My GSD keeps biting his tail! - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-19-2013, 04:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation My GSD keeps biting his tail!

Hey guys! It's my first time on this forum but I need help! I have a three and a half year old German Shepherd (Working Dog) Bruno Jackson and the only problem with him is that he keeps biting his tail in few different places. It is in the middle length of his tail and he bites it until it bleeds. It has been going on over a year now and we were at different vets and all they gave us is steroids and antibiotics which never helped at all. I tried different creams and sprays and bandages but he just keeps at it. He is trained daily and walked for 5km every morning and left for a long run on the fields with other dogs during the day too. I noticed that if let's say the postman comes to the door and I go and answer he will run to the room and bite it then but also he lays down in front of us and does it. Please give me your advice because I am now stuck and just don't know how to help him. Whenever we put the bandage on him we try to get his attention onto something else like I hide treats and let him look for them or take him out or something. It doesn't seem like a food allergy because firstly he was on Royal Canin for GSD's and then we changed it onto anti-allergy food which made no difference either.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds to me that is it obsessive compulsive behavior. I suggest you try to redirect him - when he starts to bite his tail - call his name or make a sound - then praise him for looking up. Then give him something to bite on - like soft toy - make it squeak - praise him when he bites it. The goal is that he will go bite the toy instead of his tail. Also try a bitter tasting spray on the tail, if you haven't already. Natural Touch Chew Not for Dogs has tea tree oil which promotes healing. My Sting had something similar only on his inside front leg It can be a nasty cycle as it can start with a small sore - he licks or bites it - there is hair loss - then the hair itches when it grows back - so the dog licks and bites again - the sore continues. That is what my vet said it was. It took a lot of watching and redirecting - but I did get him to break the cycle and it healed up.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Make sure he isn't injured or has a pinched nerve in the spine/neck/tail.
I agree it sounds like OCD behavior. Tufts Animal Behavior Research Studies : Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i would redirect with a chew toy.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I remember when Karlo was about a yr old he started chewing the precaudal gland on his tail. It didn't last long, wasn't an obsessive behavior, but he chewed enough of the area to break the coat. I don't know what set it off, or why he stopped, and as the gland is supposedly inactive in domestic dogs, it made me wonder if there was a blockage or something with the gland.
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Old 12-20-2013, 12:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you so much guys I will try the redirecting as well as I can. I'm getting him the biggest kong and jar of peanut butter I can for him for Christmas so that should keep him away a bit too
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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chiropractic and acupuncture

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Old 12-21-2013, 07:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am wondering about injury as well. Rule out injury, maybe x-ray the tail. That would be the first thing I do. Do you have elizabethian collars there? To keep him from reaching the tail, when he is with you or in the house to put on him. I like to use coconut oil for healing or I use some of my aloe plants. Keep us posted on his progress please.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just read something on dogs naturally that was very interesting. Could be related to getting vaccinated, and not something that happens immediately after vaccinating.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Is my puppy too small?

Hi guys, my 7 month old GSD puppy is 50 lbs he seems skinny to me but he's tall too. Is hhis weight too light? If anyone has a good idea what his weight should be or how I can put more weight on him please let me know. Btw he eats 5 cups a day and has been checked negative for worms
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