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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Gnawing on his tail

Hello all,

I'm not really sure if this is a training thing or a health issue, but here goes. Fitz has always been somewhat interested in his tail, he loves to chase it and always has. It's always been just a cute habit once every few days for a few minutes here or there. But in the last week or so, his behavior has kind of changed in regards to his tail. He no longer really chases it, but actually kind of attacks it. Like full on biting/gnawing/ripping hair out. He almost curls into a ball and kind of rolls around trying desperately to chew on the thing and can't be distracted once he's started.

It doesn't happen like ALL the time, but it's pretty often, like every day and I just don't know what to do about it. I'm concerned because I don't know what the causes could be or if it's something that I need to do something about.

Anyone have any ideas?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 09:12 PM
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I would consult with a vet. If possible, I suggest you videotape the behavior and record when and how often it is happening. It could be something is causing pain or discomfort in his tail or anal gland. This behavior could even be related to a focal seizure. I assume you have ruled out fleas.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 09:45 AM
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here is a good article on this. .... http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/iss...D_20062-1.html

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave, that article was definitely interesting -- I didn't know that OCD was a thing for pups too. While Fitz has definitely shown some minor compulsive behaviors very occasionally, I don't think it's really very pronounced. With the tail thing though, I'm inclined to believe it's not a compulsive thing brought on by any of the stressors that the article discussed because none of them have been present when the biting begins (or if they are, it's never the same one, and they're always very minor). Like last night shortly before I wrote the original post, we were snuggled on a big memory foam puff chair that he likes to lay with us on (the only furniture he's allowed on) and he was about 98% of the way asleep when all of the sudden he sprang to alert and started gnawing, not even stopping/noticing when he rolled right off of the chair. Normally he's very aware of our movements and will follow us anywhere, but when he's in tail-attack-mode, it's the exact opposite - he doesn't even look up if we leave; so I don't really know how to train him to stop. Anyway, I guess I should just take him to the vet (after I get a video, as suggested above) if it continues.

*sigh* sometimes I just feel like the worst mom!
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