OCB IN AN OLD SHIH TZU?
"He keeps scratching his left face," the young lady complained. "I put an e-collar on his head but he will rub the collar with his paws all the time, non-stop for the past few days."
The 10-year-old Shih Tzu stuck out his tongue and started to lick his nose and his left side of his chin vigorously. Put his tongue inside his mouth. Tongue out and up to lick and this goes on and on during the 20 minutes he spent on the consultation table.
He kept repeating his action of licking his nostrils continuously, as if he was wiping his nose like people using their hands to wipe off nasal discharge.
I thought something had gone wrong with his brain. Involuntarily, he had no control of his tongue movements. So was this a OCB (Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour) in an old Shih Tzu?
The owners were distressed. So was the dog. Something was itchy or painful - that would be the basic cause. I had the dog warded.
There was a huge ulcerated skin patch on his left chin. Four loose teeth on his left jaw were extracted under general anaesthesia. His coat was clipped short. His dry eyes heavily pigmented by brown pigments and starchy pus was given eye medication and cleaned every day for the next 3 days. Antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory injection were given.
His tongue licking stopped after 24 hours. His eyes looked clearer and he could see some 20% as he had so many corneal ulcers. He went home after 3 days as he was eating. Just that he was "blind". Now, 10 days later at the time of writing, there were no complaints from the owner. The most likely cause of his OCB would be his tooth ache and left chin cellulitis (very itchy and very painful). Nothing wrong with his brain!
Shih Tzus are hard to maintain. Their eyes, ears and teeth need special attention. Do not place tissue papers onto his eye cornea to wipe off eye discharges as this create more ulcerations and great pain.