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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

About the Dog

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Okay. This one's still ongoing but here's what we have so far. The dog, Yuki (Siberian husky 12 years old but 13 in February) keeps nibbling. And I don't mean a little bit. I mean REALLY going for it like a dog possessed. Originally belly and front paws but it has progressed to elbows and back legs/feet. What with recent issues it's not so easy to go to the vet. We can't just walk in in morning surgery like normal. We have to get an appointment and only one of us can go in. Vaccinations were also on hold for lockdown.
First we went for incontinence. She had a couple of little accidents. No surprise she is getting old afterall. I think I might have written about that because the idea upset me. Our old dog (when I was 4) was put down for peeing in the house. Well not exactly but that's how a four year old rationalized it. He couldn't hold it when he had to go and then his back legs went. That's when he was put down. But it's not the same now as it was then and she was okay in everything else.
Then the nibbling started. Other dog owners say their dog has a similar problem. We bought a cone to stop her nibbling but that means that she can't clean herself but better that than she tear herself apart.
The vet put her on steriods. Nothing. Then on an immune suppressing drug. Limited results.
I discovered a hole in one of her teeth (we haven't been cleaning her teeth. She still has dental treats. I didn't want to mess with her teeth too much because some are loose but I should have been cleaning them anyway). the vet was not super concerned as she is able to eat and drink normally and doesn't seem to be in pain (and various procedures are put on hold what with the pandemic and all) so it was a case of we'll see how it goes in the New Year but it's not a priority if she seems to be managing for now.
We couldn't refill the prescription for a day but kept up the drug for a bit longer. We (in desperation more than anything else) gave her a bath with a shampoo we'd got, before the nibbling, formulated of old dogs. She got vaccinated. Continued the pills. Then an antiseptic shampoo (because the vet doesn't want to put her on antibiotics because of her age and we're worried about her getting infections where she nibbles (she is pretty darn old now afterall)). Still no improvement and the drug she's on is still varying in results. Okay. Now steroids again. Nope. No improvement.
So now she's on antibiotics for a few days. She's supposed to have another bath but we can't yet because the bath is full. I left the water in after I had a bath because I needed it full and didn't want to waste water by filling it with fresh water later on. The project I'm working on is re-sealing the bath. It was supposed to be done by now. The old sealant has been coming off for...I don't know, fifteen years maybe. Three separate times I've covered it with clingfilm as a temporary solution until my dad got round to fixing it. after a few years he pointed out that I could do it and I've been putting it off ever since. It was never straightforward. There's a loose tile that needed sorting too. I've finally decided to do it and the tile wasn't just loose and cracked. It was the plaster underneath that had come away from the wall (but not from the tile, hence the problem). So I had to fix that. And now I have to somehow remove the old grout and plaster from the tile before I can put it back up. My plan involves a hammer and chisel and then a little sand paper but I worry about cracking the tile and disturbing my neighbor with the noise. I think I'd need the tile straight which would be fine if I had a vice but I don't. So I'd need someone to hold the tile up so I can go down the back of it. And I can't seal the bath until I put the tile back. And yes. It HAS to be that tile. Why get new tiles when I only need to replace two. Can't you get a like for like replacement or something? Sure. You tell me where I can get these exact patterned tiles from 40 years ago without too much expense during lockdown. So yeah.
And that will probably be on hold even longer because of what happened yesterday.
But first we flash back a week or so.
Wow. I checked my diary. It was exactly a week apart.
Last Wednesday I was trying to stop Yuki nibbling her paws. The most effective way to do this it poke her hard in the side of her mouth with a plastic bottle. Yelling doesn't work. Pulling her bed out from under her has stopped working. Offering treats doesn't work. When she gets into it she. Will. Not. Stop. Until she's satisfied at least. So the bottle poking stops her because she goes to attack the bottle. But it does make her more angry. We have to get the cone on quick while we have the chance.
Last Wednesday, trying to stop her, I didn't move quick enough and she bit me. Not an accidental bite where she nips at you and catches you a little. This was biting my wrist with intent. She has never done that before. She didn't break the skin and, despite her rotten teeth, I know she could have bitten harder if she wanted.
It was both physically and emotionally shocking for me.
I'm paranoid about my wrists. Because I know that's a delicate area. You puncture a vein and it's game over. Potentially. When I get very sad sometimes (not often. Very rarely. Don't freak out at the next bit I'm not in danger yet. I'll let you know if I am) I think to myself, oh yeah. Knives and wrists. That's a thing. (just a thing. Not a think I want to do. Just a thing that is. Do not panic about suicide. I'm not there yet. Why say yet? Because you never know what the future holds but I have no immediate desires or thoughts beyond that's a thing some people do sometimes)
My wrist hurt a bit. Bruised. If it weren't for the bruising I'd have forgotten it by now.
Until yesterday.....The foxes are screaming while I proofread this. It's that time of year.....Now the dog's scratching. Can I not have any peace?
Tuesday was my mum's birthday. It was nice. About 15-20 minutes AFTER her birthday (that is after midnight) Yuki went into her den (under the table. We've been getting her out of there when she's not in the cone because we can't see her. But Blue. Why not just keep her in the cone all day? Problem solved. Yeah. It's not good. The fur on her neck is thinning. She's miserable. She's cumbersome. And worst of all she can't clean herself at all. It seems cruel to leave her in the cone All of the time. And sometimes we can stop her nibbling before she gets too into it. And that's why she was out of the cone when this happened. The day before I was able to stop her and calm her down and she had an hour or so cone free before she couldn't be trusted anymore)
She had a really bad nibble and I couldn't reach her in time. Poking her with a bottle didn't work. Shoving it into the side of her mouth (which always makes her give up and attack the bottle eventually, though it does make her even angrier so it's a damned if you do damned if you don't kind of thing) didn't work and I couldn't grab her because she'd bite. Pulling her bed out didn't work. She stayed in there nibbling with renewed obsession. So the final resort. Shoving something else into her face. The stuffed foot rest We picked up some time before Christmas (I think it was back when I got gardening supplies). It's a good height for mum to put her bad leg on. It's also good to throw at the dog, not too hard, to surprise her when she starts nibbling. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.
So I shoved that at her face. Still nothing. I can't get a good reach so I have to resort to sitting on the floor and using my legs (I do not want to get in the den with her because if she attacks I won't be able to get out quick enough. Hindsight is blah blah). At last she stops. Why the foot rest? It's soft so won't hurt her as much as a hard thing and it's quite large so should shield me a bit.
Well I wasn't quick enough and she got to my leg. Now I have a choice. Risk a leg or risk a hand. My hand is more important for day to day but if my leg bleeds it'll take longer to stop. Besides. There's a chance I can do something. Don't know what. Well. She bit my hand again. But this time the thumb. Chomped down on it and broke the first layer of skin. Not all of the way through and it didn't bleed. I still took appropriate wound precautions but my thumb aches.
They don't hang onto things, or so the experts tell you, so she's already over the incident and probably doesn't realize what she did.
I, however, and both physically and emotionally hurt.
It's not so much that she bit me. She was riled up and I didn't move quickly enough. It's that when she bit me she didn't back off. She chomped again (which is what she did the first time with my wrist, but this time it was a smaller and more painful area). It's not that she bit me. It's that she chose to keep biting. It didn't last long.
In the end it wasn't even worth punishing her for it. What would I do? Put more aggression into the situation?
She's been in the cone most of today.
I think I've finally forgiven her.
If my thumb starts hurting again or it impedes my ability to do things then it won't be so easy.

The second thing that upsets me the most is that this is something that didn't need to happen and it could have been so much worse.
Of all the times to go into hospital with a perfectly avoidable injury now is definitely NOT the time. How could I possibly trouble our medical workers when they're already dealing with so much? If it were worse of course I would have to but I'd feel like absolute **** for it. I'm hoping that there will be no complications that will require treatment later because it seems passable now. I'm trying to be gentle with it since the muscle will definitely be bruised and I don't want to strain it. So that's why my bath plans are in doubt now. Is it wise to try hammering crap off a tile? I can't use my left for it. I'm right handed. My left doesn't have the dexterity for it. It would be even more dangerous. And using the sealant requires strong grip. I can't do that yet.
So yeah. That's where we're at right now.
Oh. And the vet said no chicken so we'll see if that makes a difference. Mum's been giving her chicken every day for a few years now and she will not listen to my protests about it. Doesn't seem to be making a difference either way though so maybe I didn't need to worry about it. I worried about her developing an allergy to it. Or just getting bored of it.

A detail I forgot. Mum's on blood thinners so I can't risk her being bitten. So better I deal with the dog

Updated 01-21-2021 at 11:55 PM by Bluebiird



  1. Danik 2016's Avatar
    Sorry that you were attacked, the dog must need very much that nibbling, else he wouldnīt attack you. Hope you are better by now and your dog of course is vaccinated.

    Found this, but I donīt think there are any news in it for you:

    One thing that occurred to me: Could it be toothache? You write there are loose teeth. Does he nibble other things, for example his toys or other soft objects?


  2. Bluebiird's Avatar
    Thanks. There's been an update on that. Today she had an hour or so of being good. Then It started. Yesterday I blocked off her den and it worked. Today she was DETERMINED to get in there. I thought she couldn't but she did. I learnt from my previous mistake. I went in with grooming gloves (she likes those) and tried to be gentle and non-threatening. She was trapped by me so she was defensive. I thought the gloves would protect me a little bit and I went slowly. She calmed a tiny bit, whining at me. Then she bit. And caught the side of my left hand through the glove. first layer of skin ripped off and bleeding but it didn't go all the way through. Took ages to stop it leaking blood (I didn't want to put a plaster on with it still bleeding). Washed the wound. Used antiseptic ointment and put a plaster on it. I'm not as shaken as the first two times because it was an accident, but it was the worst wound so far.

    In regards to the tooth question. Probably is her teeth, to some extent at least. And no. She doesn't nibble anything else. She hasn't played with her soft toys for ages. We know her teeth are bad but the vet can't do anything because of lockdown. And she's an old dog now so any surgery has higher risks. We have a vet appointment this weekend so we'll bring it up.
    Thank you kindly for your concern/advice I appreciate it
  3. Danik 2016's Avatar
    Thanks, Bluebird! I like animals and people that like animals.

    See first if you yourself need a doctor. Then, is there any possibility of you contacting the vet? What worries me most is that the dog attacks you, when you come near him. The situation seems to be getting worse. He seems to see you as a menace and I think you need some professional help to handle this, even if it is orientation over the phone, through whatsapp or e-mail. You canīt be bitten every time you come near your dog.
    Here are some links that may help, one about biting dogs and one about dog bites:

    Hoping for the best