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How can you stop a dog licking his paws?

(15 Posts)
kid Wed 07-Sep-11 21:41:07

My dog had a grass seed removed from his front paw a couple of weeks ago. He did lick it for a couple of days but then stopped.

He has now started licking his back paw, on the pads, and its looking very pink and sore.
I can't see anything on his foot, it doesn't seem like it hurts as he lets me touch it and doesn't cry. If anything, I think its just really itchy as when I touch it, he spreads the pads out so I can get between them!

I've tried washing it in salt water but he just licks all the water off. I've given him some piriton and that stops the licking but not for long.

Do I need to stop him licking it or will he stop when he is ready?
Tonight I have been holding his collar to stop him reaching it and he doesn't put up a fight to try and get it.
Do you think I should take him to the vets or wait a bit longer? Today is the 2nd day he has been licking it.

DoesItWearingWellies Thu 08-Sep-11 03:03:25

The fact piriton helps to stop the licking tends to suggest it stops the itching occurring so it may be some kind of dermatitis. It may be worth taking him to the vet just for peace of mind.

There is evidence to suggest that licking releases endorphins so makes the dog feel good. Whilst it may have started to releve pain, it can become a habit. If at all possible, just stop your dog licking/distract him with other things every time he starts and try to break the behavioural cycle.

ceres Thu 08-Sep-11 04:11:56

my staffie has allergies - he's allergic to practically everything! he licks his paws until they are raw given half a chance.

we give him piriton daily and also use aloe vera gel to soothe his paws and calm the itching. if he is at his paws a lot then i put socks on him, i just use baby socks and secure with velcro straps. he tolerates this very well......and looks very cute in his socks!!

higgle Thu 08-Sep-11 09:57:48

My Staffie is a paw licker too - fortunately he does not make them sore, just seems to be his favourite leisure activity in the evenings!

kid Sat 10-Sep-11 18:09:58

I found another dreaded grass seed in one of his feet (not the one he keeps licking) so I removed that. It had literally only just pierced his skin so thats a relief.

I've noticed he is a bit scabby behind his ears and also between some of his toes. Also, the fur between his toes are a bit hard and tangled.
Not sure what else to do other than soak his feet and attempt to untangle the hair or trim it very short without cutting him. He is a springer spaniel.
The hair isn't massively matted, just a little bit in some areas between his toes. Never had any trouble with a dog and their feet before!
Our previous yorkie was allergic to pollen and fleas so we had to bathe his skin in aspiring disolved in water a couple of times a week. I don't want to do that with this dog without seeking advice first.

DoesItWearingWellies Sat 10-Sep-11 18:47:02

Do you have any hair clippers? DD1 shaves the fur between our dog's toes with some as it saves them from getting cut accidentally.

It sounds as though your Springer has some kind of dermatitis with the scabs behind his ears, so it may be worth going to the vet.

Hope you get it sorted soon.

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 10-Sep-11 18:54:00

I was going to say sounds like a seasonal allergy. It can be really common, and is the doggy equivalent of our hay-fever. When we breath in pollens/ irritants it causes histamine release in our upper airways (asthma/ hayfever). When dogs inhale allergens it seems to cause histamine release in their skin, often in classic sites like the paws/ ears/ face, sometimes under their armpits or in their groin too. If your dog responds to anti-histamines, that is great- many don't, for some reason! I would take your dog to the vet, because the itch can become really uncomfortable, and the resultant licking can cause surface bacteria to multiply and get into the skin, causing infection, which in turn makes your dog more itchy....etc etc!

Bathing the feet in tepid water, sometimes with a tiny bit of salt added, can relieve the discomfort somewhat, but make sure you pat them dry with kitchen roll, as the bacteria like hot and wet!

walkersmum Sun 11-Sep-11 07:37:10

One of my spaniels had this problem and it was an allery to gluten / wheat, once we cut this out of his diet then no more problems. Worth try allery test at vets or trying to work out what is causing the allergic reaction.

kid Sun 11-Sep-11 10:18:50

I feed him royal canine, is that a brand that is good for allergies or one that irritates them further?

He didn't lick his feet at all yesterday but I know that doesn't mean he won't lick them ever again.

SpringHeeledJack Sun 11-Sep-11 10:23:07

another habitual staffy paw licker here higgle- every night our tv watching has permanent soundscape of sluuuuuuuuuurp! sluuuuuuuuuuuurp! in background

drives dp crackers, but that's the only time she does it- think it's her chill out thing

and [soppy face] at staff in socks

aaawwwwww

fledtoscotland Tue 13-Sep-11 22:35:49

We bought anti chew spray as we have a 5month old pup. My older dog had a grass seed and was continually licking even after it was removed. Chew spray has the same ingredients (bitex I think) as that stop & grow we used to put on nails to stop kids biting them. Said it was suitable for fur to stop licking after wounds had healed. It worked - one spray and he didnt bother with it.

daisydotandgertie Wed 14-Sep-11 04:15:02

Royal Canin is, although expensive, a pretty poor food. It's part of the masterfoods group and for that reason alone, I won't feed it but it also is a poor quality food and contants high proportions of wheat and maize which are common allergens. It is also high in fat, imo.

I'd move away from it and try something which is based on pork and potato, or fish and potato. Try it for a month or so and see if there's any improvement. I suspect there will be!

kid Wed 14-Sep-11 06:40:35

He has now stopped licking his paw and the scabs behind his ears have gone. His eyes were also a bit red for a while which has also now cleared up.
I think he had a seasonal allergy like jools suggested. I read they are very common between 1 and 3 years of age, he is 15 months old.

I'll look into getting some other food. It's so hard to know what is a good quality but affordable food. I thought rc was okay as dog trainer recommended it. Oh well, back to the drawing board to find an alternative.

walkersmum Wed 14-Sep-11 06:45:57

I feed Acana, looks pricey but you feed less as no fillers. Do check the feeding guide as a lot of the cheaper foods you need to feed more.
Good ones are Acana, Orijen, Fish 4 Dogs

daisydotandgertie Wed 14-Sep-11 20:33:21

Pets at Home also do the Wainwright's range which is pretty good value. Try the pork and potato and see how it goes. Or Skinners Salmon and Rice which is also good quality and value.

At the moment it's about eliminating wheat and maize to see if it suits him better, so I'd go for the easy to find option at a reasonable price to see if it makes any difference.

And bear in mind that over feeding can show itself as skin issues - so rather than feeding to the guidelines on the packet, feed by eye. Feed as little as your dog needs (assuming it's an adult - I can't remember how old he is) to keep his condition. If he starts to look a bit skinny, increase the quantity a bit and if he starts to look a bit porky, decrease the quantity. None of my dogs have ever needed as much as the manufacturers recommend - not by a long way.

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