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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All especially you veterans, could really do with some more help or advice.

Our Cockapoo Ruby is now 9 months and she is absolutely wonderful, very happy and loving. She loves all dogs and all people and very well behaved.

We have one problem that's actually kind of 2 problems , she keeps biting her paws especially the rear ones to the extent she has chewed most of the fur off now. :(

We have had her at vet who was pretty much useless he just said change her food to a premium dog food but she's already on a premium raw diet (Nutriment). We have also been giving her piriton that we have seen some owners find successfully but to no avail. She has always been a bit of an itchy scratchy dog but she has no flea or mite issues that we can determine, she is on Advantix flea and tick treatments for prevention. So we can only assume it's an allergy to something but we can't determine what and vet allergy assessments we understand can be very expensive.

Problem 2 is associated, if we try to stop her biting herself she gets aggressive growling and snapping. She also does this if you try and stop her doing anything she shouldn't be and also with the vet when he was examining her paws ! The vet now has her on the notes as an agressive dog but she is so lovely and passive 95% of the time. PS when she snaps she doesn't actually bite me if it's effectively her warning us off, telling us she doesn't like it i believe ?

Anyone else had similar issues in the past or that can give us some suggestions of how to correct this occasional bad behaviour please ....
 

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Hi there - my boyfriend has a lot of experience with dogs. I've read out your post and he says first of all to compare the temperature of each paw - i.e. to determine if the one she is chewing at the time is significantly hotter than the other three. This could indicate that the heart is having trouble pulling the blood circulation back out of the paw. So the reason she is chewing it is that she's trying to relieve the build up of pressure almost like trying to massage it out. The snapping at you when you try to stop her might be because it feels sore and achy and she's trying to make it better. And you're stopping her. It might be worth asking your vet to check her heart just to be sure. My partner's experience is mostly of larger dogs where this circulation problem can be quite common due to the size of their hearts. But if you have tried other things unsuccessfully, like the piriton etc, then this might be the next thing to check. Hope that helps.


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It sounds to me like she has an allergy so you need to try and work out what that is to. She may be fed on a top quality diet but if there is an element she has an allergy to it will not work well for her.

If you want to determine what she has an allergy to you need to try some real changes with her diet and see if you can figure it out yourself if you can not afford the allergy testing. You need to stick strictly to one food with just one protein source for a good six weeks and see if that resolves things, if they are no better (or worse) change to a different protein source. You also need to stop all treats during this time and make sure she is just fed whatever food you choose. (and probably easier to ensure a balanced diet with a commercial kibble rather than raw while you are doing this I am afraid)

I would also consider it could be a form of contact allergy so watch the surfaces she is walked on, maybe keep a diary and experiment with walks in different areas to see if you can see a link to when she is worse. Also consider surfaces at home, what washing powder is used for dog beds, products used to wash floors or clean carpets etc.

Her second problem sounds like a form of resource guarding, I suspect if you can resolve the itching you will have a happier dog less likely to be grumbly. In the meantime you need to avoid confrontation and find other ways to stop her doing whatever it is you don't want her to do.

Good luck - allergies can be tricky to resolve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you HenryPup27 for the quick reply, that's certainly not something we had considered or knew of so will definitely check the temperature of her paws and mention it when we go back to vet, which we are going to need to do im pretty sure
 

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Thank you HenryPup27 for the quick reply, that's certainly not something we had considered or knew of so will definitely check the temperature of her paws and mention it when we go back to vet, which we are going to need to do im pretty sure


Good luck, keep us posted. Might be worth asking the question just in case.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks 2ndhandgal for your help again, we were thinking it's allergy based but struggling to work out the cause, as you say it's tough, we may have to go with the vet tests if we still struggle but a lady i speak to whilst out walking was charged £2000 by our vet for some.

Has anyone come across any cross infection with ear mites ? Ruby has had issues in past and we use Thornit powder which suggests on their information sheet that they can transfer to other areas and vets can't identify them. As it's mostly rear paws wondered if it could be a consideration ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks 2ndhandgal for your help again, we were thinking it's allergy based but struggling to work out the cause, as you say it's tough, we may have to go with the vet tests if we still struggle but a lady i speak to whilst out walking was charged £2000 by our vet for some.

Has anyone come across any cross infection with ear mites ? Ruby has had issues in past and we use Thornit powder which suggests on their information sheet that they can transfer to other areas and vets can't identify them. As it's mostly rear paws wondered if it could be a consideration ...
 

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Oh forgot to say, Henry had a sore pad recently (grazed on the side of the large pad, right down between that and the other pads), on one of his back paws, and we used something called Bag Balm (Google it) on it and it cleared it right up. It's like a thick Vaseline and you can use it to protect their pads too if you're going out in snow etc. Not sure if it might be worth putting that on her pads to ease any irritation, see if that works?


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So I feed Lexi and Beemer a raw diet and rotate their proteins. I noticed when they would chew on turkey necks, they both would scratch a lot at their ears. I took it out of their rotation and the ear itching stopped. After a bit I noticed Beemer would scratch a lot and gnaw on his back paws when I added chicken to their diet. Each of their meals is either a single or double protein blend of muscle meat, fat, organs, and bone. So testing my theory is easy as they rotate between 6 proteins each meal. After a week (no chicken at all), all chewing stopped. The place I get my raw does not mix proteins but I noticed a lot of the commercial ones do. And also contain a lot of other ingredients not just protein source. The usual culprit is chicken as it is ubiquitous in all dog food, treats, toothpaste, etc. I make my own toothpaste now and treats.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh forgot to say, Henry had a sore pad recently (grazed on the side of the large pad, right down between that and the other pads), on one of his back paws, and we used something called Bag Balm (Google it) on it and it cleared it right up. It's like a thick Vaseline and you can use it to protect their pads too if you're going out in snow etc. Not sure if it might be worth putting that on her pads to ease any irritation, see if that works?

Thanks will give that a try - checked her Paws and they are a little on the hot side - it seems she gnaws on pads at the front and on top of the rear ones
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Lexi&Beemer thinking about what you said, Chicken does seem to be the common ingredient certainly in Nutriment its usually 2 proteins with consistent vegetable proportions also. Will try to eliminate it for a week and see how she is.

We feed her fish treats, eg dried sprats and fish skins etc - We thought they would be better than commercial treats - Anyone have known issues with fish and allergy symptoms ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I feed Lexi and Beemer a raw diet and rotate their proteins. I noticed when they would chew on turkey necks, they both would scratch a lot at their ears. I took it out of their rotation and the ear itching stopped. After a bit I noticed Beemer would scratch a lot and gnaw on his back paws when I added chicken to their diet. Each of their meals is either a single or double protein blend of muscle meat, fat, organs, and bone. So testing my theory is easy as they rotate between 6 proteins each meal. After a week (no chicken at all), all chewing stopped. The place I get my raw does not mix proteins but I noticed a lot of the commercial ones do. And also contain a lot of other ingredients not just protein source. The usual culprit is chicken as it is ubiquitous in all dog food, treats, toothpaste, etc. I make my own toothpaste now and treats.


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Thanks Lexi&Beemer thinking about what you said, Chicken does seem to be the common ingredient certainly in Nutriment its usually 2 proteins with consistent vegetable proportions also. Will try to eliminate it for a week and see how she is.

We feed her fish treats, eg dried sprats and fish skins etc - We thought they would be better than commercial treats - Anyone have known issues with fish and allergy symptoms ?
 

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Clemmy had earmites when I got her, and also chewed most of the fur off her front leg. The vet said that her ears were clear initially, although I was sure there was something because she kept shaking her head. I gave her a spot-on treatment anyway, but she kept shaking her head. Eventually her ears were checked again under anesthetic when she was spayed, and they found she did have mites - she had ear drops and a spot on treatment and it worked. The hair on her leg started to grow back around the same time too - so there might be some connection, but I didn't think of that at the time! She was a bit anxious when I first got her, the dogs in her previous home had taken against her :( So I thought the leg biting was an anxiety thing and took it as a sign she was happier. Again the vet couldn't find anything on her leg, and I didn't use any topical treatment, but looking back now, it's possible there was a connection. It might be worth getting her ears looked at again - apparently mites are hard to see and diagnose, and get rid of. Maybe you could ask your vet for the ear drops anyway? (be careful though - Clemmy used to shake her head as soon as I put them in, and a drop splattered in my eye! I learned to close my eyes as soon as the drops went in!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Clemmy, Ruby shakes her head sometimes and rubs her head on the floor so i do suspect she may have ear mites deep down in her ear canal that we aren't getting to with regular cleaning and they could be getting transferred to rear paws as she scratches. We will be getting her spayed soon so will ask vet to check while she's sedated. She's had ear drops before but does seem to suffer with ear problems. How does everyone deal with it ? I understand it's common in cockapoo's ....
 

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Yes the rubbing ears on the ground sounds familiar too. The spot on treatment I used (and still do regularly) was Prinovox which is good because it also treats worms, including lung worm. The only thing it doesn't do is tapeworm, so I get a tablet from the vet for that. Apparently the reason the Prinovox didn't work the first time was because I only used half a dose (the first vet advised because she was so small, and also because I don't think the vet really believed me about the mites :rolleyes:) Apparently a full dose would have worked, especially if I'd followed it up with another in a few weeks. The ear drops were extra 'belt and braces' but I think worth it because mites are so hard to treat. It does sound quite likely about transferring to Ruby's back legs when she scratches. As for cleaning ears - I don't think that will actually get rid of mites, but it is supposed to help with ear infections. I'm fortunate that Clemmy doesn't have very hairy ears, but I know people pluck the hairs inside their cockapoo's ears to prevent infections (or get a groomer to do them). I don't pluck or really clean her ears because I'm worried I'll do more harm than good digging around! And she hasn't had a problem with an infection so far, so why "fix it if it ain't broke" as they say. But I am really careful about drying them after a bath. Hope you get it sorted soon :) ps - another give away for mites is a 'cheesey smell' which Clemmy did also have when she had mites - not very strong, but it was there. Yuck - good job we love 'em eh?!
 

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Lexi& Beemer, could you give more detail to your raw diet. What kind of source do you use? Is it all ground up for you? Etc. I'm really interested in this and want to do it right.
 

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Lexi& Beemer, could you give more detail to your raw diet. What kind of source do you use? Is it all ground up for you? Etc. I'm really interested in this and want to do it right.

I thought I replied to this already. Sorry for the delay.

So I have run the gamut as I did more research and learned more about a raw diet. First we did commercial frozen premade raw diets. In the US, so started with Stella & Chewy and then Primal. Then once I became more comfortable with the raw diet and did a ton of research, I started looking online for sources so I could balance their diet (using prey model proportions). I was lucky that there was a local supplier for the ground proteins and liver and other organ meats. So I did that for a while proportioning out liver pieces, chicken feet, ground meat and bones. And then supplemented them with different nutrients (e.g. Kelp, glucosamine-chondroitin) and duck necks, beef ribs, chicken feet. I did more research and looked into organic and grass fed proteins. It was too expensive and I didn't have a bone grinder. Also Beemer seemed to have developed a chicken allergy (Lexi already had one for turkey). So needed to find alternative poultry. Found a supplier who does course ground complete meals that aren't processed at all (Souly Raw) and now I rotate between 6 proteins with a different protein at each meal.

Again starting out I'd spend the extra getting premade frozen meals. Then I'd do research. Decide if you want your pup to have a prey model diet or barf diet (in my mind it's like vegetarian or nonvegetarian diet). Decide how much you want to do on your own. There are mixes that you just have to add ground meat if you want with everything else prepared for you. Or you can do it on your own. Introduce raw meaty bones (chicken wings and necks I find really good). Just keep an eye on them as if they aren't used to it, they may try to swallow it whole. I think my biggest challenge was finding good variety of proteins.


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