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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30418
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a 10 1/2 year old Great Dane who chews on the skin

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 10 1/2 year old Great Dane who chews on the skin at his leg and back/bottom until there is nothing but bloody tissue. He gets Omegas everyday and his food contains no meal. Any suggestions? He's an old guy, but always been prone to having some sort of open wound--he even ate his tail after having part of it cut off from a fox tail--that's another story.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Such a profoundly affected dog needs to be attended to by his vet at your earliest convenience if only to have an Elizabethan color or neck brace fit on him so he can't continue to mutilate himself. An allergic dermatitis or perhaps underlying osteoarthritic pain need to be considered as instigators of his behavior and so a thorough physical exam and perhaps X-rays will be needed to clarify the etiology so that therapy can be tailored to Sammy.
Please note that a no meal diet isn't necessarily hypoallergenic to Sammy. Beef, chicken, corn, wheat, eggs, rice, and soy are the most common offending food allergens in dogs. While a food intolerance should be a consideration in Sammy, atopic dermatitis (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites) and a flea saliva allergy are more commonly found.
I would expect some combination of a tranquilizer, systemic corticosteroid, and antibiotic to be prescribed in addition to the E-collar or neck brace. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.