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Dr. Emily
Dr. Emily, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 735
Experience:  Associate veterinarian at a small animal clinic
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My german shepherd is chewing s tail till it bleeds, this is

Customer Question

My german shepherd is chewing his tail till it bleeds, this is the 2nd time we have gone through this but this time it is worst when he is in his kennel l need a good vet that can help me
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** and I would like to assist with your question today. Is the tail the only region that is being chewed at?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All my research says he has a disorder like OCD
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

And aside from using the training collar to discipline, have any medications been tried? Such as flea prevention or a steroid like prednisone?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there medication for that
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

Although OCD does happen, it is more common to have an underlying problem that causes itching, the dog chews at the area, creates and infection and makes the problem worse. It is like a cycle effect.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

A medical problem with the skin needs to be excluded before a diagnosis of OCD can be done.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

I typically put dogs that are doing this on a course of prednisone and an antibiotic for the skin to clear up any secondary infection created by the chewing as well as a flea treatment. This needs to be continued until the area is healthy again. If the chewing continues after 2 weeks of treatment, then that helps narrow down the causes of the chewing.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

Testing on the skin can also be done to rule out that there isn't a mite living under the surface of the skin that cannot be seen without a microscope (demodex).

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

Has any of that been done in the past?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is on flea and heart worm pills once a month
no medication other than topical ointment
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It only three tip of tail
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

Is it a veterinary product or an over the counter flea medication? Many of the OTC ones do not work. The tip of the tail is a very difficult area to heal. Dogs are drawn to the area when it has an injury but the area needs to be protected so it can heal. Oral medication are needed, as well as a cone collar or a wrap that is changed every day to facilitate healing.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

Sometimes this injury will not heal and the tip needs to be amputated to close the skin surgically.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The ointment came from vet, when we try to wrap it he pulls it off. This is the 2nd time, we got it healed and he started again. He is very aggressive with growing and biting the rail more so when in his kennel
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Flea and heart worm comes from vet
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

Yes, that is a very difficult area to heal. Do you use a cone collar?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

I really feel it is needed to keep the area protected. Until it is healed, your dog cannot have access to chewing on it. I also make wraps using harder plastic so the dog cannot chew through the wrap.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

I use either a syringe case or pill vial with holes cut in it for the extra protection.

Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 1 year ago.

I was trying to find a video or photo of this but I'm having trouble locating one.