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Old 09-09-2013, 09:29 PM
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Default Allergy question

I'm not even sure if this is a problem, or if I'm making things up, but I thought I'd get other input.

Abrams chews on Cynder All. The. Time. She never tells him off, only gives "soft" aversion signals (turns her face away, turns her back, removes herself from the situation as best as she is able, etc.), which he cares nothing about. About a quarter of the time his chewing on her turns into her playing with him, even when she starts out with aversion signals, so he's being reinforced for his behavior.

Anyways. Cynder ends the day being covered in spittle (after a few days her fur will be stiff in some places due to the dried spit), and I'm fairly certain it is making her allergies worse. Abrams likes to chomp on her lower back and her neck. Cynder has had hot spots begin to develop in both of those areas. She's normally itchy this time of year, but I've never had an issue with her and hot spots before. Luckily I caught them in time and a quick round of Betagen spray, prednisone, and benedryl nipped them in the bud and they are currently healing (lovely gross scabby things right now). I'm currently weaning her off the pred and she's still on Benedryl twice daily, which I will likely keep her on until winter hits as she's generally itchy anyway.

Can Abrams chewing on her be causing the hotspots, or is it just coincidence? And if his spittle is aggravating the issue, how can I get him to stop? I tell him "enough" when he is pestering her and he's kind of understanding, but because she refuses to tell him off and then reinforces the behavior when she's in the mood, he just keeps doing it. I suppose I could soak her in bitter apple spray, but the stupid dog would probably like the taste of it.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:37 PM
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Default

It's possible, sure. Not specifically saliva, necessarily, but just the wetness.

As far as discouraging him... I would probably take a similar approach that I would for inappropriately rough play. 3 verbal warnings to stop (or "leave it" or whatever cue you use), then on the third strike you go to boring Cynder-less land for a few hours (crate or baby gate).
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