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Chew Spots on Hips

Jfaith

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Sep 24, 2020
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Chewsiph has done this off and on since forever ( 8 years old, had him 7 years ). He's my only son but he gets a lot of attention, always.
He likes to chew his fur on his right hip / butt area and sometimes starts on the left side too. He doesn't chew /pluck to a point of sores or anything, just looks like a really, really bad hair cut.

It's off and on - He has moments it's okay, almost not noticeable... but hes started back up again so I figured I could ask the community for help :)

I think he's done his own haircuts ever since he had one good / large chuck fur slip from someone trying to scoop him up (when he doesn't like to be handled, especially by strangers). I thought maybe it's a "scar" like thing but it was a clean slip and it kind of looked like it does currently just a little more even.

I figured it is the usual bored, stressed, too hot, dry skin, fleas...but I checked all these things, read a lot of FAQs and forums.... and I don't think it those...?

He has many chewy toys.
His temperatures are usually around 70º, and never get over 75º.
I had a vet check out the spot when it was at it's worst and she said no ringworms, no mites, no fleas and his skin looks good.
Vet metnioned "injury", but I dont think he's done anything to hurt himself - plus its off and on, so it doesnt seem to add up. He doesnt like me to help groom that area because he's never really liked his backside touched....but when I poke at him in that area, he doesnt show signs of pain or anything.
Plus she told me to get an xray we have to drug him and Im terrified of that.

I'll add a current photo and maybe you guys have more / better options from your experiences. Thanks in advance everyone!
 

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Amethyst

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It looks like barbering, (fur chewing), it likely started by something, like stress, boredom, injury, etc, but has now become a habit, like someone chewing their fingernails. So even though the original cause may no long be there he is still doing it anytime he feels a little stressed, which is why it comes and goes. Fur chewing can also be a genetic issue, maybe genetically more nervous which leads to fur chewing, especially if his parents also fur chewed (though a good breeder wont breed fur chewers for that reason).
 

Jfaith

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Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
5
It looks like barbering, (fur chewing), it likely started by something, like stress, boredom, injury, etc, but has now become a habit, like someone chewing their fingernails. So even though the original cause may no long be there he is still doing it anytime he feels a little stressed, which is why it comes and goes. Fur chewing can also be a genetic issue, maybe genetically more nervous which leads to fur chewing, especially if his parents also fur chewed (though a good breeder wont breed fur chewers for that reason).
Good info :) at least it’s not something super bad, but it’s not good if he’s stressin’ or leaned a not so good habit :(

Any tips out there to help him stop / break the habit?
I know nail biting habit techniques are distractions, positive reinforcement and hotsauce ( no I won’t put sauce on my chilla 😂, but maybe there’s a type of technique like this to help him not liking doing it).

I guess more distractions maybe? He’s had a very “tinkering” brain so I try to make sure he has tons of stuff to mess with but maybe there’s a toy people found works best?

Maybe get some type of grooming brush so he looks less... rough? Will that make him (or me) feel better enough to stop?
 

Amethyst

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If it has become habit he may always fall back to it, but you can try to figure out what might be triggering it, and keep in mind that they can pickup on the stress of the humans in the house as well. Try to think if anything happens around the time when he fur chews. Things like arguments in the household, the pipes banging/rattling when the heat comes on, animals making noise inside or outside, stuff like that for examples can all be triggers for stress.

Aside from that try rotating toys, like you would for a cat or dog, to keep things interesting, you don't have to throw out the old toys just put them aside for use later or even take them apart and rearrange them. You can also try rearranging the cage from time to time, some chins love it, others hate it, so best to just start slow so you can put it back if needed. You can also try hiding hay, treats, and chews around the cage for him to find. I know my guys enjoyed a pinata type toys, basically either two woven vine baskets or coconut shells that are tied together with chin safe rope like sea grass rope, or if your chin is really a heavy chewer you can glue (elmers glue is safe) thin pieces of wood to make a box, and you put treats, small chew toys, bits of hay, and sticks inside. It can take them a little while to chew it open and then they get a bunch of things to play with.

Most chins actually hate being groomed, the proper grooming tool to get all the way through the fur would be a fine toothed comb. Some chins do enjoy it though, so it can't hurt to try. Some also enjoy being "brushed" with a soft baby brush, their fur is too thick for it to really actually brush through the fur (but also means it wont snag and hurt) and it wont likely help with his look much, but can get rid of lose furs.
 

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