Paw licking
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Thread: Paw licking

  1. #1
    Senior Member Matthew J. Ries's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    TX, USA

    Default Paw licking

    Just looking for some insight and knowledge from the RTF members, I know there is a lot out there. We have a house dog in addition to my YLF that is a mix (cairn terrier, shih tzu, llahsa apsa) and she continues to lick her paws raw. We have done extensive internet searches, and multiple vet visits which result in a short course of antibiotics and steroids. The last visit the vet checked again for a foreign object such as a sliver and gave a longer steroid course. We have fed the same food for years (Science Diet) and the only thing we might pin it on is moving (15 months ago) just 120 miles south or where we had lived. After reading everything, it appears this is allergy related (non food) and we use benadryl which is no help, and do epsom salt baths, wound cleaning, Corona, and booties to form a physical barrier --> and yet she licks. I have read a few things about it being an addiction due to endorphin release which then creates a wicked cycle. We have inspected the paws thoroughly, it is just her front 2 paws (started as just 1 then now is both) and typically is deep in the center, but recently expanded to in between the digits. Being in the medical field, this is frustrating because if it were a human I might have a solution to this problem
    Matthew Ries, Pharm.D.

    Poole's Matador's Maggie May (04/14/2012 - Present)
    Lacakota Super Magnum (02/20/2002 - 07/2010)

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  3. #2
    Senior Member duk4me's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    NE Texas


    Matt I could think of all sorts of smart a.. answers to this but instead I wonder if you could use a neck cone that would prevent her from licking her paws might break the cycle. Just a thought other than that I have no idea other than amputation.....sorry just my nature.
    I have learned I need these dogs much more than they need me. Tim Bockmon

  4. #3
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    Far Northern California


    Which Science Diet formula are you using. In my experience, Sci Diet has terrible ingredients, despite being sold at most vet clinics.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2009
    South Florida


    Sometimes paw licking is just a nervous habit like people that chew their finger nails. You might want to try Tim's suggestion and put a cone on him.
    HRCH Dallys Wild Willow SH Born 11-06-97 Left Us 1-30-12 will always be in my thoughts RIP Willow

  6. #5
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    May 2009


    I also noticed hat paw licking in my dogs resulted from: boredom, lack of chewing items, response to any slight cut. I also think that it might be a response to some type of stress as well as allergies. I have also used the cone but it had to stay on for a long time. It did work.

    The paw licking is very frustrating.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

  7. #6
    Member jim_de_hunter's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Amelia, Ohio


    If you can find it, Happy Jack Pad Kote. Heals the wound, smells and tastes terrible. Healed Harvey the Wonderdog with it.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Erik Nilsson's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Butler, Pa


    My lab would lick his paws and developed one of those licking granulmas. I had him on one food and made the switch to another and it all stopped. He was on Purina Performance and we switched to Nutrisource performance but that is our case though.
    HRC- Our season never ends

    "Shoot fast or shoot last"

    HR UH Nilsson's on a wing n a prayer MH WCX

  9. #8
    Senior Member ad18's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Cobourg, Ontario, Canada


    I would look at possible food allergy as well. I had fed the same food for quite a few years and it started up out of the blue. He also started having really dirty ears as well. Started eliminating various ingredients in food. Ears were result of grain allergy and paws where chicken. Eliminated both and all is good.
    HRCH Scaupgetters Seminole Ben SH WCX
    2NMH 3GMH HRCH Heads Up Lightning Strikes WCX
    Rivers On Goose Buster (just learning)

  10. #9
    Senior Member Good Dogs's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Our previous golden female licked her paws regularly, though not to the extent you described. The vets all said it was an indication of allergies, likely inhalent. We tried many different foods to no avail. She developed a nasty skin condition, hair loss, pimples etc. Drove her and us nuts. Finally had her spayed and the conditions all cleared up immediately. It was a hormone issue, not allergies.
    If your pup is not spayed, might as well do that. If she is not exhibiting any other skin conditions it might just be a habit that has become untenable. Try the cone or anything that will present a physcal barrier to the paw licking.

  11. #10
    Senior Member jb504079's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Amarillo, Tx


    Could be arthritis. But in smaller dogs, it's probably more likely an allergy of some sort. I have an 11 yr old male lab that does this. I've spent tons of money in vet bills trying to figure it out. Frustrating as heck.

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