Cooper’s Toe

Cooper will not stop chewing on his toe. Somehow Cooper hurt his toe; he got an abrasion on his hind foot on the middle of the pad. Cooper is a beautiful Wheaton, active and loving, but Wheaton’s are full of so much energy that he sometimes get bored and then will lick his cut toe.

This is a dilemma. We have been treating the toe for more than a month but every time it is almost healed he chews it and makes it bleed again…What’s up with that?

First, Cooper understands most of what we tell him, but apparently “leave your toe alone” is not part of what he understands. Medically speaking what may be happening is a deep seated infection not responding to the medication we have used. It is also possible that there is a tingle of the nerve to the toe. Perhaps it is “numb” or feels like “pins and needles” to Cooper or maybe he has an obsessive compulsive component to him and enjoys licking and chewing his feet “too much.”

Currently, he is wearing a ‘lamp shade’ type collar so he can’t get to his foot. We are keeping his foot covered, medicating, and cleaning it two times a day. We very well may need to add Prozac or another psychotropic drug to see if it helps him stop chewing. We are confident but concerned. There certainly have been cases of self mutilation in dogs for reasons not completely understood. We suspect Cooper will wear his restrictive collar until his foot is completely healed plus 3 weeks. Then we will cautiously monitor him to see if he understands, “Don’t chew your toe.”

– Dr. Jeffrey Hubsher

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