Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Introducing Mollybal Lecter

She's been trying to eat her paws for the past week.

But this isn't where we started. We started with Bitter Apple, that foul tasting substance that you spray to prevent chewing and licking. When that failed, we tired a pair of cute little baby socks. This worked for our other dog when he had foot surgery...


...but it didn't work for Miss Molly. The paws became even more swollen, bloody, and inflamed as she kept licking. We tried an Elizabethan Collar...


...but Molly is too smart for her own good, though, and figured out how to chew her feet with the ecollar on by pinning her foot between the collar and the floor, and pushing down to collapse the collar. This caused untold torture to her poor little feet. That's when we resorted to the basket muzzle, ala Hannibal Lecter.


The smart girl figured out how to lick out of the side of her muzzle, however, so we paired the muzzle with the ecollar...


... only to find that her paws were STILL being worried somehow, and were now bleeding pretty badly.

I don't understand how she can still be reaching her paws through a lampshade, a muzzle, gallons of bitter apple (which she hates), yards of gauze and vet wrap, and baby socks. We have washed, bandaged, antibacterial oinmented, anti-itch sprayed, soaked in Epsoms Salts, and done everything we can think of... and every time we think we are getting somewhere, she rips them open again overnight. And, I am at the end of my rope. She's going to the vet tomorrow at 5 pm (the earliest they could get us in)... hopefully they can give us a sedative or something to help her.


Karen in Wichita said...

Cortisone. It's magic. Our Sequoia is going through that right now, even with half a Benadryl at night, and we're going to have to have her in this year.

The vet thinks hers is a flea allergy. She's on flea drops, but that only prevents an infestation. J. Random Outdoor Flea can hop on, bite, and go off to die or be sterile or whatever freaky thing the flea drops do these days, but just that one bite can set off the allergic reaction, they say.

Or maybe it's an outdoor allergy of some sort and whatever it is is highly active right now. I dunno, we're not gonna have a thirteen-year-old dog allergy tested (do they even do that for dogs? Probably). I just know yeah, she chews on her feet, and this is shaping up to look like one of the years nothing short of a Cortisone shot will knock it out.

Karen Anne said...

Wow, your vet is booked up a week ahead of time. Mine was always able to fit us in. Thinking good thoughts for Miss Molly, her paws must be driving her crazy.

Just me, but I would not have put all that stuff on her paws. If they have something wrong with them, I can imagine that stuff making it worse, stinging, etc.

modernemama said...

Poor baby. Mine get Betagen spray aka known as "magic spray" (my vet's term) when they have scratches that they worry at and I try to remember to keep the K9 Advantix up to date so the fleas don't bite.
Hope she's better soon (and my vet squeezes the pups in within 2 days too)

artemis said...

Yup, sounds like allergies---ugh. Our dog has been licking like crazy for the past month (thankfully he doesn't chew!)---combo of seasonal and food allergies. (They do indeed test for these, though we haven't ponied up the money for this yet....but it gets more appealing as the licking gets worse.) Apparently yeast infections that develop in the paws/pads can also cause this, though I don't know much about them. Whatever it is, hope she feels better (and goes cage-free ;)) soon!

Jen said...

The allergies will do it. I have pi and K on prescription food and K gets bendryl when things get bad. If it's seasonal, you may just need the antihistamine.

Also, for treating the bad spot, we just went through laser treatments with pi. It sounds crazy, but it transformed her oozing, giant, puffy foot back to normal in about 3 weeks. The vet's even writing up a little thing about us - it worked amazingly well. http://www.nlah.com/therapyLaser.html (that before picture is actually after 5 treatments. It was oozy, black, and hairless when we started).

Regardless, I hope she gets better! Poor puppy

Jennifer said...

Karen~ Thanks! I'll definitely mention cortisone to the vet tomorrow. Good to know that helped! This isn't fleas, since we are lucky to not have fleas in Colorado (at least, not fleas in a mostly inside dog)... my husband suspects (as he blowshis nose) that it is pollen or something (outdoor, like you suggested!).

Karen Anne~ Not a full week... I didn't call until today because I thought we could handle it. (I'd talked to them before, and they thought we could, too). They had a few times today that we absolutely couldn't make due to work, so tomorrow was the soonest, sadly!

We only put the bitter apple on the outside of bandages, though it was created to actually go on wounds. The neosporin was recommended by the vet, so we'll keep doing it. Simplicity is good, though!

Modernemama~ That looks like a good spray! We're lucky we don't have a flea problem out here in dry Colorado.

Artemis~ SOrry you're dealing with it, too! I hpe your pup feels better soon.

Jen~ That laser treatment looks interesting! I just started her on boiled chicken and rice (her current food has neither of those- it's just fish and potato)... so hopefully if it's food we can narrow that down. Hope your pups are having an easy allergy spring!

Sarah said...

My vote would be allergies as well---however, make sure your vet is thorough.

Our chow mix, Toby, has always been a paw licker and the vets always blew it off as allergies. It finally took his toe nails snapping off and paws oozing with blood for us not to get blown off and for them to realize, hey, something else might be wrong. Tons of tests later, he has some sort of disease, much like lupus, that's attacking his feet. We had to do a huge lifestyle change for the dogs because of it, they're now taking suppliments, natural food, and for Toby, tons and tons of medication to try to get him into remmission. So far, so good.

We've never done cortisone but we do have him on a pain killer that sops him from licking when his attacks flare up. Rimadyl, mostly used for arthiritis, but both Toby and Maya (who has some spine problems associated with being a rottie) get relief from it. There is some debate on the use of Rimadyl in dogs----but we swear by it.

Anyway, I hope you guys get to the bottom of it, and your doggie feels better soon!

casacaudill said...

My mom's chocolate lab went through this a couple of years ago - it turns out he's allergic to grass. Poor thing. I'll ask her what meds were eventually prescribed, but he's able to go outside now with minimal discomfort.

Robj98168 said...

Poor puppy! Luckily I never went through anything like that with any of my dogd- my cats however Try getting a cat to wear an elizabethan collar! Makes for catowner fun!

Karen Anne said...

What did the vet say?

Michele said...

We have been dealing with this issue for 4 years now. We looked at it from an allergy(flea, grass, weeds) possibility. Things we did were detoxing the feet when she came in. Washing the feet in cool water with aveeno bath power and rinsing off. This really helped, for awhile. We used hot spot stick, again only temporary. Then we changed her food to a premium quality close to raw diet kibble and she finally stopped licking and biting all her feet except one.

This one paw, she insisted that she chew to a bloody mess no matter what we did. Which I had to laugh because we did everything you did except the collar and the muzzle. New game plan with the vet. We tried and experiment, a combo of Vetprofen and antibiotics for 2 months - heal the bloody paw. She stopped licking and biting - the paw we figured had been injured 4 years ago and dogs being dogs, she did not show signs of being in pain.

It is frustrating as a pet owner when you have to keep trying different things to get them healthy. One of the things our vet said was that even with flea allergies, they have learned you have to treat it from the inside out. Build the immunity system to be strong. This is why we changed the food. I felt like a bad pet owner in thinking I was feeding the dogs with nutritional dog food but found that this was not the case.