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Mavis chews her feet. Does anyone else have this problem? She will stop if I tell her to, but if left to her own devices, she would be happy to chew the pads off all four of her feet. They heal pretty quick if she would just leave them alone, which is the crux of my problem. I tape them up sometimes when the situation gets really bad, thankfully not very often. When I see her start I check them out real closely, but I am yet to see any obvious problems. My vet also has Dobies and her dogs have the same habbit. She is able to ignore her feet, sometimes for months at a time, but for the last couple of days she can't leave them alone. I was planning on going for a hike tomorrow, but it looks like maybe next week now if she can leave her feet alone in the meantime. Any advice anyone can pass along will be very much appreciated.

Thanks, Mavis and Chaz. (I'm Chaz)
 

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Diesel chews his feet but never does any damage, well at least not so far, seems to chew his nails also, he must be about 7-months now and I have never needed to clip them...
 

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Sea Hag
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Chaz said:
Mavis chews her feet. Does anyone else have this problem? She will stop if I tell her to, but if left to her own devices, she would be happy to chew the pads off all four of her feet. They heal pretty quick if she would just leave them alone, which is the crux of my problem. I tape them up sometimes when the situation gets really bad, thankfully not very often. When I see her start I check them out real closely, but I am yet to see any obvious problems. My vet also has Dobies and her dogs have the same habbit. She is able to ignore her feet, sometimes for months at a time, but for the last couple of days she can't leave them alone. I was planning on going for a hike tomorrow, but it looks like maybe next week now if she can leave her feet alone in the meantime. Any advice anyone can pass along will be very much appreciated.

Thanks, Mavis and Chaz. (I'm Chaz)
You might try a different food. Paw chewing and licking is a really common symptom of food allergies.
 

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Thanks MurreyDobe,
I'll give it a try. About six or seven weeks ago they all came down with the kennel-cough, and while they were on anti-biotics she didn't even look at her feet so I think you might be on to something.
 

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My Lab used to do that. Hers wasn't a food problem, but a fungus problem. The vet gave me some stuff i was supposed to use to soak her feet 5 min. twice a day. Big pain. I got some Fungisan from Drs.Foster & Smith and took cotton and wet her feet with it 2x a day, and soon, no more licking. Might give it a try.
 

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My old Pit, Storm, did this from the day she was born until the day she died. She actually did "lick off" one of her pads several times. When they got really bad we had to soak them in Novalson (I think that's how it's spelled) and wrap them and then soak the bandages in bitter apple. For the longest time we thought that it was a behavioral thing but the more that I think about it now, I think it was a circulation thing. Her feet were always cold. She died at about 10yrs old of heart failure, too young... I can't help but think that if we had maybe noticed the cold feet and constant licking as a symptom years ago, she'd be with us today...
 

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In many instances this foot chewing/licking is behavioural, due to unkown stresses from the past or even present that have shaped this behaviour. Other times, as mentioned, it can be allergy or health related. Best to rule out the easy of the options, since your vet was unable to provide an explaination, perhaps change the food and up the activity level on a day to day basis.

Also it may be benificial to incorporate some OB activity even in the late evening (prime time for dogs to relax and turn to their own devices) in the house, like when your just sitting on the couch or watching television. Just to keep Mavis's mind working as much as possible and leaving less time to think about how much her paws "need" licked. Just basic stuff, that you can do from the couch. Maybe teach her how to find things you've hidden, etc.......

Try keeping bones available for her, I personally don't recommend rawhides. I provide large soup bones that I freeze prior to giving them to the dog on a large blanket. I do this periodically, but especially when I haven't had the opputunity to work or run the dogs.

Well there's some options that all pretty much address the behaviour end of it, I don't know what else to recommend, except maybe call a few different vets in regard to health related issues.... Good luck, let us know how things turn out.
 

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Sea Hag
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Chaz said:
Thanks MurreyDobe,
I'll give it a try. About six or seven weeks ago they all came down with the kennel-cough, and while they were on anti-biotics she didn't even look at her feet so I think you might be on to something.
I don't know what you're feeding now, but I'd switch to a food with a minimum number of ingredients. There are a number of kibbles made specifically for dogs with allergies..California Natural is one. Also Natural Balance has two kibbles for allergies-venison and brown rice and duck and potato.
 
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