View Full Version : My dog won't stop eating at her Paws



blui25
02-02-2010, 07:04 AM
My dog is 1 1/2 years old and constantly chews on her paws to the point they are raw. I have tried giving her allergy medicine thinking that is why she is itching but she will not stop. It is annoying, gross, and looks extremely tacky, does anyone have any advice?

PennyQuilts
02-02-2010, 07:36 AM
First, what kind of dog is she?
Next, is she alone during the day?
Are there other dogs around her?
Is she eating anything else?
How much exercise is she getting?
Can she be getting into something that is causing the allergy?

Most of the dogs I've had or heard about that are eating at their paws is stress related if it isn't an allergy.

tburn
02-02-2010, 08:26 AM
Penny's questions are great!
my vet told us that sheat or beef in some dog foods can cause allergies.
perhaps a change in diet is also needed!

blui25
02-02-2010, 08:26 AM
She is a ****zu. She stays in a crate during the day but always gets a mile walk in, except for during this snow. She eats sensitive system diet dog food and gets no Human food. I just feel bad because I am afraid they hurt and I don't know what to do for her.

mugofbeer
02-02-2010, 08:31 AM
I've always been told the same thing - stress, boredom and allergies. If you have a back yard, let her out in the yard more when you are home - even after her 1 mile walk.

PennyQuilts
02-02-2010, 08:36 AM
I'd take her to the vet for a medical opinion. She sounds miserable.

Are you a member of a dog owner's group, perhaps a breed specific one? I find that they can be extremely helpful in getting answers to problems that may or may not be breed specific. Even if she is getting enough exercise (and I don't know anything about the needs of that breed), I wonder if she is getting enough socializing. If my girls only got a mile of exercise a day, were crated during the day and didn't have each other, they would be out of their minds. But Samoyeds are high energy with the need for family involvement more than many breeds so that may be apples and oranges.

Have you done any internet research on whether that breed is prone to allegies of nervous disorders?

Good luck. What is her name?

blui25
02-02-2010, 09:35 AM
Her name is Sophie, she may have anxiety I just hate it for her. She is outside all the time when I am home. I do feel like she needs a playmate but I can't find a pup I can afford to be her mate! Even the shelters are asking for really high rehoming fees these days.

FritterGirl
02-02-2010, 09:43 AM
Her name is Sophie, she may have anxiety I just hate it for her. She is outside all the time when I am home. I do feel like she needs a playmate but I can't find a pup I can afford to be her mate! Even the shelters are asking for really high rehoming fees these days.

Keep in mind that most of the shelter animals (usually $50-$75) do have a cost associated because they are already up-to-date with all of their shots, have been spayed and/or neutered, and have had in many instances other necessary veterinary care, which has been paid for by that adoption service or agency.

The City's animal shelter adopts out animals for $50 and certain times of the year they will offer adoption specials of $25. They also have a searchable database at www.okc.gov/animalwelfare/adoption.html (http://www.okc.gov/animalwelfare/Adoption.html)

You might try the classifieds or craigslist for dogs that are being given away, but then be warned that you'll also then be responsible for all of those associated vet costs, which many of the shelters are able to get at a discount because of discount arrangements they have with local vets.

You might also consider perusing www.petfinder.com (http://www.petfinder.com) and see if there are any good matches there.

Best of luck to you!

kevinpate
02-02-2010, 10:10 AM
SW Vet
south and east of Riverwind Casino
Take service Rd just east of Casino, off HWY 9

Phone 360-9585

Spouse and niece are both happy with these folks.
Very reasonable in pricing as well.

PennyQuilts
02-02-2010, 12:09 PM
Her name is Sophie, she may have anxiety I just hate it for her. She is outside all the time when I am home. I do feel like she needs a playmate but I can't find a pup I can afford to be her mate! Even the shelters are asking for really high rehoming fees these days.

Maybe being inside with you might calm her down a little. They're pack animals, afterall.

MsDarkstar
02-02-2010, 01:20 PM
She might have a yeast infection. My male dog had a habit of licking and chewing on his paws; sometimes I'd catch him with his whole foot in his mouth! I inspected his pads & they looked ok, except for the damage he'd done himself. I called the vet, they suggested I try a different brand of dog food (hello $40 bag of Blue Buffalo!) because he may have developed a food allergy. They said even if you've had the dog on the same food for years, an allergy could develop. The food change didn't work though so I took him in...turns out, it was a yeast infection and the constant licking was giving the yeast a nice moist place to thrive. He had discoloration on his pads which I thought was just dirty feet from being outside in red dirt; it was actually the infection.


Only other suggestion I can make is if she's crated during the day, leave a radio or tv on for her to keep her company. Might make her feel less alone.

rcjunkie
02-02-2010, 03:32 PM
SW Vet
south and east of Riverwind Casino
Take service Rd just east of Casino, off HWY 9

Phone 360-9585

Spouse and niece are both happy with these folks.
Very reasonable in pricing as well.

I've used Dr. Cline @ SW Vet Clinic for the past 15 years, very nice people and prices are about 1/2 what others charge. Nothing fancy, but excellent service.

dismayed
02-02-2010, 11:07 PM
Well, it could be many different things. If you think maybe it's just dry skin, you could start by switching her to Avoderm, which is a dog food known to have good skin properties. It could also be nutrition related. Dogs are carnivores... even though we feed them dry kibble that is made from various carb and protein sources, dogs can really benefit from some high-quality protein. One thought is if you don't want to buy some kind of specialty dog food you could supplement her diet with some high-protein treats. Dogswell makes some excellent all-natural jerky treats (chicken, duck, beef).

Also you should be consistent with your dog's food. If you are switching brands on her every week or every month that can really cause more significant skin irritation than you'd think.

How often do you bathe her? Some dogs should not be given a bath more than once a month or every two months. If you never give her a bath, then it might be a good idea to get some prescription sensitive-skin dog shampoo at your vet and give her a bath with that.

If it's allergies, you can give your dog Benadryl but you should check with your vet on dosage requirements... you usually cannot give them an entire human pill depending on size. Also many vets will do an allergy test just like the kind they do on humans to determine if she's allergic to something specific.

Contrary to popular belief some dogs do not crate well and can suffer separation anxiety. You can help lessen that by slowly training your dog to be comfortable setting on the other side of the room from you, then in the next room with the door shut, and so on. Also, many vets offer an anti-anxiety product for dogs. I can't think of what it is called right now, but it is basically an eye dropper of alcohol. It just kind of takes the edge off.

Do you take clippers to your dogs fur? Clip their nails? Could something like this be irritating your dog?

Could she be bored? Do you give her a chew toy or something to play with or a challenge to tackle while you are away?

It could be a parasite of some kind. A vet could detect this easily, and the treatment is usually just one or a few pills.

A couple things specific to ****su's... they often need their coat brushed out daily. Also they are bred to be companions, so they need human interaction to be happy. How much time a day do you spend with her? Could you try upping that?

Anyway I hope one of these ideas helps. It's kind of hard to tell what might be causing it so you may have to do some experimentation and see how things work out. Good luck.

PennyQuilts
02-03-2010, 06:49 AM
Nice post, Dismayed.

blui25
02-03-2010, 10:52 AM
Dismayed,
Most of those things have already been done, but thanks. She doesn't change food like I said above, she doesnt' eat table scraps, she's on benadryl, she gets groomed by professionals using products for allergies, and I play outside and in with her for hours each day. She is in her crate while I am at work and that is it, she doesn't sleep in it. She has had blood and skin tests done at the vet so has no parasites.

dismayed
02-03-2010, 09:04 PM
I'm curious, is she biting at the top of her paws, is she biting at and in between her nails, or is she biting at the pads on the bottom of her feet?

Also something I happened to think about is that even if a vet has done allergy blood tests, they only test for reactions to specific substances. If she's allergic to something completely out of the blue and random, like the type of shampoo you use on your carpet in the house, then the vet won't catch that. So even if they give a no allergy result, really that just means that she has no allergies to any of the common stuff they tested her for... not necessarily that she doesn't have an allergy. Just a thought!

PennyQuilts
02-04-2010, 07:27 AM
I looked up the ingredients for sensitive stomach science diet (if that is what it is). Here they are:

Brewers Rice, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Egg Product, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Soybean Oil, Oat Fiber, Dried Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, preserved with mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

Hmm. Honestly, with all those grains as the larger ingredients, I wouldn't give this to my dogs. To be candid - those are pretty awful. They frequently throw in rice because it isn't as hard on them (so they can call it nonallergetic) but meat should be the first ingredient. And second. And third. Corn messes a lot of dogs up. It's really bad.

There is a saying that if you recognize the name, you probably shouldn't feed it to your dog. And I'd forgotten that Science Diet is fairly notorious for people who are all into nutrition for their dogs (like my husband). One of our dogs came down with cancer and he did research while we were fighting it to give her the best shot. We were pretty horrified at what we were putting into our hounds, at the time. We noticed a real difference when we switched to a healthier food. I had forgotten, until he just now reminded me, that Science Diet was one he went out of his way to avoid. It is marketed to sound like it is good for them but it isn't. At least it isn't for some. A healthy dog can probably overcome it but many don't do so well.

Sams used to have an excellent generic bad of food and it wasn't expensive.

Anyhoo, here are a couple of links. One is a listing of commercial dog foods and the other is a whole website devoted to the subject of dogs and nutrition.

Dog Food Ratings | Dog Food Reviews (http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/)

The Dog Food Project - How does your Dog Food Brand compare? (http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=main)

The second website has a list of redflag ingredients to avoid.

Good luck.

MsProudSooner
02-04-2010, 10:16 AM
You might give EVO dog food a try.

Grain-Free Dog Food, Cat Food, Ferret Food & Dog Treats Meat-Based Pet Food EVO Pet Products (http://www.evopet.com/)

I have a cat that threw up at least once a day. (You would think he would be skinny, but he isn't.) I switched him to EVO and he seldom throws up now. It's not cheap, but generally, you feed them less food than with other brands.

PennyQuilts
02-04-2010, 01:05 PM
Evo is good stuff. We give ours Taste of the Wild, dry, and Diamond wet (not the best or worst) and supplement with a brown rice/salmon/chicken/vegetable casserole sorta deal. Husband whips up a batch every other weekend and we keep it on hand. The girls also get yogurt and pumpkin for digestive reasons.

blui25
02-04-2010, 01:35 PM
She is actually on a salmon and soy diet.

dismayed
02-04-2010, 08:18 PM
Evo is good. It is really rich though... ya kinda have to acclimate your doggy to it gradually to keep the upset stomach away. At least I did.

Right now I'm feeding my dog Pinnacle duck and potato mix. He is a total duck fiend... it's his favorite. He also gets Dogswell treats and things like that.

There's a new dog food that's hit the market here recently, at least new to me, called Timberwolf Organics. My dog loved it, and it is chock-full of protein. It's just way too expensive though. If you have a small dog though the price might not be so bad.

Penny that is interesting that you were able to post the nutritional information on that dog food. I did a lot of looking into that as well when I first got my dog and was really surprised to find that pretty much all mass-marketed dog food is full of filler and sugar. You almost have to go to Petsmart, Petco, or a specialty store like Mann's Best Friend to get the good stuff.

PennyQuilts
02-04-2010, 08:21 PM
Penny that is interesting that you were able to post the nutritional information on that dog food. I did a lot of looking into that as well when I first got my dog and was really surprised to find that pretty much all mass-marketed dog food is full of filler and sugar. You almost have to go to Petsmart, Petco, or a specialty store like Mann's Best Friend to get the good stuff.

We've had good luck at some of the local feed stores. We already gave our girls Taste of the Wild (which we had to really look for in Northern Virginia) and were delighted that when we moved back home, Dawson's feed and another store (can't recall which) carry it in Mustang. Dawson's also has Food for the Doglover's Soul, which is a really dumb name but it is pretty good food.

FritterGirl
02-05-2010, 11:29 AM
Britton Feed & Seed on Britton Road between Western and the B'Way Extension has a broad selection of super-premium dog and cat foods, including Innova, EVO, Wellness, California Natural, Diamond and several other brands (we feed Innova and Wellness). They also have frozen raw foods, as well as a variety of natural treats, supplements and frozen treats. Not a single brand carried by Britton Feed & Seed was included in the poison pet food scare of November 2008. I was THRILLED we never had to worry a second about that. They have exceptional service and know their stuff.

Another excellent source for dog food matters is Whole Dog Journal (http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/?s=GL_GN_3&st=PPC&gclid=CPDP-Zjq258CFQsMDQodViP-HA). It is via subscription only (about 8 issues a year for $25), and they do NOT sell advertising, but they do an annual break-down of all of the super-premium foods as part of their food survey - with both wet and dry foods included, and provide exceptional data on where even individual ingredients come from. Their articles are exceptionally well-researched and focus not only on nutrition, but training (positive methods), toys, and wholistic pet care.


One of the reasons so many veterinarians sell Science Diet is because they are paid for that privilege. It used to be an independent company. Now it is owned by one of the biggies (can't remember which), so from a quality standpoint, while it may have some advantages, it's still NOT a super-premium food. It also in some instances costs MORE than some of the super-premium brands, which don't have to rely as much on marketing and high-volume distribution.

meginok
02-05-2010, 03:14 PM
FYI, while I LOVE Britton Feed & Seed, and they're the only feed store I use, and while I trust their advice implicitly and would recommend feeding any brand they carry, they DID carry one brand affected by the massive pet food recalls in '07 or whenever it was. Natural Balance was affected, though I don't remember all of the details. I paid special attention, because it was the first of the "super-premium" brands affected, and it was a brand I had used (had a dog with massive allergies, and she thrived on the duck/potato).

Having said that, I believe they stopped carrying Natural Balance after that.

I do think that vast improvements could be made to diet in this case. I would also recommend reading up on kefir, as supplementing one of my dog's feed with it REALLY helped his messed up tummy, as well as some foot-chewing issues (which I think were part neurotic habit - shelter dog who had been abused but eventually settled in). If you can't obtain any kefir grains or aren't comfortable with that (admittedly off-putting) process, you might add just a small spoonful of plain, active-culture yogurt to her feed.

And I really would recommend reading a bit on dog foods and slowly transitioning to a new brand of food.

meginok
02-05-2010, 03:15 PM
Forgot to say...GOOD LUCK! Hope you find something that works for you. I know it's awful to watch our pets be so uncomfortable.

betts
03-09-2010, 08:18 AM
I don't know if you're interested in reading an entire book, but there's one called "The Dog Listener" by Jan Ferrell. If you read her book, it sounds like some of the things she does are nothing short of miraculous, but I do think her primary premise is excellent. I've tried using her techniques with my dog and they work. She's got a chapter on a dog that chews on its paws.

I sometimes think dogs who self multilate are bored too, as has been suggested. Could you let her stay in the house outside of her crate? I would think she's probably reasonably trained by now. Some dogs like to watch Animal Planet. A frozen kong with peanut butter inside it might be more attractive than her paws.

Also, most vets have lists of dogs that have been found and some have already been spayed. I would think you could find another one that doesn't need to be spayed or neutered which might cut the cost considerably.