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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a 2.5 year old Red Doberman called Indy. In her second summer I noticed her continually licking her feet but did not think anything of it at first. When I checked them they were very red and looked really sore, that was the beginning. I took her to our vet and he did an allergy test and then gave her a cortisone shot. This settled it down for a few weeks. Allergy test results showed that she had an environmental contact allergy to grass pollen.
Since then it has been a constant battle with her licking mainly her feet. Her second summer was really hard, it got to the point where she would make wounds on one paw and then on another etc... the only thing we could think of was to get a 'cone' so she could'nt get to her feet while we were at work. I also washed and dried her feet and applied cream every night. She also has had two courses of antibiotics (little blue tablets) but after a while they did not seem to work anymore. The vet also said it should ease off during winter.
At first it was really good but then a few months ago she started licking again and sores would pop up overnight, these sores were worse than before, quite pussy and slightly yellow/green. more recently when she has a sore on her paw(s) it started to get very swollen, even to the point of not wanting to walk on it. This is where I have started to get really worried. Prior to this it was manageable but swollen limbs are really not good! Throughout this whole ordeal I have tried everything I can think of to help her with this. Below is a list of what I have done
- Foot bath with camomile
- been to my naturopath and given her natural remedies.This is the most recent path in trying to help her (this really seems to have helped especially with her immune system, which my naturopath thinks is has not been working properly, or at all recently)
- Put her on a total RAW food diet filled with lots of the goodies such as Flaxseed oil, organis apple cider vinegar, kelp powder as well as meaty bones, mince, chicken necks and range of fruit and vegies etc...

I have also tried paw booties so that I eliminate the contact of paw on grass but she systematically chewed each booty off until I only have one left! At $100 for four its an expensive chew toy!

Since doing alot of research I would really like to keep her away from the mainstream medications, cortisone and antibiotics as I do not feel they do anything. As mentioned, my nautopath thinks the more recent and serious issue of wounds opening up overnight and causing swollen limbs can be attributed to her immune system not functioning properly. So I have been giving her remedies, feeding her RAW food diet but I just cannot seem to let her have any freedom without the cone as she just licks straight away! I have read that dobermans can be prone to OCD licking but What else can I do???
As I have read, it seems there are many in my position dealing with differing allergies and I just want the best for her (without seeing her in a cone all the time!) Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thanks for reading such a huge post!
 

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terriorist entertainer
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My first dobe used to get really bad contact dermatitis on his belly and under arms and legs. He was on cortisone shots for it until some of the people in the dobermann club suggested I should eliminate red meat from his diet. I did and it did improve immensely. (no cortisone required).

I find with any human or animal wound, bite, sting or itch, essential lavender oil works very effectively in preventing and clearing up topical infection, soothing the itch and deterring licking (needs to be re-applied every 2 hrs or so until the site heals if combating licking).

I think some form of antihistamine might help too, but you would need to be given the dosage by your vet.
Check carefully the type of plants and grasses at your house, and replant non allergenic if possible. Drastic measures like paving rather than grass should also be considered.

left field option could be a footbath (similar to that used in quarrantine) outside each door. And regular foot baths in salt water (dry well afterwards and dab with either lavender oil or an iodine solution like malawash. I'll keep brainstorming some ideas over the next few days...poor Indy, as a sufferer of chronic hayfever...I empathise.

plant some aloevera plants and use the gel from the split leaves directly on the site to soothe too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thankyou so much for your thoughts and ideas, every suggestion is welcome. I will try the lavender oil and see if that helps with the sores, and perhaps deter her from licking! She got to one of her feet just after i gave her dinner, the 15 mins i was eating my dinner and she didnt have her cone on and already her paw is swelling up? I just cant believe how instant it is now! I have bathed it twice tonight with Calendula to try and reduce any infection that may be starting. Hopefully she wakes up and it is ok.
It is interesting that you mention red meat, I have never heard of that one? did you replace with chicken, pork, fish etc?
anyway, thanks again
 

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Chicken and turkey with vegies and rice mostly. in the end he ended up on Hills Pd for pancreatic issues.

however, now that I have more experience, I would definitely include white fish like sardines and tuna in the diet too. (plus vegies and fruit)

I hope something works...the poor girl must be miserable with it....and it would be so worrying and frustrating for you too.

Couch grass seems to be a major irritant, also creepers like wandering dew.

teatree might also help when the wounds are inflamed...diluted in a foot bath, or dabbed on with a salt water soaked cotton ball.
also Apple cider vinegar works great on horses saddle sores...it might also help the healing process.
 

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Would wiping her feet off with baby wipes work? I got "all natural" ones that are unscented, and I use them to wipe Rosie off after she Doberdozes through the bushes for fun
 

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LindaH has some really good suggestions when it comes to this stuff. I've been working with her about Harley's allergies so maybe PM her if she doesn't see this thread.
 

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Flax is a major allergen for many dogs, as well as being an inappropriate and not very useful form of Omega 3 fatty acids... it can cause exactly what you are seeing. I would ditch this and replace it with fish or krill oil.

A course of antibiotics which is long enough to actually address this may be necessary. All too frequently, vets are reluctant to prescribe the six or eight (or even more) weeks which it takes to get these skin infections under control. Repeated short courses do more harm than good, building better, stronger, more resistant bacteria. I know it's not what you want to hear, but it is what it is...
 

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Hello! Sorry to learn your dog have an allergy to grass pollen. Not much can be done to avoid that during summer time. I read in another thread someone have been using something called Musher's Secret to put on his dog's paws and that was helping a lot.

I never used this product, so I could not vouch for it, but if my dog had the same kind of problems I would try it.
 

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One of the best things you can do is add sardines, water packed, drained and rinsed, to your dogs diet everyday. Sardines will build up the skin health from within and reduce inflamation greatly. You can also give extra virgin coconut oil along with sardines as they are different fatty acids and both are absorbed well together. You can also use the coconut oil topically on her poor feet. Give a whole tin, 4.3 oz, 124 grams, of sardines split into two feedings before regular meal to reduce fishy breath, every day for a month and then see where she's at. From there you can either maintain what you feeding or reduce to 1/2 tin a day and see how she does. Get rid of the flax seed oil as suggested. I use acv/water spray on any spots my boy develops 3 or 4 times a day and have good luck. But dont let her lick acv at this strength or put acv mix on raw places. Have never tried coconut oil topically, but it is supposed to work very well. Wipe down with unscented baby wipes or damp wash cloth when she comes inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for all your ideas and knowledge. I will take her off the flaxseed oil, only been using it for 2 weeks so was not the initial problem but I will definately be getting the virgin coconut oil which I had also heard of. I think the major issue at the moment is just getting her to stop licking her feet! She just seems so intent on getting to them, even when they are not red and I havent taken her anywhere where she can have been in contact with anything irritating?
Thanks again

:)
 

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Sasha my old Boxer (now sadly passed on) used to lick her feet till she made them bleed, literally. Often she would become so fixed on it you could literally walk up to her and shout her name and she would continue, however, we found redirection worked with her. My vet said it wasnt because she had an allergy, but rather she had the usual problems Boxers get with their feet (cysts) and the fact that it releases endorphins into her brain which made her feel good.
I do sympathise and wish you the best in your endevours to sort this problem out. :kiss:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just was at this web site looks promising for dogs that lick their feet.
DermaPaw None of my dogs have feet licking issues Buddy just has one side baldness ?
Thankyou so much for this link, it does look very promising! So many good news stories and much happier pups! I will be purchasing this product and giving it a go. I am ready to try anything to help my girl!
I will let you all know how it goes
 

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Thanks would like to know how it works did you see the video's with the socks too would have to be careful if you do go with the socks and harness since Dobes are goats too. You would not want the dog to eat the socks that is for sure. Good Luck
 
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