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 Post subject: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 11:22 pm 
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Location: Stanwood, Washington
I was wondering if anybody else has problems with obsesive paw licking in their Pei? Our Beau has just started this habbit. I would not think that it would be a problem... but there is nothing worse than being woken up at 3AM to slurpng & smacking noises. He always seems to be licking his paws....he really gets into it :p , and he is very noisy. As time goes on he is doing this more often. I have looked at his paws and it even seems like they are getting red between his toes. I was just curious if this is typical.

Alyson


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:19 am 
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Location: Waterloo, ON
Have you taken your dog to the vet to have him checked for allergies? The allergies can either be food, inhalant and/or contact allergies.That is usually why a dog will constantly like his/her paws. The following article may be of some help to you. It can be found at: The Dachshund Magazine On-Line

Paw Licking & Allergies
Paw-licking and -chewing are common signs of disease in dogs. Many owners assume these behaviors are normal and fail to recognize the extent of the problem. Genetics play a role in many cases, but overbreeding is not a specific cause. Purebred and mixed-breed dogs can chew any combination of paws, but chewing both front feet is most common. The degree of itch and obsession with the feet can vary with time of year, weather, age, diet and other factors.
The most common cause for the itch you describe is atopic dermatitis, or inhalant allergy. This is similar to hay fever in humans except that the result is usually foot-chewing rather than respiratory signs. Allergens include dust and dust mites; pollens from trees, weeds, grasses and other plants; molds; mildew; animal or human dander, including wool; and insects. Usually more than one substance is involved.

Some atopic dogs also develop skin irritation on the face, forelimbs and armpitis, among other places. Atopy also frequently causes or contributes to chronic ear and eye problems. Occasionally, dogs develop respiratory signs, such as sneezing or nasal discharge, reverse sneezing and wheezing, breathing difficulty, cough or exercise intolerance.

A dog with a flea allergy also will chew its paws. Obviously, any irritating substances can also initiate chewing, including soaps, shampoos, chemicals and foreign bodies.

Infections of the skin, hair, nails and nail beds can be the primary cause of foot-chewing and are almost always present as secondary, complicating factors in allergic situations. Infectious agents can include bacteria, yeasts, fungi and demodectic mites. Many of these organisms are normally present on the skin and only cause disease under certain conditions. Allergies can cause constant licking and subsequent swelling of the feet and accumulation of debris, creating a moist, warm environment in which overgrowth of these organisms can occur. Chewing and superficial infection allow deeper penetration of the organisms into the tissues, creating a very itchy cycle. If the suspected allergy is treated but not the secondary (or primary) infections, it is unlikely
complete or lasting results will be achieved. Prednisone will relieve the itch associated with most allergies and infections, at least temporarily. Unfortunately, improper usage of prednisone andn other corticosteroids may worsen or allow infections to develop. It is important to establish a specific diagnosis and rule out complicating factors to properly address foot-chewing in dogs. Non-responsive or partially responsive cases need to be pursued further.

Diagnostics to help define the problem beyond simple allergy include thyroid testing, cytology (examining smears of the skin and nail beds under a microscope for infectious agents) and skin scrapings with microscopic exam to rule out mites. Blood or skin testing can be done to specifically identify offending allergens, thus allowing an owner to decrease exposure if possible.

Bacterial cultures may be needed when bacteria are suspected based on cytology or biopsy results and antibiotics don't clear up the problem. Culture of the bacteria allows sensitivity testing to determine which antibiotics are likely to give the best results. This can be especially important in chronic cases in which long-term treatment may be needed.

Trial courses of medications can also be used once it is deemed safe. As with allergies in humans, the situation can be complex and may require trying several different medications to find the best drug or combination of drugs.

Treatment will vary depending on the specific diagnosis. Dogs with low thyroid results (hypothyroidism) should be supplemented. Specific infections should be treated. This treatment might include orally administered medications and/or topically applied medications, dips, scrubs and soaks. I have found that scrubbing the feet two or three times weekly with antibacterial/antifungal shampoos can be extremely helpful — 4 percent chlorhexidine is my favorite active ingredient. The feet should be dried well after scrubs.

Allergens identified on testing should be avoided or eliminated from the dog's environment whenever possible. Keeping the dog inside more and avoiding walking in grass, weeds or brush may also help, reducing topical and oral exposure to potential allergens. Some dogs may need desensitization injections; the ingredients should be chosen based on allergy testing and likelihood and duration of exposure. Flea control needs to be nearly perfect in allergic dogs.

Dogs with atopy (inhalant dermatitis) may require further anti-inflammatory treatment. This is where corticosteroids such as prednisone come into the picture. It is important to realize that steroids are not inherently "bad" medications; in fact, they are essential in the short-term and emergency treatment of many patients. The itch relief gives damaged and infected tissues a chance to heal by breaking the lick cycle. Long-term reliance on steroids and failure to pursue other causes of the itching should be discouraged. Unfortunately, a few dogs need steroids for sustained allergy relief. Even in these individuals, efforts should be made to use the steroids only intermittently and at the lowest possible dose, and to spare the need with other medications and supplements whenever possible.

Antihistamines may provide complete or at least adequate relief for many dogs, especially when used in combination with omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Each dog is different, so you may have to try several types and dosages to find the best one.

Food allergy also has to be considered because it can cause the same signs as atopy. Allergy can develop to any food, though protein sources are most often the problem. Hypothyroidism can also contribute to many allergic conditions.

Veterinary dermatologists are available to address non-responsive or complicated cases.

By Michael Abdella, DVM


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 9:48 am 
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Location: Mission Hills, CA
I agree. Allergies are usually the problem with paw licking. Both my horse coat and one of my brush coats have this problem from time-to-time. My vet gave me a topical spray called RELIEF which really helps them. Have the little guy checked out for allergies. Good luck

Elisa Orozco! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:05 am 
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Location: Stanwood, Washington
Thank you for the suggestions, we have a vet apt. next week for his eyes so I will have the vet check his feet. One thing I have started doing is drying Beau's feet after he goes out. It seems to have helped a little, I mostly started doing so because I was tried of mopping muddy paw prints off the floor (to much rain here in Washington :D ) I think his toes were getting chapped from getting wet, poor boy hates his paws dried though...he acts like he is in trouble when I go to dry them, oh well I give him a cookie for his troubles. I hope he does not have an allergy to his food, he seems to be doing great on what we have been feeding him. When we first rescued him his fur was all rough and patchy in areas...now 5 months later he is as plush as a teddy bear.

Thanks so much!
Alyson


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:03 am 
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Location: Placerville California
Even running across grass can cause an allergic reaction. Remember how you itched after rolling in the grass when you were a kid?

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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 2:08 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh Scotland, UK
Obsessive paw licking and leg licking...In our personal opinion in any dog is a sign of stress, caused by discomfort or pain... also bloodshot eyes are generally a sign of more severe pain or discomfort. (maybe a painful ear, eye, tooth, stomach, etc)
Hope this is of some help.

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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 5:34 pm 
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Posts: 22
Location: Novato, CA
If the Pei constantly licks the same foot, check the foot over carefully for foxtails, burs, thorns, glass or punctures. They might just be trying to sooth an injury.

Our Bosco has gotten foxtails quite a few times. Once they get between the toes they work themselves into the skin causing a big lump of infection. Ugh! If caught early enough you simply pull them out and cleanse the area and apply some antibiotic ointment.


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 5:34 pm 
Do shar pei's normally have dry itchy skin? Fonzerelli licks and scratches at everything! Not just the feet. The PAWS where we rescued him said he was "de-flead" and if anyone's going to be eaten alive from fleas, it would be me! I haven't got bit yet. I'm pretty sure it's just dry skin. What can I do?


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2002 2:01 am
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Location: Stanwood, Washington
Bnoe,

When we first rescued our pei he was pretty dry & flaky. After about a month or so after he was on descent food and had love & attention, he got much better. Peis can be prone to different allergies...it is my experience that the do better on a dog food of high quality...something without soy or corn. I have been using the Lamb & Rice Nutromax (green bag) and that seems to agree with both my dogs...I tried Precise for awhile but they did not like it. Also for bathing use a mild soap, we use somthing called "Buddy Bar" it has lavendar & tea tree oil in it...the lavendar wards off fleas, plus they smell good for days :)

Good Luck
Alyson


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 5:16 pm 
Fonzie's not really flakey but he sure scratches and licks alot! My Dad (who has 2 Labs with dry skin) gave us some shampoo he got from his dogs' vet for itchy, dry skin. Hopefully it'll work. We'll see tonight! What's 'Buddy Bar' and where can you get it?


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:27 pm 
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Posts: 33
Location: Stanwood, Washington
The soap that I mentioned is actualy called "Buddy Wash" It is by a company in California
Fritzs Place This company has some very neat stuff, a pet store here in the town of Stanwood carries quite a bit of their products. I have been using the "Buddy Wash" for several months and for me it is the best dog soap I have ever used. It comes in liquid or bar form....I use the bar and lather them up...I love how it makes them smell :)
Good Luck
Alyson :D


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:44 pm 
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Location: Canada
My pei Quasi licks the tops of his paws all the time. He seemed to do it only after he went outside. I asked the vet and he did a allergy test which came back negative. I started to watch him and when he liked his paws within 5 minutes and if noone disturbed him he fell alseep. The only thing I can suggest is it's a comfort thing like a child who suck their thumb. Hope it helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 6:57 am 
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Location: Ogden, UT
You may be right about the paw licking being a comfort thing, Quasi. I once had a Cocker Spaniel who licked her paws alot. Her paws didn't look like they were sore or injured in any way. I asked the vet about it and he told me it was like a baby sucking their thumb. She just did it for comfort and it had become somewhat of a habit.


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 9:55 am 
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Location: USA
Can I ever relate to this topic. My seven year old female, Suede, slurps up a storm. At times more than others. Her first experience in the snow really kicked it off this year. She licked her paws non-stop for a couple of months afterwards which did not allow the cracks to heal. What I wound up doing was rubbing her paws with lamisil which is used for athlete's foot. It helped, but she still licked that off, too. I have to give Suede sporadic treatments of prednisone for her skin disorders and when I do, it seems to alleviate the paw-licking.

Good Luck...it may help to wear ear-muffs at night. LOL!


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 12:03 pm 
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Location: Ogden, UT
All this licking makes me think of my little Missy. She was a sharpei but I think she may have had some cat mixed in there somewhere. She was a fanatic about being clean. She was constantly grooming herself, just like a cat would do. She not only paid special attention to always having clean paws, she washed her big fat sharpei jowls with her paws. It was the funniest thing to watch her scrub her cheeks. She really got into it! I'm surprised she didn't scrub the whiskers right off her face.
One of the sharpeis I have now, Chelsea, grooms herself but in quite a different fashion than Missy. She not only licks, she kind of bites the itchy spots. It sounds like two pieces of wood being clacked together really fast! It's really funny!
These Sharpeis are just so hilarious!


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 7:43 pm 
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Location: Stanwood, Washington
I think that Beau does do some of his paw licking to comfort him...when I noticed at first when he was doing it, it was winter around here and we had a wet winter...so maybe his paws sort of had a rash...he still does it but now but no rash...no rain...so his paws must of had too much moisture...he is sort of cat like too ...he closes his eys & slurps away...sometimes he lowers his front part of his body and leaves his butt in the air and turns his paws in and just licks away :roll: Peis are funny!


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:19 pm 
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I 100% agree with you


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:40 pm 
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I know this is a REALLY old thread, but I thought I'd chime in since I have a paw licker.

I think that my Bubba is a nail-biter more than a paw licker! No kidding! He literally nibbles the tips of his front paw nails. He's been doing this since we brought him into our home 6 years ago as a puppy. We've checked his paws for any irriation, redness, swelling, injury, etc. but we've found nothing wrong! It seems as though when we're all having down time relaxing as a family, he nibbles his nails and falls asleep as if it were relaxing or soothing. His nails aren't too long or too short...and he doesn't obsess about biting his nails, he just does it randomly and we think its just a behavior he's had since he was a puppy.

Since he isn't miserable or licking his paws uncontrollably, we've decided that with Bub, it's just a part of his goofy personality!

Anyway, thought I'd share...


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:34 am 
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Just like BubbasMom said, I know this is an old thread but I am new to the forum as well as having a shar-pei and noticed over the last week that my Dexter has also become a paw licker. He started to obsessively lick his front paws about a week ago. I mentioned it to my vet when we were there on Monday for his booster shots and she gave him a shot of dexamethasone to decrease the swelling. Didn't seem to do much. On Tuesday I noticed that his right paw has an abrasion on the large pad. I don't think that it was there when the licking started so I am not sure if he did that to himself or if by coincidence he stepped on something during one of our walks or if maybe it was there and the reason he started licking in the first place?? I will monitor his paw for now to ensure that it doesn't start to look infected and limit walks to 20 minutes/day until it starts to heal. I guess if it continues I will take him back to the vet for allergy testing. Does that seem reasonable or should I do something more??


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:31 am 
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We've noticed that when Sake's ears are acting up with yeast, he licks his paws alot. We recently switched him over to raw food to eliminate ALL yeast and excess sugars and the lady that worked at the pet food store mentioned she had a dog that was sensitive to ANY yeast just like Sake and she used to lick her paws excessively during yeast flares. So that might also be a reason.
Do you have any antibiotic cream to put on Dexter's paw to help the healing? Obviously its on the bottom of his pad and will wear off after awhile but if you rub it in well enough it is better than nothing to get you through until the vet appt. And if he'll let you, maybe try to bandage it. Pei are obviously stubborn :roll: so he might not let you wrap it but I'd at least put the antibiotic ointment/cream to help with the healing.
My in-laws dog is a little Maltese mix and he is a HUGE nail biter! He is so cute when he does it and makes a funny noise but they never have to trim his nails! I almost wish Sake did it because he wont let us get near to clip them so the groomer has to do it. But I wouldn't say this a problem. I agree that it could be a soothing thing too.

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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:40 am 
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Sakes-Mom08 wrote:
We've noticed that when Sake's ears are acting up with yeast, he licks his paws alot. We recently switched him over to raw food to eliminate ALL yeast and excess sugars


Ditto, Enzo's skin cleared up after switching to Raw. His paws, at one point had almost no fur from a combo of allergy sensitivity and excessive licking. For allergy prone dogs, I really believe RAW is the way to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:04 am 
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I have triple AO but am worried that he will lick it off, surely that isn't good for him??


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 Post subject: Re: Paw Licking
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:40 am 
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Location: Tampa, FL
Unless he consumes a whole tube of AO, it shouldn't be harmful. I would rub as small an amount as possible and make sure you really rub it in until almost dry and try to watch him as long as possible (at least 15 minutes) after applying the AO to make sure he doesn't go to town and lick it all off. And only apply it while he is under your supervision (avoid at night when everyone is sleeping or when you are out of the house) then you can also watch for adverse reactions. Like I said, just to hold you through until you see the vet. Or if you don't feel comfortable w/ the AO just try to wash it out as good as you can with soap and warm water as many times a day as you can. Hope he feels better!!

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