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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28131
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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hi I have a 8 year old female boxer dog who keeps licking her

Customer Question

hi I have a 8 year old female boxer dog who keeps licking her feet she started on her front paws I took her to my local vet and he told me to try and stop her as she is not limping I managed to stop her licking her front paws and now she has started on her back ones I have tried creams sprays putting bandages on them put no gd she is still licking them I have also changed her food to natural free flow mince when I am with her she doesn't lick them but when I go to work come home she has not sure what to do now as I have tried everything to stop her with no luck
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I am Dr. Peter a licensed Veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. I need to ask you a few questions first to be well informed and give you the best advice. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

1- Is there any redness or abnomality on the skin of her paws?
2- How is the skin on the rest of her body?
3- Any pre existing medical condition?
4- How much does she weigh?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes they r very red and she also makes them sometimes
the rest of her skin is fine I have changed her flea shampoo and have notice she has a bit of flacky skin she has no pre existing condition and she weights 23kg

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
1- How often are you bathing her?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


about once a month and im also find she drinks a lot of water

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
1- Is it fair to say she is drinking more than usual?
2- Is she spayed?
3- I am not familiar with natural free flow mince here in the U.S.; is this a diet of pure meat without any other ingredients?
4- How long has it been since you changed the diet?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yea she is drinking more than normal that has happened since she has been licking her feet no she has not yet been sprayed I changed her diet about two months ago after she started licking her front paws as in the summer she sneezes a lot and I think she mite have allergies

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
1- Is she on any medications?
2- Have you seen a vaginal discharge?
3- I am not familiar with natural free flow mince here in the U.S.; is this a diet of pure meat without any other ingredients?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


no she is not on any medications and no vaginal discharge

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
I am not familiar with natural free flow mince here in the U.S.; is this a diet of pure meat without any other ingredients?

I will have an answer to your question within 5-10 minutes after receiving the response to the above questions. Thank you for your patience.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes the meat is pure meat with no other ingredients

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
Karen, you are right to suspect allergies (food or environmental) as a possible cause for the excessive licking of the paws. Allergies is the most common cause. Now, once the excessive licking begins the dog can develop pododermatitis which is inflammation/infection of the paws. This is what you can try:

1- Changing the diet to a limited ingredient diet was an excellent idea. Usually it takes about 6-8 weeks after changing the diet to see a significant improvement. In this case, she may need a different source of protein, ideally something she has not had much in the past like fish, venison, rabbit, etc. It is also important to remember that she should not be eating table food. As far as treats, I recommend to give veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, etc.

2- Start her on Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 50mg every 12 hours.

3- Supplement with Fish Oil, 20mg of EPA for every pound body weight once a day, long term.

4-
Need to stop her from licking or it is not going to get better. Pick up an ecollar (cone) in your local pet store to stop her from licking/gnawing at her paws. Keep ecollar on until all redness is gone.

5- Pick up in your local pharmacy "Hibiclens" antimicrobial soap or chlorhexiderm scrub. Wash paws with this soap 2-3 times a day.

6- After washing paws as above apply a topical antibiotic like neosporin or bacitracin. Do this 2-3 times a day for the next 7-10 days.

As far as the increase in water consumption I don't believe this is related to the excessive licking of the paws, this is another problem. You see when we see an increase in water consumption in dogs it is a sign of either: an active infection, hormonal disorders (diabetes, cushing's), kidney or liver disease and even cancer to name a few causes. On history alone it will be very difficult to determine the exact underlying cause. To determine which of the above is the underlying cause your family veterinarian will need to do some blood work (chemistry profile, T4 & CBC) and urinalysis as initial screening test. Treatment will be determined by clinical and diagnostic findings. I would have her re-checked by family veterinarian and run the above test.

Please, let me know if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter

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