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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30361
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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constant licking of paws swelling on the upper paws

Resolved Question:

constant licking of paws swelling on the upper paws
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has this been going on?
2- Is the licking limited to the area that is swollen?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

over six months, seems to be getting all the time now, dont know what else to try

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
1- Has the skin become thickened in that area?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes badly

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 3 years ago.
Doreen, the skin thickening is called "Lichenification," this is the result of chronic irritation to the skin from licking. So, one of the most important part in treating this lesion is to stop her from licking. It is also important to remember that excessive licking of the paws could have an underlying allergy (food or environmental) as the primary cause. In addition to treating the swelling on her paw I would also do a food trial in an attempt to rule out food allergy. This is what you can do:

1- Need to stop her from licking or she will not allow it to heal. Pick up an ecollar (cone) in your local pet store to stop her from licking/gnawing at affected area. Leave the ecollar on until completely healed.

2- Pick up in your local pharmacy "Hibiclens" antimicrobial soap or chlorhexiderm scrub. Wash area with this soap 2 times a day. If you do not find the above soap use over the counter antibacterial soap.

3- After washing affected area as above apply a topical hydrocortisone cream. Do this 2-3 times a day for the next 10-14 days.

4- Change her diet to a prescription food called Hill's z/d or a grain free diet with a different source of protein then what she normally has had in the past. For example: If she seldom ate fish then put her on a food that has fish. Needs to be on this diet for 6-8 weeks before you see significant improvement.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter
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