him?
They are probably all the same. With hydrolyzed kibble, the molecules are broken down so small that the body can't recognize them - at least that's how i understand it. It's good for a trial period, but not something i'd want to live on for life.

The other option is raw feeding - there's many raw feeders on the board, myself included. Lots of people cringe at the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
They are probably all the same. With hydrolyzed kibble, the molecules are broken down so small that the body can't recognize them - at least that's how i understand it. It's good for a trial period, but not something i'd want to live on for life.

The other option is raw feeding - there's many raw feeders on the board, myself included. Lots of people cringe at the idea.
Well, as you said... I can give it to him for a trial period. And as I understood, if he continues with scratching after a month on Hills z/d, food is not the problem (99%), and then I try something else. Right?
 

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Well, as you said... I can give it to him for a trial period. And as I understood, if he continues with scratching after a month on Hills z/d, food is not the problem (99%), and then I try something else. Right?
Exactly. Baby steps, one change at a time - but do give the baths - no shampoos.

There could be something environmental going on as well. Like others have said, could be psychological or it could be internal. You can safely give plain reactine or plain claritin to help alleviate if the food trial. Just check with your vet for proper dosage. Our 10 pounder had 2.5 mg per day, Reactine didn't do much, claritin worked alot better.
 

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Sorry, didn't understand this completely...we do baths, but without shampoo... just plain water?
Yes, add some epsom salts to the initial bath water, the magnesium really helps the skin. Then do a rinse with coconut in water - that'll help his skin. You can use apple cider vinegar as well, it works against yeast and other.
 

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We have a bischon/poodle mix that to a lesser degree has the same tendency. These breeds tend to have dry itchy skin in general. I give Samantha an omega 3 supplement with her morning meal every day, which certainly helps, but is not a complete resolution to the problem. When she gets itchy, I will also give her some benadryl, again helpful but not a cure. I have also at times rubbed apple cider vinegar on her tummy and other itchy spots. Since she doesn't especially like the way it tastes, she won't lick, but its very temporary. We are also careful to keep fleas away from her, they drive her absolutely crazy. We have never had to resort to an Elizabethan collar, and hope not ever to have to. Have yet to find the 'silver bullet' but with the things I have mentioned we manage the problem acceptably. I should also mention she only gets a bath once a month when we take her for her monthly professional grooming. I have always been under the impression that too many baths will remove natural skin oils and can cause them to be itchy.
 

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Hello everyone!

In new around here, and desperate for help.

My 15 months old bichon frise has a problem since he was 4-5 months old and we never solved it.

When we bought him (3 months onl), he had something around his testicles. It looked like this:
Do you intend to use him for breeding?
 
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