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Old September 15th, 2016, 10:02 PM
AllieandHank AllieandHank is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1
Dog Constantly Licking and Biting Paws

Hello All,

I have been reading several posts and online articles for months about dogs with similar habits, but they always seem to be different from our case. I have a mixed-breed mutt, hes currently 7.5 years old and we have been dealing with his constant licking/biting paw and scratching his ever for the last two years. We are at a loss. The vet said that it is probably allergies, though what they could not say for sure without an allergy test that is out of budget and then possible some therapy shots that would also be costly and not guaranteed to fix the problem.

He never had issues as a puppy, and when this started we tried all sorts of things, changing to grain free food, limited ingredient food, the vet has given him steroid shots that have helped slightly for a few days, but is not a long term solution.

He licks his feet raw, there is hardly air fur left and he will often gnaw until they are bleeding and raw. He will often scratch at his eyes and nose, but nowhere else. This has gone on to become progressively worse and he has gnawed all the fur from his paws and his skin is quite torn up.

Were really hoping there is something we can do for him, as right now the best weve found is having him wear a cone, but since my husband and I work full time hes stuck in it for most of the day. Even with a cone hes managed to get at his paws quite frequently. We really dont have the resources for constant vet visits/tests and shots, especially since nothing has really worked and a few have been nonchalantly informed us there is little that they can do anyway. We love our dog and want him to have the best quality of life we can give him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

We were told at the shelter that hes probably a lab/border collie/pit bull mix. Hes about 75-80 lbs and generally a low key, easy going dog.

Food Details

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Salmon & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food:

Deboned Salmon, Potatoes, Peas, Pea Starch, Salmon Meal (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Glucosamine), Tapioca Starch, Pea Fiber, Canola Oil (Source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Protein, Natural Flavor, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Fish Oil (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Pumpkin, Dried Chicory Root, Choline Chloride, Flaxseed (Source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Potato Starch, Caramel Color, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Dl-Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols (A Natural Preservative), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Ferrous Sulfate, Parsley, Dried Kelp, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Turmeric, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Oil of Rosemary, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Taurine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.

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Old September 15th, 2016, 11:14 PM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 717
I don't have any good advice for you, but I know how frustrating it can be to find a solution. We tried everything possible to get one of our cats to stop chewing, and finally narrowed it down to a chicken allergy, we think. There are only two foods that are totally chicken free, he has been on one for 3 months now, and has improved greatly, so were assuming it was the chicken. We have him off of OCD meds, and I'm going to start using scented litter again instead of fragrance free. If he doesn't start chewing again, I know its the chicken

Have you tried the collar that looks like a doughnut for your dog, it didn't work for our cat, but might on a dog. I wish you luck, it is so hard to find a solution.
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Old September 16th, 2016, 08:04 AM
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Loki Love Loki Love is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Regina, SK
Posts: 536
Would you consider switching to a raw diet? There could be something that is common in nearly all kibble that he's reacting to - and raw may be the best option at this point (and it may not work, but at this point it may be worth a try).

As for medications - I would strongly suggest asking your vet about Apoquel - it has been a miracle worker for us and Loki's skin issues (once we realized the steroids were affecting his liver levels too much).

I can certainly sympathize - having gone through a period of time where it didn't matter what we tried and did for Loki, his skin was a mess - it took us nearly a year or so to finally get it under control.
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Old September 16th, 2016, 09:19 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,528
Environmental allergies are more common than food intolerances. It might not be food at all. If you still suspect food and budget is tight a better method of testing food is to try feeding a home cooked diet for a few months of a novel protein and carb. It's hoped he won't have developed an intolerance to a food he's never had before.

Going raw might not be a solution for long. There are fewer antigen sites in raw food than there are in kibble. Intolerances build up as the antigens accummulate in the body and the dog will likely react them eventually, it will just take longer. And then if you still don't know which foods are the culprit (if it is food) then you won't know which raw food is now the culprit. However it might be a short term, maybe even a long term, solution.

Do I understand steroids didn't work? Prednisone did work for my boy but it has some pretty awful side effects. Atopica or the newer Apoquel help many dogs. They are considered a lesser evil than Prednisone. And they will be much more expensive.

Due to serious gut health issues my boy did go on the novel protein and carb, then to raw, then got sick again and back to a kibble recommended for his gut issue and for allergies. As soon as he went on the home cooked he stopped itching from his seasonal environmental allergies. That was two years ago and he still is not itching. This was all done through two Vets, our new HOlistic Integrative Vet and the INternal Specialist Vet. It was not cheap. If you would like to check out the food it's Rayne Kangaroo Maintenance and it is not cheap either. There is just no easy, cheap way to handle the darn allergies, intolerances.

Good luck. Maybe you can scrap up the money somehow, establish a credit plan with a Vet specializing in Dermatology? Me, I think it must be torture for your dog to be itchy and not able to scratch because he has a cone on. I hope you can find another solution.
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Old September 17th, 2016, 08:54 AM
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marko marko is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal Quebec Canada
Posts: 12,651
Environmental allergies are more common than food intolerances. It might not be food at all. If you still suspect food and budget is tight a better method of testing food is to try feeding a home cooked diet for a few months of a novel protein and carb. It's hoped he won't have developed an intolerance to a food he's never had before.
I have seen the reality of this statement many times. Food allergies are specific so they are much easier to test versus the myriad of potential allergens in the environment. I agree with LB's Raw suggestion.

Good luck!
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Old September 17th, 2016, 03:55 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Where are walking your dog , maybe you could try washing his paws off when he get back home and see if this help . What kind of dog do you have ? I would love to see a pic of it
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