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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8582
Experience:  23 years of experience treating dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, & iguanas
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my dog keeps biting her tail till it bleeds what can i do to

Resolved Question:

my dog keeps biting her tail till it bleeds what can i do to stop her from biting it or what can itit be
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

Dr Kara :

Hello, I am very sorry to hear about your pup.

Dr Kara :

Chewing at her tail can be secondary to flea bite allergies, a skin infection, trauma to her tail or in some cases related to stress/obsessive compulsive behavior.

Dr Kara :

Unfortunately the more she chews the more damage she does and an increased chance of infection is likely and that is more likely she to continue to chew

Dr Kara :

So I definitely recommend placing an elizabethan collar on her so she cannot chew.

Dr Kara :

If fleas are an issue use effective flea control such as Advantage, Frontline or Revolution.

Dr Kara :

Keep the area she is chewing on clean by shaving the hair close to the skin and using betadine solution mixed with water such that it looks like weak tea or chlorhexidene shampoo or solution to clean it once or twice daily. Do not wrap the area.

Dr Kara :

If it is infected she needs oral antibiotics and those you can only get from her veterinarian.

Dr Kara :

Leave the e-collar on at least a week past any signs of raw tissue or bleeding, ideally until her skin loks normal and hair is regrowing.

Customer:

Sorry please give me a minute as I talk about this with my daughter

Dr Kara :

If you get it to heal and then she goes back to chewing as soon as the e-collar comes off we need to look for underlying causes such as lower back or hip pain. Or obsessive compulsive behavior due to stress.

Dr Kara :

Sure just let me know if you have questions about what I've written.

Customer:

She has a cone on but she tackles with it to get it off sometimes. She has also had a bandge on her tail as it started off as one spot but then went all the way down her tail

Customer:

Also we have noticed that her gums in her mouth have been bleeding alot so we have been giving her softer food but they still bleed quite alot

Customer:

she also "heavs" like she has a hairball and some blood comes out from her mouth them but we arn't sure if this is from her gums or not. The blood looks quite fresh.

Dr Kara :

I am so sorry to hear about this. You definitely need to get an e-collar she cannot remove.
If this is spreading then infection sounds like a part of this so I do think she needs more than home care.
Her gums should not bleed. This can be a sign of a clotting deficiency or severe dental disease.
And the gagging is a definite concern too.
If the blood is fresh then it is likely from her mouth or esophagus.

Dr Kara :

How is she behaving in general?

Customer:

Shes always been very playful

Dr Kara :

Is she losing weight?
Is she active and alert or lethargic?

Customer:

whats lethargic?

Customer:

I have noticed she sleeps alot more than normal hovever though the day shes more active

Customer:

She goes to sleep before my daughter and wakes up when my daughter gets up and my daughter sleeps quite long

Dr Kara :

Not playful, sleeping more than normal = lethargic.
There are certain lines of Rottweilers that have clotting problems or there are tick borne disease that can cause clotting problems.
I think she really needs a veterinary exam.

Customer:

Shes very attention seeking towards night time and follows my daughter around more than others in the house

Customer:

Yes we will take her to a vet

Dr Kara :

Dogs that don't feel well will either be very clingy or more stand-offish. I think she's trying to tell you she's not feeling herself.

Customer:

can you suggest where we could take her thats not too exspensive please? We are willing to pay the money just we are on a low income

Dr Kara :

I understand. I would call your local animal shelter (the RSPCA) and ask about a low cost clinic.
Then explain your situation. Normally we can do diagnostics step-wise in cases where finances are tight.
I would certainly recommend a complete blood count, clotting profile and a tick screening test called a 4DX which screens for several tick diseases.
And hopefully they can get her started on some antibiotics.

Customer:

Okay thankyou

Customer:

Should we keep the bandge on her tail untill we go to the vets or do you think its okay as she still has the cone on her?

Dr Kara :

If they see evidence of fleas and ticks then getting her started on a preventative is a good idea too, and you might be able to buy that monthly to stretch out charges.
Very welcome.

Dr Kara :

I'd take the bandage off as bandages normally keep infection in. As long as she has the e-collar on she doesn't need it.

Dr Kara :

Just clean the area daily with a good antibacterial soap and then dry well.

Customer:

We have been cleaning it with babywipes and sterilised water but it still bleeds and doesnt look very clean.

Dr Kara :

Yes you need to clean it with a clean wash cloth with very warm water and soap on it. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then rinse the soap off with another clean wash cloth and dry well.
Wipes won't penetrate the debris that forms.

Customer:

what kind of soap? Human soap can apparently harm dogs or irritate them, should we use a sensative one?

Dr Kara :

You ideally would use betadine solution (which you can find at the pharmacy) or chlorhexidene shampoo. If those aren't available dilute antibacterial hand soap (for people) and warm water is fine too.

Dr Kara :

As long as you remove the soap after cleaning with a warm water rinse (warm water on a wash cloth until you don't get soap) and dry well.

Dr Kara :

Irritation comes when the soap is left on and not rinsed off properly.

Customer:

Okay thankyou

Customer:

Thanks for the help the information you have given us has been super :)

Dr Kara :

Very welcome. Best of luck with your girl!

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX good night.

Dr Kara :

You too.

Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8582
Experience: 23 years of experience treating dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, & iguanas
Dr. Kara and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

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