My wife and I have a ~7 month old unfixed male Dogo Argentino mix who's rather orally fixated currently. He has somewhat sensitive skin, and has been licking/chewing around the base of his tail; this has caused quite a bit of irritation.


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He is in otherwise good health, happy and energetic. He may have a gluten sensitivity (as his mom did) but that's as of yet unconfirmed, and we feed him gluten free food anyway. He occasionally manages to steal a few kibbles from our other dog, of non-gluten-free food, but we haven't observed any reactions (unless this is indeed a reaction)

We're wondering what remedies we can use to help heal/prevent further irritation, and what kinds of deterrents we can use to stop him from agitating it.

We bought an inflatable collar to prevent him from reaching it.

Relaxing with his donut collar

  • @YvetteColomb Sorry about the bum, lol, I thought I had picked the more cropped image.
    – Dan Lugg
    Jun 25, 2017 at 15:41
  • that's ok, I can see you've been around the site for a long time. I was considering hiding it, with a hover to see, but figured we can see that's the base of the tail. I think this is a good question, as this type of itching in dogs can drive them mad and many owners try so many things in desperation to try and find a remedy.
    – user6796
    Jun 25, 2017 at 15:43
  • Thank you @YvetteColomb, if you have any advice whatsoever, don't hesitate to answer. We don't quite yet want to take him to the vet, but we're near the point of doing so (simply because cost; we're in Canada and it's not affordable to do so)
    – Dan Lugg
    Jun 26, 2017 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


Sadly, skin problems always warrants a physical exam. It's one of those things where you need to physically be there to examine the skin and run some tests (i.e skin scrapings) to rule out the problem.

The head collar is a great idea, make sure he can't make matters worse. A few things come to mind when an animal chews at himself:

  1. Parasites - Fleas are usually a generalized itch but they can focus on one area, mange and mites are also ones that can start and stay in one area but can also spread to the rest of the body.
  2. Hot spot - these are infections that occur after an animal has been swimming in water (possible to obtain with a cut). If the area remains moist it allows bacteria to grow and cause irritation, since the area is irritated the dog will continue to lick and chew making it worse.
  3. Injury - When a dog gets injured they tend to become focused on it and lick at it continuously, in the end they can develop lick granulomas.
  4. Allergies - allergies from food or environment can cause this behavior, you will also see excessive licking of the paws.
  5. Skin/Fungal infection as a whole - This is just a compilation of everything mentioned above, they can all cause skin infections of sorts you just need to figure out if it's fungal or bacterial. Depending on how deep the infection is you may just need creams, a wash or an oral antibiotic/fungal.

I'm not sure where in Canada you are but call around to price shop, not everyone is priced the same. Also to save on some money if they give medications ask for a script as sometimes you can get medications cheaper at a human pharmacy (if it's available). Before they run any tests be sure you ask for a detailed estimate!! It's so important to know this prior to doing anything that way you can discuss which options would be the best one to spend your limited funds on.

Keep up with the head collar until you can save up some money to be seen in person, they will be able to clean it up (clip and wash with special cleansers) and guide you from there.

  • Thank you very much @RebeccaRVT. The donut collar ended up being insufficient, so we went with a plastic cone. Moreover, we opted to take him to the vet; they prescribed a course of antibiotics as his tail had become quite bad the day or two preceding taking him, and a dermatitis shampoo. We're also giving him a short course of Benadryl, and, with all three combined his symptoms are improving quickly. The vet was unsure of the cause specifically, but said it was likely a skin irritation due to the heat and his sensitive skin. Thank you for your comprehensive answer!
    – Dan Lugg
    Jul 1, 2017 at 23:38
  • Welcome! Glad it's healing! Jul 2, 2017 at 0:13

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