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The fur on Bowdu’s body is looking great. Black skin on pits slowly fading and receding.

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However, there has been a renewed bout of foot-licking and chewing, in spite of the cone.

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I swear, it’s not from lack of effort.

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Here’s another tally of everything we’ve tried:

  • Baby wipes (after dusty dog park excursions)
  • Fish oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Yucca extract (just received this in the mail, started using it yesterday)
  • Sulfodene (not used often, because he reacts strongly to the smell, though he might be more tolerant with counterconditioning)
  • Septiderm Skin Care Bath (haven’t used this in a while; see my review)
  • Allercaine lidocaine spray
  • Biocaine lidocaine topical
  • Excel hydrocortisone lotion (not using this very much lately, trying to stay away from cortisone products)
  • A spray bottle of hydrocortisone liquid, forgot what brand (put it in another bottle because the original pump broke; also not using this very much, mainly because it feels greasy)
  • Spray bottle of lavendar oil diluted in water (as a natural flea repellent)
  • Neosporin wound cleaner for kids (foams instantly, supposedly doesn’t sting)
  • Benadryl allergy tablets
  • Zoom Groom (to promote circulation of natural skin oils and help him remove the loose fur that he can’t groom himself
  • Furminator (used less often than the Zoom Groom these days)
  • Aloe vera spray (applied mainly to his tummy and his pits)
  • Lots of drugs (five pharmacy vials are in this photo, though not all are visible)
  • Nolvasan Otic ear cleanser (to help maintain gunk-free ears since he’s not able to clean or aerate them in the cone)
  • HomeoPet anxiety relief drops (administered in an attempt to keep him calm while topicals are applied and at night, so he’s perhaps less inclined to gnaw on his feet while the humans are trying to fall asleep)
  • Not pictured: giant bag of Epsom salt for foot soaks
  • Not pictured: bags and bags of highest quality raw food and fish-based kibble
  • Not pictured, but always on: Kong XL cone
  • Not pictured: Advantage flea killer, to drive away any remaining itch factors
  • Not pictured: can filled with pennies which I rattle mainly when he goes for his feet before and after meals, during which we remove his cone (the Doggy Daddy refuses to participate in this activity and has pleaded with me not to do it in the early morning or late evenings, which is when he gets most obsessed with licking)
  • Not pictured: more stuff which is yet to come…

I think we have the largest size cone on him already. If we were to make the cone any bigger, he’d be unable to drink. No need to suggest a donut collar — it’s already on the list of things to try, though I am doubtful.

I’m losing sleep over this, especially as he gets into these awful, lip-smacking licking sessions early in the morning, before breakfast. I snap awake when I hear him grunting with effort as he forces access to those back paws, or nyup-nyup-nyupping against the plastic cone, obsessively licking that screen in place of the front paws he can’t quite reach.

Some days I get more upset about the seemingly incurable nature of this condition. This is one of those days.

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