October 22, 2021

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Question The Vet: Poodle troubles of playful nipping and paw-licking

Chewing and nibbling is ordinary conduct for pet dogs.

SINGAPORE – In this fortnightly column, veterinarians from the Countrywide Parks Board respond to thoughts about pet health and fitness and behaviour.

Is my toy poodle possessing teething problems?

I have a toy poodle named Ollie who will be eight months previous in June. He is cheeky and playful, and likes to nibble on almost anything at all – toys, arms, hair and also people’s toes.


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A several of his child enamel have fallen out, changed by grownup enamel. I am not absolutely sure if his nibbling behavior is thanks to teething.

How can I change his conduct? I have attempted a minimal positive reinforcement when he chews his toys but it has not worked.

Sheryl Lin

Chewing and nibbling is usual conduct for puppies. Young puppies are likely to nip and use their mouths as a form of participate in.

Like human beings, young puppies also go as a result of a stage when they get rid of their “baby” or “milk” teeth and grownup enamel arise as component of typical dental progress. During the teething process, chewing behaviour in puppies may perhaps intensify as a suggests of relieving possible irritation all around the gums.

Extreme or compulsive chewing on objects can also be brought on by a lack of actual physical or mental stimulation, tension or irritation. In addition, pet dogs may accidentally choke on or swallow some thing.


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Although nipping may perhaps not bring about critical personal injury now, this kind of behaviour tends to get additional intense above time. It is very best to get your pet dog checked by a veterinarian to see if his teeth are rising normally.

To enable your doggy learn not to nip you or other people, give itsafe chewing toys or treats, and use them to redirect his interest absent from you. Praise and reward him with treats when he stops nipping you and other individuals.

Preserve your dog absent from household merchandise that must not be chewed on, these kinds of as electrical wires or chemical merchandise and present him with workout and engage in-time every single day to retain him mentally and physically stimulated.

Nipping concerns can be difficult to get the job done with and it is advisable to seek the advice of your vet or a certified animal behaviourist.

Consistent paw-licking pattern

I have a 5-year-previous poodle and would like to know why she licks her paws often.

Also, how do pet house owners manage canines that are inclined to slipped discs? My doggy had a slipped disc in advance of and was in a ton of pain.

Low Li Ping

Dogs typically lick their paws thanks to itching which can be brought on by allergy symptoms infestation by parasites this kind of as fleas and mites or bacterial or yeast infections.


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It is essential to determine the root result in as compulsive licking can harm the skin and enable an infection to established in.

A complete physical assessment by a vet will be desired.

Skin or hair samples could be taken for even more evaluation. Parasite and pores and skin infections, if present, must be treated initially.

To rule out allergy symptoms, your dog could have to have to go through a strict diet program over a period of time or have specialised blood and pores and skin checks, so that the allergen can be identified and prevented.

Slipped discs manifest when the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column slip out of put and press on the spinal cord. It can result in indications including agony, weak point, paralysis and even incontinence. Some puppies may well be additional predisposed to this affliction or be much more severely afflicted than other folks.

When these indications occur, it is best to contact your veterinarian for a look at-up as shortly as attainable. Based on the severity of your dog’s condition, treatment usually requires pain treatment and suitable rest to avert further harm to the spine. Surgical procedures might be encouraged.

Stay away from engaging your pet in extremely challenging physical pursuits, these types of as leaping off substantial surfaces. For skin disorders and slipped discs, it is ideal to focus on procedure solutions and management programs with your vet.

  • Solutions by Dr Christine Lee, a veterinarian at the Animal & Veterinary Support who graduated from the Royal Veterinary School in the United Kingdom.

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