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.