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Old 11-23-2011, 09:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Swollen/infected looking paws

My dog Josh has some sores around his toes. They are now worse due to him licking them. What could I do to help relieve some of this pain. I saw some booties online which may help, but whats to say he doesn't tear them off at night and eats one. My last doberman did that.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you think they are swollen because he has been licking and chewing them? If so, it could be allergies. For this I give benadryl or zyrtec. My adult female takes one zyrtec or two regular strength benadryl. My vet has told me anti-histamines are very safe, but you could still call the er vet and ask for specific dosage for your dogs weight.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Or a yeast infection, if he's keeping them all wet and sticky.

Antihistamines help with itching, but I think I would go to the vet to get an initial diagnosis and then could go on treating myself, but using the medication that is aimed exactly at the problem.

Dobermans can also develop an obsessive/compulsive habit of licking feet or legs and causing a lick granuloma (more or less). Lick granulomas are really difficult to cure, because there is a psychological component to the problem. I would do what I could to make sure I am treating the problem correctly, soon, to avoid the possibility of your dobe starting a lick/hurt/itch cycle.
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Last edited by melbrod; 11-24-2011 at 12:25 AM..
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My guess is that he has got a combo of nasties started due to the licking and also possibly due to allergies. I would do the vet thing, and I would request a prescription ointment called Animax. Animax contains stuff to kill bacteria and fungi, and a topical steroid to take care of swelling and itching. You want the ointment which is thin and oily and seeps into everywhere, as versed to the cream which is thick and requires gobs and gobs to get it spread around. Use it three or four times a day, and go outside to play immediately after you apply it so it isn't just licked off right away. Make sure it gets EVERYWHERE... between the toes from the top and between the pads on the bottom, all the way deep. In my experience, even if you figure out why this started, you will not get it stopped without topical meds... the meds will probably begin to bring relief on the first day, and have things fixed up in less than a week.

Corn and/or wheat in food, treats or extras? Possibly flax? If yes, get rid of all the offenders. Hopefully, you did answer yes to this, since altering the diet is the easiest fix.

No booties... warm and lack of air circulation will make things worse, and make your dog nutz.
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Vetericyn is what I used on Buddy when he got to licking on his feet this last summer worked great.Good Luck with your boy.
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't know if this is even a possibility where you live, but in Los Angeles, there was this horrible plant (or part of a plant) that was called a "foxtail" and when they would dry in the fall/winter they would often end up in poor puppy feet Due to the shape of the plant/seed thing, they would continue to migrate once embedded. Often the only sign that owners get is the obsessive licking.
Those booties really don't work. I've tried them... especially if your dog is already licking. I would recommend taking him to the vet to first try and figure out if it is allergies, bug bite, infection... Once that's determined, you can have the vet teach you how to wrap the foot with Vetwrap, gauze and ointment... you can then spray the Vetwrap bandage with Bitter Apple. This helps keep them from ripping the bandage off. Though it is best if the vet will let you take some supplies home cause you are most likely going to have to re-wrap the foot at some point.
If you have never wrapped a foot before, definitely have the vet show you how cause it is relatively easy to wrap it too tight and cut off circulation.
Best of luck... feets licking can be really annoying :/
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think it is a combination of him licking his feet, and me wiping off his feet from when he comes in. I may need to use something other than just a dry towel. I tried putting socks over them, but he slips them off as soon as I leave the room.

I thought about taping them onto his legs, but was wondering if the adhesive would mess with his skin. That licking sound drives me crazy, sounds so damn nasty. He is just making it worse and worse. I will try some of the suggestions listed above and see where that gets me. I feed him taste of the wild, so there are no grains.

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Old 11-24-2011, 02:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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As you've already been having some anxiety/attention seeking issues with this pup, the licking could very likely be related to it. It becomes a self soothing and compulsive behaviour similar to OCD. Stress/anxiety will exaccerbate it.

Try to redirect him by playing with him or giving him some training tasks/exercises when he starts to lick...also lots of exercise and activity...but also see the vet to rule out any underlying issues. It may also be worth getting the vet to do a full thyroid check and blood panel if nothing obvious is the cause...again; just to rule things out.

good luck...if it's ocd linked it can be frustrating to deal with.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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ah yes... if it is anxiety related then make sure your pup has plenty of toys and stimulation. When Doc Holliday would get exceptionally needy or if I needed to study and didn't have a lot of time to play, I would give him a raw bison bone. He loved them and would work at it usually for about two hours. Then he would go to sleep =) win win

There is also a great product out there called Composure that is a mixture of colostrum and B vitamins. I call it "puppy weed" O_O
It isn't a sedative, it just takes the edge off and can be used to help calm really anxious dogs. I would give it to Doc prior to really stressful situations and it really seemed to help.

I would have a vet check Josh's feet first though cause if it is a yeast infection or something along those lines, it probably isn't going to resolve on its own.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Could be allergies, yeast or some other cause. If allergy, it could be contact or food or environmental. When my gal had it about a year ago, the vet had her try benadryl; then zyrtec along with soaking her feet for 5 minutes in a chlorhexedine(diluted in water so color of pale tea) solution. I did this for 2+ months and it didn't do any good (well, her feet were really clean lol). Then the vet put her on some steroids for a short time and she stopped.
Two months ago she was diagnosed with Wobbler's. I mention this because about a month before the diagnosis I noticed she was licking and chewing her feet again. I wondered if it might be some arthritis. Well, when I took her in 2 months ago it was because she started dragging the tops of her feet where I noticed and heard it. Now I think back and think that the tops of her toes may have been hurting due to early Wobbler's and dragging her feet.
Your dogs are pretty young so it is probably allergies but I just thought I would mention this about the foot dragging in case someone else's older dog starts chewing and licking their paws. Check to see how they are walking...does it sound like the nails are hitting the ground even tho the nails are relatively short...
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Have you taken him to the vet? It could be an infection. If he ran and slid in into something, he may have jammed his toe nails - that can cause them to get infected. If that is the case, he will probably need some antibiotics as well as you keeping him from licking them.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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There is an excellent thread on here about "lick granulomas" or "acral lick sores", recently. Check it out.

The fact that it's his feet leads me to stongly believe it's an allergy (which is an easier fix), but I am not a vet. Good luck!

Oh, and pass on the booties. Money down the drain, and likely exacerbate the problem.

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Old 11-25-2011, 09:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Also, please note if it's a true "OCD" licking behavior, there is a genetic componet. I went through all the literature with a fine toothed comb and came out thinking MOST of it said that my girl was either under stimulated or under exercised. Neither were true. She was my running training partner for two marathons (short days and sprint drills) and won her division in sereval rover runs. Some dogs adopt this behavior out of boredom, others will do it practically in their sleep. It can be the owners fault, but it isn't always.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Also thought I would add my sister wipes her Boston terrier down with baby wipes the ones with Aloe in them also wipes his paws down.Can buy them at the Dollar store usually.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If he has open sores you need to get him into the vet before you do anything else.
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