This is a serious question...

  1. Ok Folks~ Here goes and please don't laugh!
    I have a Dalmation who is about 9 y/o. She's a pretty big girl, and I can tell her hips are starting to give her some pain. But there's one thing I have noticed...
    She is licking her front left paw until it bleeds! There is no fur or skin left on it! She just keeps on and on. My husband and I bandage it with medicine, but by morning, she has torn the bandage off. We pour peroxide on it nightly, but as soon as we let her go (and she's not easy to hold on to), she's back to licking it.
    Is it a nervous condition? What can I do for her? I know it's awful, but we can't afford to take her to the vet without me working right now...
    Any ideas? I'd appreciate it.
    Thanks everyone!
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    About GPatty, BSN, RN

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 3,725; Likes: 460


  3. by   pkmom
    our dog was doing something similar to that so my hubby washed her and applied neosporin 2 or 3 times a day. It healed and she stopped licking it.
    Hope this helps.
  4. by   KC CHICK
    Have you tried one of those BIG COLLARS that won't let her get to her paw to lick it. My 16 y/o cat likes to lick places sometimes till it's bare. Have to put a collar on her every once in awhile so the hair will grow back. It's kind of a conversation piece.
    We had it on her one time last spring...she was out in the garage w/Darren. One of the neighbor kids saw her and asked "What's wrong with your cat?? Is her neck broken or somethin'?" OMG...I laughed so hard when Darren told me about that!!!

    Sometimes animals just get sensitive skin when they age...just like people. Is there anything in the house, or around, that she could have gotten into ???


    Forgot to tell you ..........the vet was joking around when we got the collar. He suggested putting a cable up "you know where" so we could get satellite T.V.!!!!!
  5. by   GPatty
    Anne! Did you get good reception?

    I also have a "collar" for my cat when he wouldn't quit digging his ear...but I doubt highly it would fit an 80 pound dog! (Worth a thought though!)

    And as far as the Neosporin goes, that's what we put on her foot. Maybe we should try more than once a day. I'll try it three times a day and see what I come up with!

    Thanks you guys!

  6. by   fiestynurse

    Unlike cats, dogs seldom lick themselves to clean their fur. If your dog's licking is caused by health problems or if it is causing health problems, then the first thing to do is to see your veterinarian. There are medications which are helpful in reducing the need to chew or lick.

    Excessive licking or chewing that results in hair loss, sores, or redness, usually occurs because of parasitic infection. Check for fleas or ticks. Get rid of these parasites. Then, bathe your dog with a medicated shampoo and give him some medication for the itching.

    A dog will chew at a burr, a thorny stick that is caught in his fur, or a thorn in his paw. He will try to untangle matted fur by chewing on the fur mat. For long-haired dogs, regular grooming is necessary.

    Some dogs suffer from food allergies which can result in excessive licking. If you suspect diet, ask your veterinarian to recommend a non-allergic dog food. If the licking stops, slowly introduce one food at a time, carefully checking the ingredients. Try to determine which ingredient is the culprit.

    If excessive chewing and licking are not due to health problems, then take a close look at your relationship with your dog. If your dog is shy, introverted, or is quick to go into submission, and there is stress because of his relationship with you, he will likely direct his attention inwardly. Mouthing, chewing, or licking are methods he uses to relieve tension. Take him for walks. Exercise works miracles on dogs that have turned in upon themselves by chewing or licking.
  7. by   P_RN
    When our Wheaten and our chihuahua both started this our vet said it was allergies. He put them on a Corn-free food for awhile that contained only lamb and rice. It was expensive but not as costly as the vet bill.

    The Chi is also very allergic to flea can cause him to break out. I give him Benadryl (per vet orders) and about once a year he has to have cortisone shot. You might want to try some Vinegar on the places, it is awful smelling and tasting to a dog.

    We bought something called MalAcetic spray=vinegar in a fancy bottle.
  8. by   Jen911
    My dog (a 7 year old "mutt" but still my baby, was doing the exact same thing, chewing her front paws, mainly the right one, until it had no fur and was getting sores. I took her to the vet who did a culture and checked under the microscope and found some bacteria and some yeast between her toes. Yep, my dog has athlete's foot! So, she now has some special shampoo for her feet and some antibiotics for 3 weeks for the bacteria. It was a costly trip to the vet, but it was worth it to keep my dog from chewing on her paws, that HAD to be horrible to have that constant itching!
  9. by   CarolineRn
    Julie, I don't have any better advice than the other posters have already given you, but I just had to say that I too, have a dalmation. he's also getting up there in years.. 9 years old this past Sept. he has serious flea allergies, and living here in Florida, it's imperative that I keep him on frontline to control the fleas. When he has had problems, he smelled terrible, and continually licked himself. he tore out patches of his hair in several spots, but never concentrated on a specific area like your girl is doing. The vet did have to prescribe antibiotics, and they worked like a charm. Also, he gets the yearly cortizone shot.
  10. by   hoolahan
    Julie, not sure what to say either, all good advice here. Can you talk to the vet and ask for a payment plan? Most vets will do this if they know the owners.

    Also, for benedryl, when my dog needed it, I was told to use the children's chewables, and go by the weight-based dosing on the back of box. Very easy to give it that way.

    Sounds like it could be an bacterial infec, flea allergy, or athlete's foot. Have you looked at the foot very closely? Use a magnifying glass, maybe she's got a splinter in there that is driving her nuts. Just another thought. NOne of my dogs ever had this problem. I am taking my baby to training on Thursday, I'll ask the trainer, she is an animal control officer as well, see what she thinks.

    PS, Julie, I have to take a moment to share this with you animal lovers. I saw an ad in the paper for take your animals pic w/ Santa. Ya know I must be getting wacky, never did this with my other animals. My teens mocked me out SO bad. Dtr called me a loser, til she went with me and saw all the people in line. They also had costumes you could dress the dog in. I made Shelby an angel! I get the pic's next Saturday, FIRST thing I'm gonna do is scan it and give wallets to her friends, and I'll post her picture here too. This was a crazy and fun thing to do. The $15 for the picture goes to A.P.A.W., so it was a worthy cause.
  11. by   Jen911
    Guess I should add, my Ginger also has a bad flea allergy. The vet also prescribed benadryl for her, along with hydroxyzine, and can give both.... My poor dog takes almost as many pills as I do! LOL
  12. by   amy
    My post is under the thread LICKING AND CHEWING...gotta watch my clicks!!! Can't wait to see how many views I get!!!
  13. by   BadBird
    I bathe my dog in head and shoulders shampoo, it makes his fur smell wonderful and he stopped itching. The vet always comments on how nice his fur and skin are and I told her my secret which she now shares with others. I hope this helps, sounds as if your dog may have an allergy. Also, if you have any lotrisome cream it may be helpful.

    good luck
  14. by   GPatty
    Thank you all so very much! Haven't tried anything new yet, just got home and was checking mail. But there sure are some great ideas in here!

    As far as fleas though, nope... we have 3 dogs and they're all on monthly medication for it! Couldn't stand fleas in the house!

    Thank you all again!