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Thread: unusual behavior

  1. #1
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    all of a sudden, yesterday, zack has started acting not like his usual self. the first thing i noticed when i got home from work, he had chewed a paper cup, i leave them around all the time and he never touches them, but no big deal. but then i noticed he was chewing his back foot. the foot was wet. he chewed the foot and the lower leg. i told him to stop and he did. I didn't know if he would stop just because i told him but he did. then, off and on the rest of the night, and seeming to get more as the night went on, he was digging in the pillows and bedding really hard, rubbing his head and body into the floor and sofa, making a lot of noise, he was doing some scratching but not a lot. i could not see any fleas or flea bites on him. I looked in his ears and they are not red and don't have any odor, and look clean. I'm not sure i know what to look for in the ears.

    a couple of weeks ago, i saw a couple of fleas on him. This is the time of year, as the weather gets warmer, that i get fleas at my house for 2 or 3 months. In the past, i've just given Fluffy the cat Program for one or two months and i don't see fleas and she doesn't scratch.

    This year, i've been reading up more and i decided i would try to avoid giving zack, and Fluffy, Program, or any of the other pesticide things like Frontline or Advantage. So, a couple of weeks ago, i started giving them chewable brewers yeast and garlic tablets that are made for pets, which i got at the health store, having read that this can cause fleas to leave the animal alone. I started taking vitamin B complex for myself too. i stopped seeing any fleas on Zack, but the weather cooled off too, so i don't know. since then, i've seen one every now and then, not in a few days.

    i wanted to be proactive so i got diatomaceous earth and put it in Zack's bedding. that was a mistake. I only put a tiny bit but it caused a lot of dust and he woke up the next day coughing and choking. I had taken it outside to beat it and get all the excess off, and i wore a mask, but apparently there was still too much in the bedding, which i have since replaced. I beat it again before i threw it away, didn't think it had much in it so didn't wear a mask, and i got major respiratory irritation from just breathing it for about 15 seconds. we both coughed for days, him only in the mornings, me all day.

    so much for the diatomaceous earth. i got flea killing nematodes for the backyard but haven't put them out yet. i'm going to look into using IGR too, outside.

    Zack started having heavier and smelly discharge from his eyes so i guessed it was the brewers yeast causing yeast overgrowth in the eyes, so i stopped giving the brewers yeast and garlic tablets and started giving powdered probiotics to him once or twice a day for several days, to get the yeast in check. the eyes have since stopped having the smelly discharge so i think the probiotics worked. It's probiotics marketed as being for babies and children under 4.

    I also put Neem oil on him one day, with spritzer that i bought online. It's supposed to be for pets, for fleas. He acted weird when i put it on, pretty much the same way he acts after a bath. Maybe it made his skin feel cool. i read as much as i could about it before getting it and couldn't find any dangers.

    the neem oil was probably 5 or 6 days ago. he hasn't had brewers yeast and garlic in several days. He had probiotics last night.

    I don't know if any of these things could cause how he's acting. Not only is he digging into pillows and bedding. He also wants to be in my lap all the time, which isn't normal. And today when i got up from the chair, he stayed in the chair, he's never done that before, he always has to get down and come with me. when i got home from work to check on him just now, he was laying on a couch that he's not allowed on and never goes on, and he wouldn't get off when i told him, not normal for him at all. Usually he would be up wagging his tail and stuff. He is way not active in his usual way.

    He's not listless and lethargic the way he was when he had the gastrointestinal symptoms. It's different inactivity from that. He seems on the tense side. His appetite seems normal.

    I called the vet this morning and was told he would call me back and talk about it and decide whether there was something i could do at home or if i should bring him in.

    I am wondering if it can be fleas even though i can't see any fleas and even though he's not scratching. He is scratching a little once in a while, but in my past experience when dogs have fleas they scratch in a more determined and persistent way.

    could he have a flea inside his ear? or a flea bite in his ear?

    one other thing, last night i was looking at his eyes and seeing that the discharge wasn't there, and his eyes looked like the right color, not red, but then i pulled back the lid and his eye was very red under the lid. He's not really rubbing his eyes, but maybe he is when he rubs his head. It's hard to read because he rubs his whole body. maybe i was imagining it, i looked under his eyelid just now and it looks ok, not bright red.

    i'm worried and sorry for him, something isn't right. i'm going to call the vet again, maybe i should just put Frontline on him...i'm home from work and have to go back to the office. wish i knew how to help him. i need to call the vet again, it's been hours and no return call.

  2. #2
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    Judy, I wouldn't put Frontline or anything else on him until he's seen the vet.

    I wonder if he has an eye infection if his eye is red like that?

    If you go through his coat, can you see any small dark bits? If you find any, put them on damp tissue, you will see reddish brown around them if they are flea droppings.

    I really hope he is ok.
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    thanks nicki, i'll try that with a wet paper towel. i've seen one or two tiny black things here and there, not like when it builds up, very minimal, thanks for the tip of how to tell if it's flea droppings. i checked his eye again and it's not bright red now, maybe i was imagining it. i havn't checked the other eye though, he's sleeping in my lap, it's just so unusual for him to be doing this.

    i wasn't planning to put the frontline on him myself, i was going to have them do it at the vet because i'm not used to it and i'm kind of grossed out by pesticides. i agree with you on not adding anything new at this point unless advised by the vet too, not sure i want to put frontline on him until he's ok...do you use frontline?

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    Hi, Judy. Poor guy. I hope he's just adjusting too all the new stuff. It could be he has allergies completely unrelated to all the other stuff. If he hasnt improved in a day or so, the vet sounds like the next step.

    As far as frontline goes, I use Frontline plus. It's really very simple to apply. I'm not sure why you find it gross. It's less gross than putting bug spray on, in my opinion. The meds come in a little vile. You just empty the contents of the vile to one spot between the dog's shoulders. It's a clear liquid, and once it is applied, you can tell the fur is damp, but that's it.

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    What is neem oil? Where did you get it? I would bathe him to get that off, and clean the bedding, too, in case it's on there as well. I don't know what neem oil is, but it could be causing some of the problems.

    Unfortunately when owners try to avoid the ffrontline, advantage, etc by using "herbal" or "natural" remedies, they can end up doing even more harm. We saw a case study on a dog whose owners had put a whole vial of pennyroyal oil on her dog for fleas and the dog died.
    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rory
    What is neem oil? Where did you get it? I would bathe him to get that off, and clean the bedding, too, in case it's on there as well. I don't know what neem oil is, but it could be causing some of the problems.

    Unfortunately when owners try to avoid the ffrontline, advantage, etc by using "herbal" or "natural" remedies, they can end up doing even more harm. We saw a case study on a dog whose owners had put a whole vial of pennyroyal oil on her dog for fleas and the dog died.
    neem oil is from a tree in india called the neem tree, i think. i got it from this website
    http://www.botanicaldog.com/products.php?cat=7
    It's the one on the bottom of the page, on the bottle it says it can be used daily. i just used it once, about a week ago.

    here's a site i found about neem oil when i was trying to find out about it
    http://www.theneemteam.co.uk/acatalo..._problem_.html
    http://www.neemfoundation.org/home%20uses.htm
    http://homeharvest.com/insectspraysneembased.htm

    i'll give him a bath tonight.

    I've heard of pennyroyal being something to avoid.

    neem oil, and most other essential oils, i think, are not to be used on cats.

    the vet hasn't called me back yet. I called a second time and she said he's the only one there today and probably hadn't gotten to his phone messages yet. The vet that i like there is just in on Friday through Monday. I made an appointment to take him to see her tomorrow evening after work.

    this started so suddenly. he's licking his feet right now, back and front, on his left front foot between two of his toes, it looks red. no way of knowing whether it's red from him licking it or if it's red from whatever's wrong with him, but it's his back right foot that he's paying more attention to, no redness on it. when i touch the red spot he doesn't pull his foot away, it's not sensitive.

    since it started so suddenly, i'm wondering if that plastic disposable cup he was chewing could've hurt him. i don't know. i wish the vet would call. i wish there was something i could do for him. I will give him a bath, i hope that will help. he hasn't had anything like neem oil or DE or herbs or brewers yeast in a week. i got him a brand new snoozy and threw the other one away for fear the DE won't all come out in the wash.

    as for Frontline or Advantage, i'm sure it's probably fine, just the idea of pesticides bothers me, i avoid them, i buy organic food as much as possible, and putting it on their fur, on the back of their neck, it bothers me, even though it's probably fine. but animals are having a lot of health problems as time goes on, over the years, that they didn't used to have, and no one really knows what's causing it, no one can say if it's from vaccinations or drugs. if it were possible to safely avoid them, i would want to, but i totally agree, various herbs and things can be harmful too, and are not well researched. and medications are often a lesser of evils and they do good things. including flea control and all the problems that come from uncontrolled fleas.

    I'm not really a purist about avoiding Advantage and Frontline, i had it put on zack the first month i had him because he was scratching so much, i thought it was fleas, i did see a flea on him at the place where i got him. she had been using advantage. I didn't want to do it but i thought it was better than him constantly having to stop and scratch, he was so playful but he couldn't just have fun, he kept needing to scratch. the Advantage didn't help, apparently the scratching was related to his digestive problems related to worms or parasites or something like that, it went away along wiht the diarrhea and vomiting. And that was the kind of scratching im used to seeing. What he's doing now is different, hard to explain. it's like he doesn't know where to scratch.

  7. #7
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    Default Chewing/ scratching

    It sounds like it could be a food allergy. I would put him on a restricted diet to rule out allergies (lamb and rice--if you haven't used or something like duck and potato). If that doesn't work, I would see the vet.
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    Default Re: Chewing/ scratching

    Quote Originally Posted by amjon
    It sounds like it could be a food allergy. I would put him on a restricted diet to rule out allergies (lamb and rice--if you haven't used or something like duck and potato). If that doesn't work, I would see the vet.
    thanks. he's had lamb and rice (yesterday or the day before) and has had duck and potato but not in a while. i could give him that tonight. or maybe chicken and rice kibble, he hasn't had that in a really long time. I don't have any chicken breast thawed, maybe i'll pick on up while i'm out getting the benadryl.

    i called the vet a third time and reached him, and he said it sounded like an allergic reaction. He said it could be something like getting a spider bite in the back yard. He said to give him 25mg of benadryl. i'm going to go to the drug store and get childrens liquid benadryl. he said that should take care of it, otherwise, he should come in to be seen.

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    i don't want to freak you out judy, but what you're describing does sound like SM symptoms. Have you checked out Karlin's site on SM? See if it sounds like what you're observing. I know that on top of the scratching at the head/neck, he also chews on his feet rather obsessively occasionally. Whipping around at his back feet like something bit him. It tends to go in spells. He'll be kinda of freaked out on his feet (i describe it as the monsters attacking his feet... )
    If you haven't already, check out this site for more info: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/
    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
    --Roger Caras

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moviedust
    As far as frontline goes, I use Frontline plus. It's really very simple to apply. I'm not sure why you find it gross. It's less gross than putting bug spray on, in my opinion. The meds come in a little vile. You just empty the contents of the vile to one spot between the dog's shoulders. It's a clear liquid, and once it is applied, you can tell the fur is damp, but that's it.
    thanks for explaining how to put it on. maybe when he's over this, i'll put some on rather than pay to have the vet do it. I dont' think he needs frontline plus, just the regular frontline, because there aren't any ticks here. isn't that what frontline plus is for, fleas and ticks both? what grosses me out is just the idea of it being a poison and being absorbed into their skin. but i know that dogs get it all the time and are ok. anyway, i'm sure it's better than fleas. i was just hoping to find something else.

    after you put the frontline on, how long before, if you pet their fur on the back of their neck, how long before it won't come off on your hand?

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