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Intractable Paw Chewing


greyhndz
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Hi all (long time no C)

 

Timmy, galgo arrived from Spain 5/15, has had an ongoing issue with licking and chewing his paws. This is a constant issue, and is compounded by his extreme aversion to having his feet handled or his nails clipped. The vet took a look a couple of weeks ago and felt he has pyoderma, possibly from food allergy, some type of environmental allergy, etc. He completed a course of keflex and was on benadryl for a couple of weeks, which I stopped because it had no effect.

 

No SLO -- nails intact. His paws are inflamed but no obvious sores or skin lesions. I'm transitioning him onto a Limited Ingredient diet (Kangaroo) to try to narrow down the source. I may have to get him to a dermatologist, but in the interim I'd like to get his nails clipped down -- the vet held off the first day to let his feet quiet down with the antibiotics, though there's been no change.

 

Interestingly, I've been talking with his foster mom for > a year, and she went through this as well. She had him on a fish diet, and had him evaluated by the vet without a diagnosis. He continued to have the problem until he came to the US. She began to suspect that this is actually OCD, given his traumatic history and fearfulness. A vet behaviorist may be our next stop if no skin disease is found.

 

Anyone been-there-done=that, with either a behavioral source or skin disease? I'd like to hear about treatment plans which have been effective for you.

 

I could also use suggestions of how to manage his feet and nails: he becomes agitated and combatitive when his feet are handled. I may wind up bringing him in for a dental under anesthesia, and have the vet closely examaie and biopsy his feet, as well as clip down his nails.

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Just a thought -- do you live near the ocean? If yes, can you take him for walks through the salt water. Salt water might help to ease any inflammation and heal any sores.

No, Mary Jane -- we're not too close, at least not close enough to get there often. That's a great idea, though! Maybe I should set up a baby pool filled with salt water?!?! :P (might not be a bad idea -- if he'd cooperate)

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Loca had seasonal environmental allergies, resulting in her chewing her feet. Benadryl helped.

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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If it is allergies, the thing that has really stopped Rocket's itching and chewing is the Springtime Skin and Coat Oil. His seasonal allergies had him constantly scratching. A few weeks after starting the oil the itching completely stopped and he is bunny fur soft. 1 Tsp of oil on each meal.

 

http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/Skin-and-Coat/All-Natural-Dog-Supplements

 

Thanks to Jan at Camp Greyhound for putting me on to this product!

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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You could try epsom salt soaks to try and calm things down. Also, a short course of prednisone, though that may have more negatives than positives. In all the diagnosing and vetting has there ever been a biopsy or scraping done of the skin of his feet? If it is behavioral, you'll need some sort of anti anxiety med. A behaviorist might be a good resource if your vet isn't comfortable prescribing them.

 

You can try having a strong helper hold him off the ground for nail clipping. That will work with some dogs.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I would try a change of foods (fwiw- my boy can't eat fish without having an allergy flair) and try a different antihistamine. I find Benadryl rather ineffective for environmental allergies (better for acute reactions...bee stings..). You can try Claritin, allergra, Zyrtec. Just like Benadryl their dosings are much higher than human dosings. Finally, if neither seem to help you may need to try a short course of a corticosteroid. Typically pred or temaril p will be dispensed. If the steriods help that rules out behavioral issues.

Edited by tbhounds
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We spent some $ trying to cure itchy foot syndrome before discovering by happy accident that the dog was allergic to FISH and FISH OIL, which are in almost every commercial dog food and which we tend to give for skin and itch problems .....

 

Before we solved the problem, the thing that helped most was Genesis spray. Oral meds were useless.

 

A true elimination diet -- single ingredient -- would be worth the $ and time.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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If it is allergies, the thing that has really stopped Rocket's itching and chewing is the Springtime Skin and Coat Oil. His seasonal allergies had him constantly scratching. A few weeks after starting the oil the itching completely stopped and he is bunny fur soft. 1 Tsp of oil on each meal.

 

http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/Skin-and-Coat/All-Natural-Dog-Supplements

 

Thanks to Jan at Camp Greyhound for putting me on to this product!

 

 

 

Sounds like something to try for all my guys. Thanks! Were Rocket's symptoms limited to his feet, or was it generalized?

Edited by greyhndz

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You could try epsom salt soaks to try and calm things down. Also, a short course of prednisone, though that may have more negatives than positives. In all the diagnosing and vetting has there ever been a biopsy or scraping done of the skin of his feet? If it is behavioral, you'll need some sort of anti anxiety med. A behaviorist might be a good resource if your vet isn't comfortable prescribing them.

 

You can try having a strong helper hold him off the ground for nail clipping. That will work with some dogs.

 

There hasn't been a full diagnostic workup, yet. It's really just over the past, say, 2 months that this became very noticeable, as I was coming home to puddles on the rugs and on my bed and didn't know what was going on -- thought someone was incontinent. But I finally watched the extend to which he was chewing and realized that the puddles were from his licking.

 

The only correlation I could think of was a switch a few months ago to a different food -- Merrick's "Backcountry Raw Infused" red meat/lamb/rabbit. I have been introducing Zignature Kangaroo over the past week and it will be the only diet by the end of the weekend, and hope that will reduce his symptoms. He's actually seen my vet only once for this problem so we're trying out a few basic changes before moving on to sampling or a derm consult. I do think that the epsom salt soaks, if I could get him to cooperate, would be helpful.

 

Wish I had someone who could lift him up to work on his nails, but he's probably a 3-person dog for clipping.

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We spent some $ trying to cure itchy foot syndrome before discovering by happy accident that the dog was allergic to FISH and FISH OIL, which are in almost every commercial dog food and which we tend to give for skin and itch problems .....

 

Before we solved the problem, the thing that helped most was Genesis spray. Oral meds were useless.

 

A true elimination diet -- single ingredient -- would be worth the $ and time.

 

Fish... very interesting! How did you figure that out? The Kangaroo diet is in the process - no fish or chicken products, eggs, oatmeal, potato, grains, etc. The fish allergy could explain why his symptoms persisted while his foster mom in Spain had him on a fish diet.

 

I would try a change of foods (fwiw- my boy can't eat fish without having an allergy flair) and try a different antihistamine. I find Benadryl rather ineffective for environmental allergies (better for acute reactions...bee stings..). You can try Claritin, allergra, Zyrtec. Just like Benadryl their dosings are much higher than human dosings. Finally, if neither seem to help you may need to try a short course of a corticosteroid. Typically pred or temaril p will be dispensed. If the steriods help that rules out behavioral issues.

 

Thanks for the heads-up about the antihistamines! I'll switch over the zyrtec or claritin, both of which I have on hand. I'm keep steroids at the end of the list, since putting him on it would preclude getting a valid biopsy specimen if needed. Same for the behavioral eval -- I have no problem at all having him on psychoactive meds if needed -- first GH Kody was one of the original Prozac patients, and Dandi was on clomipramine for years. It's all about quality of life!

 

Thanks, everyone, for great advice!

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If it is allergies, the thing that has really stopped Rocket's itching and chewing is the Springtime Skin and Coat Oil. His seasonal allergies had him constantly scratching. A few weeks after starting the oil the itching completely stopped and he is bunny fur soft. 1 Tsp of oil on each meal.

 

http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/Skin-and-Coat/All-Natural-Dog-Supplements

 

Thanks to Jan at Camp Greyhound for putting me on to this product!

And thank you for sharing it too. I didn't know about it but I am getting some now toot sweet. I know if it is from Springtime it works.

Hey its ON SALE RIGHT NOW TOO! :)

Edited by racindog
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Figuring it out: Changed food for other reasons. Itching (and chewing) stopped -- we thought it was because of the Genesis spray, which had helped. Several weeks later, due to food change dog's skin was getting a little dry and flaky so we started fish oil. And there were the red itchy feet right back again, within a day or two. Stopped fish oil, itching and chewing stopped, again within a day or two. A perfect scientific experiment :lol .

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest GreyOrchard

No, Mary Jane -- we're not too close, at least not close enough to get there often. That's a great idea, though! Maybe I should set up a baby pool filled with salt water?!?! :P (might not be a bad idea -- if he'd cooperate)

 

THat sounds like a great idea, especially if you use seasalt, though it could indeed be a comforting leftover behaviour from the trauma. Just curious - do you ever give him anything to interrupt the behaviour? A marrow bone or some sort of long term chewie thing or a filled kong? Also have you tried sometimes interrupting the process by, as soon as he starts, slipping on a leash and taking him for a quick 10 minute walk? Or even a grooming or body massage? You can also try soaking his feet in warm water with a lot of cider vinegar in it. In case his feet are itchy, it could help with that. While his feet are soaking you could also give him a wipe-down with a damp cloth. Make it a happy experience.

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THat sounds like a great idea, especially if you use seasalt, though it could indeed be a comforting leftover behaviour from the trauma. Just curious - do you ever give him anything to interrupt the behaviour? A marrow bone or some sort of long term chewie thing or a filled kong? Also have you tried sometimes interrupting the process by, as soon as he starts, slipping on a leash and taking him for a quick 10 minute walk? Or even a grooming or body massage? You can also try soaking his feet in warm water with a lot of cider vinegar in it. In case his feet are itchy, it could help with that. While his feet are soaking you could also give him a wipe-down with a damp cloth. Make it a happy experience.

 

all great ideas. His foster mum told me that she would lie next to him, and, while he was relaxed, gently massage down his legs to his feet, and I've been doing that. Redirecting his attention is an excellent thought, and I'm glad you reminded me about doing that.

 

Timmy is entirely on his kangaroo diet now, and, between that and using loratidine instead of benadryl, I do think I'm seeing improvement. He's chewing less and also doing it less vigorously. Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions!

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Allergies.

 

Seasonal allergies TYPICALLY manifest as itchy armpits, ears, etc. Paw chewing is a classic sign of a food allergy.

 

Having had TWO dogs will allergies, I feel your pain. I just hope Buck remains allergy free, as I could really use a break!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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