Has anybody ever seen this? What is he DOING?? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Has anybody ever seen this? What is he DOING??

I noticed about a month or so ago that a couple small spots on one of Bobby's back feet had some spots where the hair was a bit shorter. It wasn't overly obvious, and I noticed it but it didn't really catch my attention in a major way.

Then one day we found a mass that looked like a hairball on the floor (actually, it looked like a regurgitated mouse) and were trying to figure out what it was.

Well NOW it's VERY obvious that he's chewing the hair off his feet. His one front foot is much MUCH shorter as of recently than the rest of his feet (though one of his back feet is also going in that direction). I've been trying to grow him out initially to see if I like it or can handle the upkeep (much to my husband's chagrin as he does NOT want him in full coat), but I think that's out of the question now.

This morning he threw up another solid hairball. WTH? I didn't even know dogs COULD produce hairballs!

I don't typically SEE him doing this, so I'm not sure when he's doing it. He does't act as if his feet itch him, so I'm not thinking it's an allergic reaction to food. Has anybody else seen this or know what I'm dealing with? It's not something I want to go through for his entire life, especially since I'm not sure if it could cause a health issue at some point.
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Bobby at 6 months


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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 09:38 AM
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He has itchy feet for some reason. He is probably chewing them to get relief. Have a close look between his toes from the top and bottom! Any red or broken skin? Reddish hair? It can be allergy or some other skin problem. If it continues go to vet!

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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No, his pads are fine. He doesn't even seem to be chewing on the flesh -- just "scissoring" the hair off. I've seen the result of dogs who had itchy feet before, and this just looks different.

Bobby at 6 months


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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 10:25 AM
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My dog Finnegan does the exact same thing. I don't know what's up with that. He doesn't do it all the time, but does give himself a "haircut" on just one paw.
I haven't found the hair/fur that comes off. I guess he snacks on it.LOL

When I see him doing it I try to distract him and throw a toy or take him for a walk. I view it like a person who bites his/her nails. He does it on his tail very occasionally.
He has no health or skin issues.
The challenge is making him look pretty!
I feel your pain if your dog is doing it on more than one paw.

Nan
Chico, Cali, and Finnegan
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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That's my thought, too -- he's bored. But I almost never see him doing it, so I don't know when he does it, and he's always active, and we play a lot. My husband has been harassing me to cut him for some time, and by Bobby's very actions, I just may have to do that. I didn't want to do that.

He threw up a big SOLID fur ball this morning that looked like the size of one of those big cheese puffs. Where does a dog hold hair like that?? I know cats are structured in such a way, but dogs?? It's beyond bizarre. And with as big as these two fur balls are, he's swallowing a lot more hair than I thought. The first one he did was alarmingly big. We never thought "fur" because 1) he really wasn't nibbling all that much before that one, and 2) we just assumed it was maybe some stuffing from his toys.

Bobby at 6 months


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 10:53 AM
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Why not give him poodle feet? It lookss funny, but seems that the hair on the feet grows faster anyway. Rosie has had her feet shaved three times--the same three times I sent her to a groomer for feet trimmed, between the pads, etc and a sanitary cut. After the first time, I explained not to shave the feet and took pictures of how they were supposed to look. Didn't do any good,, so I trim them now. And after I got through trimming so that all feet looked the same, I might put some bitter apple spray on them. Can't hurt and may be the only way to break the habit. As to how they can have hairballs, didn't you know they are part cat!! Rosie acts more like a cat than Josie Wales does.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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I've been kind of watching to see if he'll travel anywhere else on his body. If it was just his feet, that's one thing, but I have no idea how far he'll take it. I DO have some of that bitter spray, so maybe I can try that. I just REALLY don't want to cut him, but he may force my hand.

Bobby at 6 months


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 02:02 PM
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my little one was doing that to one leg, i asked the vet and she looked and found a blackfly bite near that foot. seems she was itchy.

bitter apple is a good idea!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 07:31 PM
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neo-predef. it's a prescription topical powder. 3 in 1. it's: lidocaine, antibotic, and a steroid (promote healing). lidocaine to numb the skin (so it's not itchy) antibotic to kill an infection or bacteria. it's like $20. twice a day application or 3x/day, just depends. all you need is a small puff.

my little guy chews various paws as well. and he seems uber itchy this summer, perhaps b/c I'm growin his coat out.

I use it to keep any of my dogs from getting a lick granuloma, or habitual in a certain spot.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 07:32 PM
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It could be he has a fungus, but probably a bad habit. I'd bathe his feet (and dry them completely) with iodine shampoo; also dry his feet if he gets them wet going outdoors

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