Chewing paws? =/

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Chewing paws? =/

Postby MollyPop » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:48 pm

Hey guys and gals. Lately Molly has been chewing on her feet A LOT. I first noticed some hair thinning on her paws and thought maybe she was just cleaning her paws more than usual. Then I started to notice some small balding patches on her paws so I took her to the vet. They gave me some steroid spray for her feet and some antihistamines for the itching. She wasn't a fan of the spray but I noticed the chewing calmed down (antihistamines maybe) and after the steroid spray ran out and I quit giving her antihistamines, the chewing started right back up. She's always had sensitive skin and when we rescued her she had a skin infection which we treated her for. My question is, has this happened to your dog and what caused it if so? I noticed a few days ago its gotten to the point where she's chewing the black padding off of part of her paw, although its not bloody or red underneath. She's doing this on two of her feet but chewing on all of them.

We have not switched her diet since we got her two years ago. I'm wondering if maybe the grass is causing it although we haven't moved or anything. She's bathed with hypo-allergenic shampoo. I've noticed her skin is also getting red bumps on her stomach near her backside (maybe its irritated from touching the grass when she pees?). I've made another vet appointment for her, but the vet I saw was talking about allergy shots, and thats way too much money for us currently because we are about to move halfway across the country. Should I invest in little shoes for her? What do you guys suggest. She's never had this problem before so I'm confused.
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby Curly_07 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:36 pm

Curly has the same symptons as you described. She has allergies as well. Her's are with food. I can have her on a food for a few months and everything is perfect, then all of a sudden she starts having issues again. I'll switch her food to something else, and she will be fine for a few more months, then I have to change it again. Whatever I do, I always have to stear clear from chicken and corn. Taste of the Wild Salmon based was the one that lasted the longest for her. She was on it for about 9 months before I had to change her this past month. We are now doing a trial with Nutrisca Salmon based/potato free kibble. So far, so good.

Basically what I'm saying is, she could have a food allergy or it could be environmental allergies. The only way to find out is to eleminate things gradually until you find what it is, and what works.
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby MollyPop » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:08 pm

Thanks. I just find it bizarre that she JUST starting having issues with her paws and she's been on the same food for over 2 years with no problem. I feel like if it were her food she would be itchy everwhere, or am I wrong? It seems to be a contact irritatnt because only the lower part of her stomach has red bumps and her paws are itchy. Maybe I'm wrong. Where do you get that Wild Salmon food and how much does it cost? And what about Blue Buffalo food for dogs? I have no idea what dog foods are good for dogs with allergies.
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby Curly_07 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:36 pm

I would not feed Blue Buf to a dog with allergies, as there are cross contaminations, and I just don't feel it's a great quality food. It's a good food I guess, but not great(My opinion). As for Taste of the Wild and Nutrisca, you get them at holistic or natural dog food stores, or you can order online at really good places for cheaper like PetFlow (They are awesome cheap at most things). As for the price, it really depends on where you live, buy online or at a store, tax, and such. ToTW here runs me about $50/30 lb bag (This lasts me almost 1 month per dog). Nutrisca runs me about $68/28 lb bag (Last almost 1 month per dog). Some online places were more expensive, some were cheaper. It would probably be a few bucks cheaper if I ordered online, but I love the Nutrition Center i use, and they love my doggies. Plus they sometimes throw in free treats for them, and give discount bucks on every purchase, so it kinda evens itself out for me.

*Edit to add:

It is also completely possible and common for your dog to have allergies to certain outdoor things, and seasonal allergies. Many dogs go through this, and the shots aren't a bad way to treat it from my experience. Maybe MissKiwi will chime in on that a lil more...or Nichole, as she is/just went through the seasonal allergy thing with one of her girls.
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby starrlamia » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:23 pm

It is more likely an environmental allergy, has anything changed recently? Did the vet check for yeast? That's what caused paw chewing in my girl.

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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby MollyPop » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:27 pm

Ok thanks so much. The weird thing is the vet didn't check for anything. She just looked at them and prescribed her the steroid spray. The only thing that changed recently is we got her a new pet bed. We didn't think it would fit in our washing machine so we just wiped it down with Nature's Miracle spray and let it dry and we vacuumed it. That could also be whats causing the irritant although I would thing it would be all over her body if caused by that. We finally decided to cram the bed in the washing machine and wash it, and it worked, but it barely fit. So hopefully if that was it, it will clear up. I really just think its grass though, because only her paws are itchy and she has those red bumps near her butt. It could very well be yeast though. Only a few months ago she had a yeast infection in her ears. Hopefully the vet I see Sunday will test for something. I don't want to have to pay for more medication that won't work just because they "think" thats what it is.
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby star_frances » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:07 pm

MollyPop wrote:I really just think its grass though, because only her paws are itchy and she has those red bumps near her butt.


Try wiping her legs and belly down when she comes inside maybe, and see if that helps?
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby starrlamia » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:32 pm

Yeah wiping her feet down could help, I use tea tree oil spray for brie and baby wipes, you can try soaking feet in acv and water too

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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby star_frances » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:08 pm

starrlamia wrote:Yeah wiping her feet down could help, I use tea tree oil spray for brie and baby wipes, you can try soaking feet in acv and water too


Be careful with the tea tree oil, in case you didn't know to dilute it:

"External application of tea tree oil undiluted and/or at inappropriate high doses has been associated with toxicity, including death, in cats and other animals, due to ingestion during grooming."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_tree_oil#Safety

Just want your pups to be safe!
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby amelie » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:53 pm

Have you changed any cleaning chemicals in the home? I have one dog that has food allergies and also contact allergies. Her feet bother her to the point that she constantly licks and chews them till they are raw, she also scratches her armpits until they bleed. I used to feed her a raw diet but time constraints caused me to look for a kibble she could have. At first it was natural balance venison, a few months ago I tried nutro ultra venison and it works. I also can NOT use anything to clean other than bleach and vinegar, and I have no carpets and sweep and mop a lot with at least 6 dogs in and out all day.. I can not use the cleaner you get for swiffer, I cannot use febeeeze, and I have to get unscented laundry soap and sheets. Since I have done all these things she hasn't had a Breakout. I hope you figure out what is causing it. It really baffles me when a vet just prescribes stuff to treat the symptoms and doesn't try to figure out the cause. I am sooooo lucky with my vet. She is all about figuring out what is causing the problem and getting that taken care of. Good luck with her
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby amelie » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:20 pm

I forgot to ask what kind of food she eats? My allergy dog's mother had allergies too. The only thing she couldn't have in her diet was corn, but she ate the same food for years before she showed symptoms. She never had environmental allergies though. That is one reason only professionals should breed dogs. I love amelie to death but it has been a frustrating and expensive journey.
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby MollyPop » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:23 pm

amelie wrote:I forgot to ask what kind of food she eats? My allergy dog's mother had allergies too. The only thing she couldn't have in her diet was corn, but she ate the same food for years before she showed symptoms. She never had environmental allergies though. That is one reason only professionals should breed dogs. I love amelie to death but it has been a frustrating and expensive journey.


To answer your questions about cleaning, I had been wiping her bed down with Nature's Miracle when it got really dirty because it couldn't fit in our washer machine but this past time my husband crammed it in there and we washed it that way. So far, even with washing her bed her paws haven't gotten better.

She is on Iams right now.

Also, an update on her vet visit. The vet said that because of the influx of patients she's seen with the same exact problem since the fall season has started, she's almost 100% positive that its because of the grass allergies and other stuff outside. So now she's on antibiotics because her paws are bloody (she STILL chews on them even while on her medication). I saw this product called the paw plunger that washes dogs' feet off really good, but I'm just going to try and rinse her paws off better when she comes inside and see if that helps. Thanks for the feedback guys!
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby dogs4jen » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:37 pm

The first thing I would do is try another food, such as Taste of the Wild or California Natural are two good foods. Don't get anything with corn or "byproducts" in it. I used to feed Iams too, before I knew better, and my late boxer licked her feet a lot, and when I switched foods, she quit doing it.
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby MollyPop » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:39 pm

What about Blue Buffalo though? I was looking at the Fish and Sweet Potato formula, and I know one person said BB could bother her allergies but if its a food allergy that she has right now then nothing will change right? Seems to be better than Iams, and its easily accessible at our local PetSmart where she also goes to the vet. I won't be able to switch her food for a month or so because we are moving halfway across the country and I don't want her tummy to be messed up during the journey there.

Also, do you think if I mixed the food well that the transition wouldn't bother her at all? She gets carsick when her tummy is full or she's stressed out, and I don't want to add diarrhea into that mix.
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Re: Chewing paws? =/

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:17 pm

Make your dog stop licking. The secondary infections are why her feet are bloody, and every time she licks she causes a flare-up in the inflammatory process.

Stop the licking and you will help break the cycle. NO LICKING!
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