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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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Our dog is a mixed breed who is a 15 year old male. Recently

Customer Question

Hello, our dog is a mixed breed who is a 15 year old male. Recently he started chewing his back at the base of his tail, and his tail is bent sideways. He seems preoccupied with chewing at his sore spot.
Do you know of any reason this would happen.. He is still healthy and full of life otherwise. Eating well.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that Maverick hasn't been 100% normal lately - I'll do my best to help. When you say his tail is bent, has it always been that way or is this something new?

There are a lot of reasons dogs can chew at their skin. The number one most common reason is itching from allergies. Sometimes they can also get skin infections that can be really itchy and are random occurrences. Dogs also have a sebaceous gland on the top of their tail base that sometimes can become infected or inflamed and cause them to lick. In some cases also it could be a behavioral disorder like an obsessive compulsive type of deal. Many allergic or infectious skin lesions will respond to treatment either with antibiotics and/or steroids. Sometimes just stopping them from getting at the area can allow it to heal - the easiest way to do that is to place an E-collar, Cloud Collar, or Bite Not collar on him so that he can't reach the area to chew at it. That's not always easy, but it can be a first step to getting things sorted. If the sore is getting larger or isn't improving, then I'd suggest having him examined by your vet, as they may be able to prescribe something simple to get the problem under control.

Please let me know what other questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The tail bending is recent and it all seems connected somehow, it makes him walk funny in the back legs. It is not constant, but randomly happens.
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.

It could be that he's holding his tail funny because of the sore spot - that'd be my first guess. If it's not getting better, then you're likely to need to have him looked at by the vet. There may very well be a simple answer.

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have researched and found many natural cures, as we prefer not to give anyone in our family drugs. The only thing We may have a problem with is getting on the bite no more... He won't even let anyone look at his spot. He dances and prances off, like I'm ok.. Just leave me be. I know the vet will want to give him antibiotics. This is no good. When they gave our cat some, the problem went away, but then came back even more severely than before.. I have now found a natural cure for her..
(For an unrelated issue)
Sorry to go on and on, but the reason I asked the question here, was to avoid the vet.
At the very worst he would ingest coconut oil, tumeric or apple cider vinegar. I think all of these things would not hurt him. Could you please advise if that would be ok? ( in your opinion)...thank you kindly.
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.

Those things in small amounts are unlikely to be harmful. If you can just get him to stop with the licking for a bit, you may also be pleasantly surprised at how well he will heal on his own.

Take care :)

~Dr. Sara

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.
Hi Cara,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Maverick. How is everything going?
Doc Sara