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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32754
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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I have 14yr old Lakeland terrier that keeps nibbling and licking

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I have 14yr old Lakeland terrier that keeps nibbling and licking his feet legs ext where ever he can get to until it bleeds,even rubbing his face on things until that bleeds. Vet did put him on steroids for about a yr but we have now weaned him off those as they didn't seem to make any difference.Vet did say they could do all sorts of tests at a great expense and still not know why he is doing this. We really can't afford big vet bills but I'm at my wits end as to know what to do with him. Please help.
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- What medications is he currently on?
2- What are you feeding him?
3- How much does he weigh?
4- Does he have sores on his paws?

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

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He is not on any medication and he has Iams mature & senior food.


He weighs about 2stone.


His paws,legs and face are all sore where he has been rubbing or nibbling them ,but not underneath on his pads,


thank you

Caron, one the most common causes for excessive licking/itching of the skin and paws is an underlying food allergy (food or environmental). One of the first places to start is by doing a food trial. This is what you can do:

1- Change his diet to a prescription food called Hill's z/d or a grain free diet with a different source of protein then what he normally has had in the past. For example: If he seldom ate fish then put him on a food that has fish. When on this diet he should not eat anything else or he will not improve. Needs to be on this diet for 6-8 weeks before you see significant improvement.

2- Start him on Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 25mg 1.5 tablets every every 12 hours. You can buy benadryl over the counter in any human pharmacy.

3- Supplement with Eicosaderm (omega 3 fatty acids); you can buy this over the counter in any pet store or online. Give at label dose.

For the sores this is what you can do:

1- Need to stop him from licking and scratching or he is going to delay healing. Pick up an ecollar (cone) in your local pet store to stop him from licking/scratching at affected area.

2- Pick up in your local pharmacy "Hibiclens" antimicrobial soap or chlorhexiderm scrub. Dilute 1-2 tablespoon for every cup of water. Use this mixture to soak his paws for 5 minutes 2-3 times a day. In addition, you can use this soap to wash the sores on his face.

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

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
Dr. Peter and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

does that mean he cannot have any dog treats or dentisticks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can he ,still have dog treats and dentisticks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Does that mean no doggy treats or dentisticks as well.

Caron, I am sorry for the delay in response; for some reason your questions did not post. In any case, No, he should not eat any treats during the first 6-8 weeks. If he improves then you can re-introduce the treats and see if the symptoms return. For now, what you can give him as treats are veggies like broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, etc. which normally do not cause any problems with allergies.

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.


You're welcome.