Caleb is a German Shepherd/Wolf/Chow mix who suffers from extreme anxiety that leads to self-mutilation.
He was diagnosed and treated for Parvo in February 2012, and his anxiety began later that year. He did not like being contained and would always find a way out of whatever method of restraint was being used - chewing through leashes, destroying wire cages, tearing up walls, floors, and cabinets. His self-mutilation started when his family began to leave him outside when they had to leave the home (they felt he could not stay inside because of his destructive behavior). They would come home to find him with bloody ears, legs, and tail. It escalated to this point within the first year.
The family could not afford extensive vet care so they began to utilize an Elizabethan collar (cone) but he could still reach his back legs and tail, and over time learned how to get his foot inside the cone to scratch his head bloody. The family tried a no-bite collar, a muzzle, and a Thundershirt, all with the same painful results. They found minor results utilizing the cone and no-bite collar together, but he still had to be watched 24/7 or he could chew himself bloody in seconds. He was given Benadryl and Zyrtec with no results.
His diet consisted of 4Health Dry Dog Food and was taking an OTC medication for stress. His diet was modified to avoid corn, wheat, soy and chicken, but the behaviors continued. He became so stressed out by visitors that his family has even had to ask company to leave.
Caleb’s owners reached out to Answers Pet Food in May 2017. An allery test was completed through Hemopet to determine if his issues were related to his diet. He began a fast on June 19, 2017 consisting of Answers Fermented Raw Goat’s Milk, Raw Cow Kefir, and Fermented Fish Stock. He was taken off all other foods and supplements, and was placed on Prednisone for 20 days and Damp Heat Derma Relief 2200mg at this time. Shortly after beginning the fast, the family experienced a flea infestation. Caleb was bathed in Answers Fermented Raw Goat’s Milk twice/week while they worked to get the house under control. By late July, they had beaten the infestation and noticed Caleb beginning to change for the good.
In August 2017, they could have company come over and not have to send them away due to Caleb’s anxiety. By September 2017, Caleb was still wearing both the cone and no-bite collar only at night – this allows everyone to rest easier. During the day, he still wears the cone because he will rub his cheeks, but the cone can be removed while he eats (previously, if the cone came off, he chewed within seconds). He still struggles when he is over-stimulated by company, a knock at the door, loud noises outside, etc., and scratches the back of his front legs or rub his cheeks, but it is not as extreme and he calms down more quickly. He has become more affectionate with his owners.
02/21/2018 Update: Caleb’s owner, Joshua says: “The hair on his tail has begun to grow back after years of being bald from chewing. He now has a few toys and can play outside for a few minutes at a time. He is MUCH happier now.”