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Baggins in Red

hielha in westies


Baggins is chewing/rubbing real bad. The base of his tail and part of his rump are so raw (and hair-less) that he's making himself bleed. I can't afford to take him to the vet right now..........I feel like an awful 'mommy'. My dad said I should put Cortizone on him (along with a satellite collar) but I don't know if that'll help. I really do need to go to the vet.

The ASPCA can see him for a lot cheaper than a private vet, but they can't get me an appointment very soon (as they're so busy helping other animals).

I'm kind of lost. Does anyone have any suggestions?


IT sounds like he needs his anal glands emptied and only a vet can do that. If you don't get it done there's a real chance he will become worse, potentially an abcess could form and there will be a lot more expense involved for you and a lot more pain involved for him. He has to go to the vet, it's not fair on him to make him suffer.
Sounds like allergies to me. Try giving him a Benedryl. Apparantly Benedryl doesn't have the same effect on dogs (the drowziness) as it does with humans. Antihistamines seem to be ok for dogs, just not anything with a "D" after it. My vet ok'd Benny to have 2 Benedryl pills 3-4 times a day when his were super bad, but I wouldn't do more than 1 pill for Baggins until you get to the vet.

Some people swear by giving the dog a rinse of equal parts water and vinegar. You could also give him an oatmeal bath.

FYI - when Benny was chewing his legs raw, the vet checked him for a yeast infection on the skin and also for mites. Both can cause this reaction. Westies commonly get bad allergies, too, and it turns out that's what Benny had. We got him allergy shots and they went away for the most part. It's $$, tho.

Is Baggin's skin turning black at all? Or is it still red?

Also, on Dogster, is Baggins in the group Westies Unite? The people there have some great resources and ideas on how to stop Westies from itching. Just post a question on the main page and you'll get some answers or pointed in the right direction.
Lexie recently was completely sore and red, with the constant licking, scratching and rubbing her skin was becoming scabby. We tried changing her food thinking it was allergy. Then we tried some benedryl which helped a little. As soon as we had the cash we took her to the vet and they said she had a yeast infection. so.... she was then on anti fungal, antibiotics for the secondary infection because she'd rubbed herself to the point of bleeding. and Benedryl for the itching.
She's healed now but still has some dark patches because of the skin taking a while to heal.

Call a few vets and see if they can do a payment plan with you. With the economy being the way it is it makes sense for them to work with patients rather than letting animals suffer!

Dosage guidelines for dogs. Benedryl is 1mg per pound. And remember that generic is just the same! Infact I saw some at the dollar tree ;)
I agree with the previous commenter...a lot of vets will work out payment plans with you so you can get him in right away and pay over time. Try to find a vet who will do this with you, because it could be something easy to treat now, but over time it could get worse and cost you a lot more in vet bills. I think cantabile is right in that his anal glands need emptying. If he had allergies he'd be more likely to chew on his paws, not rub his bum on the carpet.
He's not rubbing his bum on the carpet at all; he's finding ways to rub the TOP of his rump.
I can't remember where I read it, but I remember seeing that sometimes when a dog chews/licks close to the base of the tail, it can mean that he/she may have fleas. Something about that part of the dog's body is like a super buffet for the little bugs.

If Baggins is on an anti-flea/tick regiment, it probably is just allergies, but I thought I'd share.
My Westie had that problem. He was allergic to chicken so we stopped feeding him anything with chicken in it. I don't know what is causing your dog's problem. I know my Cairn is a bit neurotic and under stress she used to bite the hair out of her tail, in fact, her tail was bitten down until it was bloody. When I moved her out of a cramped apartment back to my house she was okay again and the hair grew back; not completely though.

I hope you can find the cause for his itchiness.
I would also first question if you think what the dog is doing is an actual physical problem or mental. Terriers can be terribly neurotic. My Westie (I forgot to mention this) also bit the hair out of his front legs when we lived in an apartment. That's why I had to move back to a house because the two terriers were becoming neurotic from being in a small apartment.

If you think the cause is physical, then it might very well be an allergy but I would go to the vet if I were you. Our vet also allowed payment plans, just be sure your vet doesn't go back on their word and puts it in writing.

March 2013



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