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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

I am having a bit of a concern with Martin, my Jack Russel Terrier. Lately, he has been spending a lot of time chewing on his toes! He doesn't have any fleas at all, but parts of his right hind foot are getting raw and I am nervous about this. Has anyone ever experienced something like this before? I figured I would ask here before spending a ton on the vet. Thanks!

June & Martin
 

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Betta Bomb
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It seems to me that your dog has one of two problems: Boredom or allergies.

JRT's are pretty resilient dogs health wise..

What is a usual day for you and your dog? JRT's require SO much stimulation and exercise. If they do not receive it, they get bored and can cause bodily harm by chewing or licking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My husband is currently out of work so he spends a good part of the day with Martin, I hope it's not boredom! I will have a talk with him in any case. And I will see if an allergy test option is available with our vet as well. Thanks for the feedback!
 

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I would look into the possibility of allergies, either food or environmental allergies.

There are tests that vets can do to test for allergies but they are usually not cheap and from what I've heard not always all that accurate.

What does Martin eat? Is there anything in his environment that has changed lately, a new food, new type of treats, or anything environmental?

Are you 100% sure he doesn't have fleas or anything like that? In small number they can be easy to miss, but still cause dogs to be extra itchie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh wow, I didn't know allergy tests could be expensive. Martin is currently eating Pedigree for small dogs. There haven't been any changes in our environment that I am aware of, aside from the fact that the weather is cooling down. Actually, I wonder if the colder temperatures are impacting his skin and is causing itchiness. Hmmm...
I will definitely look into everything. Thanks for all your help!

June & Martin
 

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Betta Bomb
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I wish I wasn't the harbourer of bad news here and I don't want to come off pretentious or condescending but I suffered through it before I made the change: Pedigree contains corns and grains and animal by-products and basically is a garbage quality food.

I used to fed Purina (though I didn't have problems) and when I made the switch to Holistic food the change was incredible.

Now before it's said, no holisitc is not too expensive when you consider it. I am a poor student (and believe you me..Poor ain't even the word) but I was able to provide for my pup. I started late to Holisitc so I only tried a few.

Coco's favorite was Holistic Blend (18.99 for a 2kg bag if I'm not mistaken). HB cost me less than 20$ and lasted a bit over a month on 2 big meals a day. Coco was about 20lbs too so the size of a JRT. Best part is, Holistic Blend is available at some grocery store Natural Value sections.. Mine is at Loblaws.
Then there is Orijen. I had a sample and Coco actually ate that one dry!! (bc of age I soaked all his kibbles but he liked the taste dry on Orijen)
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul was another holistic I tried. (we actually won the bag at the pet expo so I don't know cost). Some people like it and I hear it's a good food for the cost but I didn't like the results with my dog.
Finally, while it wasn't labeled Holisitic, Coco went out eating Presiden't Choice Nutrition first for senior dogs. It was really cheap but the ingredients were not far off from Holistic Blend. And it contained no corn/grains/by products etc. .
Most pet stores will carry the higher up brands. Most of them are filler foods (contains corn etc) but if you go to www.dogfoodanalysis.com you can rate them. I personally find the sight a bit testy and objective. Because every dog is different you can call the shots.


For wet food, because I always mixed something with dry kibble, I fed "Lick your Chops". It was human grade, slow stewed holistic food. Made with brown rice and turkey and all the good things dogs love. I would be shocked if your dog didn't like it! Coco recognized the can before it was even opened and knew what was coming! There is weak debate about wet food vs. dry food. But I feel it is totally necessary to feed wet and dry in combination so the dog gets all vitamins and juices (oh, the succulent juices) to digest properly. Plus, dry kibble cracks off in the gumline and can harbour bacteria and possibly lead to gyngivitis. (oh dear, I ruined the spelling) so teeth brushing is more crucial to dogs fed dry only.

I would pick up some holistic food and start to gradually change it and see what results you get with Martin. While JRT's are considered a very healthy breed generally (bc of little human playing with the genes) they are still susceptible to irritation and problems from bad food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You raise a lot of good points, I have actually been thinking about switching to holistic foods, so I appreciate your list of different things to try! And I will also look into implementing the wet/dry combo, which I hadn't thought of before. Thanks again! We have a vet appointment this afternoon so hopefully everything will go well!
 

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There are a lot of good high quality foods out there that aren't labeled as holistic as well, so I wouldn't specifically use that as your only determining factor.

I do agree though that Pedigree is a low quality food. I'd recommend switching. Websites like dogfoodanalysis.com and others can be a great place to start looking at different foods, but of course in the end you are probably going to have to do some experimenting to find what foods work best for your individual dog.

Good luck at the vets!
 

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One good option is to go on raw diet, you can start with meaty bones to see how your dog gonna like it..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good News!

I ended up taking Martin to the vet last week and the diagnosis wasn't far off what you all and some of my friends have been suggesting; Martin just needs more entertainment. The vet said the chewing/biting could have started off as a reaction to a bite but the habit formed because of lack of stimulation. I have worked out with other members of my family to be around more and walk/run him as often as we can. So far, everything is working out pretty well! I hope they will continue as such and keep Martin engaged and stimulated!

Luckily, his behavior wasn't due to food allergies, but I definitely appreciate your suggestions on diet and have since switched him to a more holistic wet/dry food plan. I figure even though the chewing didn't start because of that, there is no harm in giving him as healthy a life as possible.

Thanks so much for all your concerns, advice and feedback!

June & Martin
 

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That's a great update!! I'm glad to hear :) I realise JRT can be a bit of a handful sometimes but treat it as a reward and it will get better. (think of sunshine and hot chocolate next time you have to go out for a walk in a 1 degree rainstorm!!)
 

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You know....my Wirefox terrier goes through that every summer fall. He licks his pads raw. I will look at this holistic dog food. Where do you buy it and what are the brand names again? Appreciate any answer
 

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Another victim of marketing hype. The point about corn and allergies is a common cheap shot. Yes, corn is the leading cause of allergies. It is also the leading ingredient in dog foods. If you are going to avoid it and everything else as bad, you dog is going to starve to death. Chicken is about as bad as corn and beef is worse. Constantly bringing it up shows the complete lack of good arguments for grain free foods.

No sense going on any more about this. Fact and logic are useless when it comes to people that don't make evidence based decisions.
 

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Seriously....really? Okay then....your thinking that is is a grass allergy then? My poor guy spends his summers on medrol 4 mg every day. I can't help thinking that is not healthy either. What do you suggest?
 

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Mr. Lab man? It is okay to have strong opinions on things and especially if you can back that up with some literature but at the very least....offer another suggestion!
 

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There are alot of brands that are grain free, i like taste of the wild it is a good price for the quality of food.
 
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