madremissy wrote:Erin, I am in no way judging the situation. I just had some questions about the situation in general. Please don't get so defensive. You should know by now that I am not a judgemental person and I would support anyone dealing with their own animals. Lord knows I am not perfect with mine.
I guess since I deal with Sammy licking himself all the time (and yes he has caused skin infections with it), I really didn't think is was "hurting" himself. He is just a nervous dog and I manage it with medication. When he is doing it, I try to distract his attention away and get his mind on something else. I guess since his is constantly around me I can manage it better than trying to watch a cat that hides most of the time.
I realize that cats and dogs are different, but dealing with the situation is what I had questioned. Not questioned Liz about her possible decision but actually a question in general.
So many threads on this board have been about dealing with the situation at hand, so I was asking what makes this different. I was trying to ask questions so I could learn more.
I apologize Liz if you thought I sounded unsupportive.
I wasn't getting defensive... sorry if it came across that way. Just clarifying what I had written earlier (when I had less time)...that may have come across as flippant and uncaring.
My Inara is a licker...she calms herself by licking...but she's never gotten to the self-mutilation point. My old dog, Elwood, was as self-mutilater...he'd lick out of boredom or anxiety until he got infected...he'd open up his elbow calluses (they never truly healed) until they were oozing, he'd also lick his penis until it oozed green goop. That's when I put him on some herbal remedies (not sure that did much), and more importantly...I changed his behaviors...he got more attention/exercise/mental stimulation when I saw this behavior rising back up.
With a cat...that's harder to control...unfortunately. I have a cat that was semi-feral as a kitten...Booth, and he's just now, after 2 years coming to me for petting/attention. Luckily he doesn't self-mutilate or anything I consider inappropriate...he has other cats to play with, so I don't have to provide enrichment for him. He's pretty stress free right now...but he will be the first to startle and run away-run away! He's never going to find another home, despite the fact that he was supposed to just be a foster. He won't let me pick him up, carry him, etc. I can pet his head and back, without getting harmed. People come over, he disappears and no one knows that a black and white cat lives here.
The problem with Niobe and animals like this, is you have to try the medications, but if they don't work...what do you do?