I’ve posted a lot on the food threads, now I need help with possible behavior issues. My 8 year old male maltese/poodle is driving me nuts. I’ve noticed that his behavior is getting worse the older he gets. One issue I have is that he obsessively chews and bites his nails. I will give him a bone to distract him and that works for a while, but then he goes back to his nails. I use the e-collar as a deterrent because he just hates it. Sometimes I do slip it on him to snap him out of the chewing. I just cannot even begin to describe to you how fixated he gets on his feet.
Secondly, he scoots and licks his bottom like crazy. I mean at 2:00 a.m. I hear him licking. If you haven’t heard the sound it’s an awful slurping sound. Then he licks his belly and his private parts and “plays with himself”, which is fine if that’s what he needs to do, but it’s becoming more frequent. He also barks at every little noise.
Lastly, I adopted a yorkie/shih tzu boy who is 2 1/2 years old now. He’s been with us for almost two years. My maltese boy is so nasty to him sometimes. He will play with the little guy on his terms. My little shih tzu boy is the easiest, most laid back dog ever.
I’m frustrated because I’m not well healthwise and I just don’t know what to do with my maltese. The vet wants to put him on some “Prozac” type meds and I’ve been against it, but at this point I’m at a loss.
I just wish he could tell me what’s bothering him. I will says he’s best behaved on the weekends when I’m home with them all day. He’s so calm and content. But, sadly, unless I win the lottery I have to work.
Any advise would be appreciated.
Hi BRT. Sorry to hear about your troubles with your Maltese . When did this behavior change happen? Also, what foods and treats do you give him? I think we need more details like that before we can offer assistance.
Hi Dori! I knew you’d reply. 🙂 So, he was on Zignature Trout and Salmon and just a couple of days ago I started switching him over to Wellness Simple Salmon and Potato. They get a Wellness bar each night at bedtime (Yogurt, Apples, and Banana).
I come home for lunch everyday to take them out. Everything I do revolved around them. I do want to add that he doesn’t start this behavior until the evening/nighttime. When I come home for lunch I check his feet and bottom and they are dry, not even a little damp.
I don’t know if it’s me, if it’s my rescue boy, or what. I do know that my maltese tries to be the boss of everyone, including me. I’m working on being more alpha. I’m also working on spending more quality time with him. As I’m writing this they are both quietly dozing on the sofa, but I did something different this morning and crated my rescue boy, which gave the other one a break.
Let me know if you need more info.
BRT- Dogs usually lick their butts and scoot when there is a problem-such as anal glands or worms. Paw/nail bed fixation tends to be allergies. Imagine an itch that you can’t scratch-kind of sucks, lol. I would make sure that he is worm free and his anal glands are not a problem. Tapeworm can not be seen on a fecal, so check around his butt very very carefully for anything that looks like hard dried up rice-those are the worm segments. You can try rinsing his feet to see if that helps-the other option, if the vet has already looked at him and said no issue-is to try a squirt of an anti chewing spray. If its merely behaviorally, he should stop after a few licks of bitter apple or something of that nature.
Hi BRT. I had a dog once that always bit her nails. I didn’t give it much thought really. I just thought, well people bite their nails so why not dogs. The vet at the time had no suggestions as he’d never had a dog that bit their nails. Anyway, long story short. For other reasons I switched my dogs to grain free, corn free, white potato free, soy free, poultry (all fowl) free. Of course, any and all issues cleared up but it wasn’t until a long time later that it occurred to me that that dog I hadn’t seen her bite her nails in the longest time. So I looked at all her nails and sure enough, she had stopped.
As to the anal glands. That’s also an allergy issue. I went on line to check out the Wellness Bars that you give them and they contain grains so maybe give them something else instead. Carrots, string beans, a little apple (without the skin), fresh veggies and fruits are great for treats. That’s what I give all my dogs.
If it were me I would make sure to feed a grain free, also free of all the things I mentioned above. No more Wellness Bars. Also as to the aggression. There is some theory that was out there in the universe somewhere (Melissa knows about these theories lol) that white potatoes may feed aggression in some dogs. Is it true???? Who knows???? But it’s worth a shot. You never know.
A lot of what you’re saying really sounds like it’s being fueled by intolerances to what he’s eating. Definitely. Same for the nail biting. Food intolerance and stress. Food intolerances also may one stressful. This I know to be true because I myself have food intolerances and when I start getting really stressed or just downright unpleasant to be around I can almost always track it back to something I ate that I shouldn’t have.
Hi BRT. some dogs suffer from Compulsive disorders like humans, they will chew & chew their paws lick & lick their coats, when I first got my boy he was doing this & vet said break the habbit & I did as soon as Patch started to licked his paws, I’d say “no lick Patch” if he kept doing it I’d put him in a shallow bath with some benadine & soak his paws like Dr Karen Becker tells you to do, within 2 weeks of me watching him & breaking his bad habbits it has stopped, also anxietys sounds like ur boy is anxious, “I’d google Compulsive licking in dogs” & see what is recommended to do..also maybe listen to ur vet & put him on Prozac, you say that “He barks at every little noise”
the prozac will calm him & give you a little break, it doesnt have to be a high dose just enough to keep him calm & relaxed…so he sleeps at night & you get ur sleep aswell..
My first thought was food sensitivity with foot licking/chewing and butt-scooting. I like the advice others have given. I support you exploring the possibility of some low-inflammation food.
Maybe a large dose of lifestyle enrichment could be added? I wonder if you have a family member or neighbor who might enjoy doing some long walks with your dog if you are not up to it yourself.
Man, I can relate to that frustrated feeling of your dog having a problem you can’t figure out and not really feeling well yourself. I see a lot of clients who’s pets seem to reflect the stress or health problems of the people living in the house. I sure hope you find some peace soon, although things like this take time to improve.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by T.
I’m just catching up with all of the replies. Thank you all so much. I’m really not feeling well these days. In constant pain daily and fatigue. I’m able to manage to get myself to work. I have endometriosis and was feeling fine for a couple of years after my surgery until my husband and I split up. Boy, does stress do a job on your body. I’m in worse shape now than before. Am exploring other treatment with my doctor that I’m not really looking forward to.
Anyway, I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. This morning I was getting ready for work and heard yorkie/shih tzu bark, came out of the bathroom, and maltese was tugging on my comforter! Tore a huge rip in it. I don’t know what compels him to do these things.
I just switched them to Wellness Simple Salmon and White Potato (couldn’t find the one with peas). As soon as I’m done with that bag I’m going to buy the Salmon and Peas formula.
So much has changed for us since we moved out. We’re in a small condo now in a much smaller neighborhood. We left all of his friends behind. My walks with him are definitely shorter. I have to find it within myself to really structure out some one on one time with him. It’s been so hard. For example, I took an Aleve about an hour ago and am still not getting any pain relief. My lower back is throbbing and I’m sitting at my desk fidgetng.
Thank you all so much for your support and continued advice.
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