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My 2 year old standard poodle has just started spinning in circles chasing his tail continously. He even bites chunks of hair off his tail and his bum. He cries and becomes aggressive when he gets in that phase. Although he is on anti inflammatory and pain killers to help, it hasn't changed anything. Has anyone ever seen something like this?
 

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Any chance he has fleas or a tail injury?
 
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Any chance he has fleas or a tail injury?
No, he had an x ray done (all good no fracture or anything abnormal)
There aren't any fleas or skin irritation, everything is good. His food hasn't changed either (same brand for the past 2 years). At the vet, they did an anal check up and prostate check up (all good). They also emptied his anal glands just in case that was the source of discomfort.
 

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It’s interesting/disappointing the vet didn’t have any answers for you. Did they do a skin scraping for mites or mange? You could see a vet dermatologist to investigate allergies. Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can cause burning pain, often treated with gabapentin (but I would think your vet assessed for this).

Hopefully someone else will chime in with ideas.
 

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It’s interesting/disappointing the vet didn’t have any answers for you. Did they do a skin scraping for mites or mange? You could see a vet dermatologist to investigate allergies. Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can cause burning pain, often treated with gabapentin (but I would think your vet assessed for this).

Hopefully someone else will chime in with ideas.
They didn't do any skin scraping, just had a look at his skin. I will try getting a consult with a vet dermatologist. He is on Gabapentin for pain and anti- inflammatory pills (Deramaxx). Thankyou for your help :) Hopefully it gets figured out. He is in so much discomfort.
 

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Occasionally my poodle gets in her head that she needs to chew her nails. No apparent reason. It helps to stop her from it with treats and chews and bones for a day or so. Anything better than chewing her nails. Would it be possible to put a cone on him for a few days while it heals and give him extra chews/fun toys for meals?
 

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Occasionally my poodle gets in her head that she needs to chew her nails. No apparent reason. It helps to stop her from it with treats and chews and bones for a day or so. Anything better than chewing her nails. Would it be possible to put a cone on him for a few days while it heals and give him extra chews/fun toys for meals?
Yes, I was considering putting a cone on him for a short while but im worried once it take it off this behaviour will start again. I try distracting him with treats and bully stick but he wants nothing to do with it. He is fixated with bitting his tail and bum and ripping his fur out. Eventually, he gets so frustrated that he just sits on his bed and cries.
 

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Spinning and tail biting is often the way obssessive compulsive disorder manifests in dogs. If you cannot find a physical cause, I would be looking for a behaviorist's assessment. Did something change in the dog's environment? We did have one dog, not a poodle, that had to be put on Prozac. She wore the pads down on her feet until they bled and also wore her teeth down to nubs from grabbing the metal fence. She was a Walmart parking lot pup that was DNA tested as a Border Collie Whippet cross. It does seem strange that your dog just started the behavior at two years of age. Were there any other behavior type issues? Sudden development can point to an organic cause, like a tumor. Step back and try to figure out what has changed in the dog's life. Some dogs, just get really upset about change in their routine.
 

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Spinning and tail biting is often the way obssessive compulsive disorder manifests in dogs. If you cannot find a physical cause, I would be looking for a behaviorist's assessment. Did something change in the dog's environment? We did have one dog, not a poodle, that had to be put on Prozac. She wore the pads down on her feet until they bled and also wore her teeth down to nubs from grabbing the metal fence. She was a Walmart parking lot pup that was DNA tested as a Border Collie Whippet cross. It does seem strange that your dog just started the behavior at two years of age. Were there any other behavior type issues? Sudden development can point to an organic cause, like a tumor. Step back and try to figure out what has changed in the dog's life. Some dogs, just get really upset about change in their routine.
Nothing changed in his routine...He has seen a behavioural therapist to treat his reactivity (excessive barking at trucks and pedestrians..). He is an anxious dog. I am considering this behaviour might be OCD since the medical explanations seem inconclusive.
 

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Spinning and tail biting is often the way obssessive compulsive disorder manifests in dogs. If you cannot find a physical cause, I would be looking for a behaviorist's assessment. Did something change in the dog's environment? We did have one dog, not a poodle, that had to be put on Prozac. She wore the pads down on her feet until they bled and also wore her teeth down to nubs from grabbing the metal fence. She was a Walmart parking lot pup that was DNA tested as a Border Collie Whippet cross. It does seem strange that your dog just started the behavior at two years of age. Were there any other behavior type issues? Sudden development can point to an organic cause, like a tumor. Step back and try to figure out what has changed in the dog's life. Some dogs, just get really upset about change in their routine.
I was also going to suggest adding OCD to the list of things to check. I had a cat go through an OCD over-grooming episode following abdominal surgery He would get a crazed look in his eyes. Then his tail would start lashing, and the skin on his back would twitch. Finally he couldn't stand it anymore, and he would reach around to bite at the skin on his back. I knew the issue wasn't directly related to pain, because the area he was going after had nothing to do with his surgery. He was just freaked out by his stay in the animal hospital.
 

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I was also going to suggest adding OCD to the list of things to check. I had a cat go through an OCD over-grooming episode following abdominal surgery He would get a crazed look in his eyes. Then his tail would start lashing, and the skin on his back would twitch. Finally he couldn't stand it anymore, and he would reach around to bite at the skin on his back. I knew the issue wasn't directly related to pain, because the area he was going after had nothing to do with his surgery. He was just freaked out by his stay in the animal hospital.
Thankyou for sharing your story. I am leaning towards OCD now but will get all the medical possibilities checked.
 

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Gabapentin is often used for treating anxiety, but the dose might be different than for pain. Check with your vet to see if it could be adjusted to help with both pain and behavior.
I do think it's also worth it to put a cone on, to see if it breaks the habit/cycle of going for his tail. Of he starts fixating on something else instead that might indicate behavioral.
 

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I can only judge based on my OCD - sure sounds like this could manifest in dogs in a similar way. I take Gabapentin too, for anxiety and OCD. Would check with vet about dosage and maybe see if you could up the dose. This has got to be so frustrating for you as well as your dog. Keep us posted.
 

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I can only judge based on my OCD - sure sounds like this could manifest in dogs in a similar way. I take Gabapentin too, for anxiety and OCD. Would check with vet about dosage and maybe see if you could up the dose. This has got to be so frustrating for you as well as your dog. Keep us posted.
Thankyou and I will. Im awaiting a call back from the vet.
 

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Gabapentin is often used for treating anxiety, but the dose might be different than for pain. Check with your vet to see if it could be adjusted to help with both pain and behavior.
I do think it's also worth it to put a cone on, to see if it breaks the habit/cycle of going for his tail. Of he starts fixating on something else instead that might indicate behavioral.
I think that's very smart. I will put a blow up cone on him today just because that's more comfortable for him. If he starts the behaviour on his paws (for example), I think its more behavioural than medical. Im awaiting a call back from the vet and will ask about the medication dosage.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My 2 year old standard poodle has just started spinning in circles chasing his tail continously. He even bites chunks of hair off his tail and his bum. He cries and becomes aggressive when he gets in that phase. Although he is on anti inflammatory and pain killers to help, it hasn't changed anything. Has anyone ever seen something like this?
UPDATE: Just got a response from his vet, she suggest booking a consultation with a neurologist. I booked an appointment with another vet for a second opinion tomorrow. Thank you all for your help!
 

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I know this is a last late chime in but being experienced in behavioral issues and owning spoos, I did notice that after grooming, if the clip is close to the skin, especially on tail to make that big poof, or hind end, my dogs would chase after their butt. Like they feel air for the first time. Or RAZOR BURNED. Surprised!?! Whenever clips are short. Feet especially, they acted weird. I started powdering them with Gold Bond Medicated powder, a good sprinkle and massage, It stopped. You can try a hydrocortisone cream too. My Vet recommended the cream. The powder worked though. If they persist with the behavior, it becomes neurotic, OCD, whatever you label it. They develope a self-soothing sort of thing that becomes a behavior. Like sometimes they lick and lick after they have blood draws on their arm, they can get a sore scarring. Finding the reason for it is the biggest challenge. If he started it after a grooming, try the Gold Bond. Even now, try the Gold Bond. It won't hurt. Hope this helps.
 

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I know this is a last late chime in but being experienced in behavioral issues and owning spoos, I did notice that after grooming, if the clip is close to the skin, especially on tail to make that big poof, or hind end, my dogs would chase after their butt. Like they feel air for the first time. Or RAZOR BURNED. Surprised!?! Whenever clips are short. Feet especially, they acted weird. I started powdering them with Gold Bond Medicated powder, a good sprinkle and massage, It stopped. You can try a hydrocortisone cream too. My Vet recommended the cream. The powder worked though. If they persist with the behavior, it becomes neurotic, OCD, whatever you label it. They develope a self-soothing sort of thing that becomes a behavior. Like sometimes they lick and lick after they have blood draws on their arm, they can get a sore scarring. Finding the reason for it is the biggest challenge. If he started it after a grooming, try the Gold Bond. Even now, try the Gold Bond. It won't hurt. Hope this helps.
Thankyou! Your experience is almost exactly what the 2nd vet told me. He diagnosed my poodle with a hotspot from grooming and he has a lacerated anal gland from the drainage done by the first vet. I have to put a gel 3 times day in his anus. He still does the behaviour but it has diminished. Hopefully it solves the problem.
 

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Thankyou! Your experience is almost exactly what the 2nd vet told me. He diagnosed my poodle with a hotspot from grooming and he has a lacerated anal gland from the drainage done by the first vet. I have to put a gel 3 times day in his anus. He still does the behaviour but it has diminished. Hopefully it solves the problem.
Wow! I am so glad you got a second opinion! He must have been feeling miserable. :( Hope you'll keep us updated on his progress.
 
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