My dog has OCD

So I have a mutt. A combo of chocolate lab and husky, mostly, with a bit of a pit bull thrown in. We know her mom was a pure chocolate lab, we think her dad was a neighborhood runt. And my dog has OCD.

She has a lick granuloma on her right paw. Half the time I can’t even properly pronounce the term, but that is what it is. From what I’ve learned, a granuloma is when the dog will simply lick at a spot on her paw. From that, a behavior is learned. The dog will lick the hair and skin off so that it is a raw, oozing mess. Evidently common in larger dogs, it frequently is a response to boredom, stress, etc. Trust me, my dog has none of those issues. She’s simply got OCD. I think it’s the endorphin high from licking (also a common symptom). I’ve even seen her do it in her sleep.

We have treated her with antibiotics, steroid sprays, bitter apple, and wraps. Unfortunately, she tends to love the taste of bitter apple, and those ‘reusable’ pet wraps? Yeah, they’re in tiny little pink pieces all over my floor.

So this summer we tried the Elizabethan collar to try to keep her from licking her paw. Unfortunately, because she is a bigger dog, she has to have the biggest collar they had at the store. And I live in a small house–which means she hits the walls and her head swings side to side as she walks around, the walls get scarred, etc. I was supposed to keep it on until she broke the habit. Poor thing just was miserable, stank to high heaven because she couldn’t give herself a bath, couldn’t scratch, couldn’t do much of anything. But I left it on her, I was determined to break the habit. And watching her trying to climb the patio steps, well, that was just funny. Left that sucker on her head for almost five months before removing it–I just couldn’t take it anymore. That should be long enough to retrain the habit, right?

Yeah, well, after Christmas guess what. She rediscovered her right paw. It’s been pretty good, hasn’t been raw or infected until now. So guess what that means . . .

Yep, I’m going out to the garage to get the darned collar again. My poor walls are never going to be the same. Poor puppy.

(Photo to follow!)

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