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Chewing On Feet


Guest greytsmom
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Guest greytsmom

PJay is our 10 yr old Grey who has always been a licker of his feet and legs. Of late (last 2 months or so) he has developed the bad habit of chewing on his feet to the point of licking/chewing off the hair from his pads. He chews and licks mainly his back feet. He also has a food allergy and is on ZD for the past 10 months. That is working out very well. Recent changes include the death of our GSD who he did not seem particularly attached to and the removal of a benign cyst from his right thigh 4 weeks ago. On the day I took him back to vets for staple removal, he woke up with a limp to his right leg. The vet was not in, but the vet techs could not see anything on his pads or feet, other than a few bald spots from his licking/chewing. We were told to return if he did not improve over the weekend. We did take him back as he continued favoring that leg. The vet could not produce any response to her exam that would lead her to believe there was an injury there. She gave us some anti-inflammatory medication and told us to return in 4-5 days if he is not better. He has had 2 doses and is the same. Could we be dealing with an allergy here, that affects only his back feet? Does cancer produce a gait change before a pain response? Are greys more prone to allergies? We have had many dogs over the years and never one who seemed to have these issues...

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I would think if he's limping, he's in pain. Given his age, I'd have an x-ray of the leg done. It could be totally unrelated to the licking. He may also be allergic to the grass and the pollen count is up because of the fall weeds and such. Try washing his feet after he goes outside and see if the licking stops. I'd definitely get the leg x-rayed.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I would say get the shoulder or hip x-rayed (depending on the leg, I think from your decription its the rear leg, but not sure). Sending good thoughts.

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
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Guest greytsmom

I would think if he's limping, he's in pain. Given his age, I'd have an x-ray of the leg done. It could be totally unrelated to the licking. He may also be allergic to the grass and the pollen count is up because of the fall weeds and such. Try washing his feet after he goes outside and see if the licking stops. I'd definitely get the leg x-rayed.

Oh yes, we are taking him back to the vet if he does not get better. I found it strange that she could not get a response with manipulation of his leg.

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It could be many things - all the way from simple arthritis to cancer. Best to have an x-rays to see what's going on in there.

 

As for the licking, consult your vet about gibing PJay a mild antihistamine like Benedryl (or generic substitute). If he has a contact allergy like for grasses this should help him. You can also try hydrocortizone anti-itching cream. Rub it on his feet and put some baby socks on him to keep him from licking. Rinsing his feet off after he's been outside can help too.

 

If he gets OCD about it, put his muzzle on. Either attach a poop cup or use duct tape to close off the lower portion of the muzzle so he can't lick his feet.

 

Good luck.

Edited by greysmom

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Itchy feed are actually more typically a symptom of food allergies; pollen allergies generally cause itchy ears and armpits.

 

My guess is the Z/D is helping, but not enough, or it could be habit at this point.

 

Try Benadryl and see if it helps.

 

I would not wait around for x-rays. I'd insist on them.


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went thru strange foot chewing and intense licking last fall, thought allergies...

[bFUNGUS!!![/b] :eek

 

go know....i ended up having the fungus scrapped off by my vet, it looked red, raw and there were some black marks which i thought were scabs. used desitin ointment to keep it dry and it cleared up in 2 weeks.

 

as to hydrocortizone, i have used hydro w/ aloe. no ill effects if the pups lick it.

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All of the above suggestions are excellent. We had an incident of foot licking. It was my senior & cropped up one Winter. Turned out to be arthritis/back related. Leg/hip rads were clear. We kept him warmer & gave NSAIDs as needed. Went away with Spring & returned the next Winter to the point of causing bald feet & a little bleeding. That year we had to add gabapentin. He appeared to have LS & we suspect strongly that in his case it was nerve pain. Later we added tramadol to the mix & were often able to drop the NSAIDS.

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Our mixed breed has awful fall allergies and they've been bothering her since about the beginning of August or so. She mostly chews her feet and as in your case the back feet seem to be much worse than the front feet. Her case is so bad that she would literally chew the fur off and make her feet bloody, but not all allergies are that severe. I'd consider some Benadryl for a few days to see if that helps.

 

It can also be a response to pain, and the limp would support that theory. I hope you can figure out what's bothering him and it's an easy fix!

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Guest greytsmom

I would never have thought about arthritis pain causing him to chew on his feet (foot). If it is arthritis, it doesn't seem to keep him from going. He does his "happy dance", runs down the stairs, loves to go for walks (although we have felt the need to limit them with the limping), etc. He does not limp all the time. I will try some antihistamines, either orally or topically. He is on Dermax daily for pain. I think there is some improvement, but he still favors that leg from time to time. Funny thing, since this summer, he has tried to avoid stepping on our door mats. Texture annoying or painful to feet????

Edited by greytsmom
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