Incessant Front Paw Licking - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
Dana and John
 
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Incessant Front Paw Licking

Gibbs has been incessantly licking the pads of his front paws since returning from Dana's parents.

Any thoughts?

John




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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 08:06 AM
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We just had Chewy at the vet for licking her paws. The vet said paw licking is a common symptom of an allergy.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 08:11 AM
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Yup. Allergies are the most likely cause, though it can occasionally be stress induced. Where it's the pads of his feet, I'd try religiously wiping them with a hypoallergenic wet wipe every time he comes in from outside.


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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 08:34 AM
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Another thought is a flea or tick. I have found a few ticks on my boy between his feet so I check him there after his walks and at night before bed. I also use a spray on walks in addition to the regular flea/tick control. I am very anti-pesticide with my dogs but the ticks are horrible this year.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SJ1998 View Post
Another thought is a flea or tick. I have found a few ticks on my boy between his feet so I check him there after his walks and at night before bed. I also use a spray on walks in addition to the regular flea/tick control. I am very anti-pesticide with my dogs but the ticks are horrible this year.
Oh! I agree! I was assuming they had already checked his feet for anything visible/obvious. Fleas, ticks, a thorn, a grass awn... even a tiny slice on a paw pad can cause them to lick.


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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krandall View Post
Yup. Allergies are the most likely cause, though it can occasionally be stress induced. Where it's the pads of his feet, I'd try religiously wiping them with a hypoallergenic wet wipe every time he comes in from outside.
Great advice! I noticed Scudder licking his pads the other day. We hike in all kinds of places so allergies to something he walked on is probably the cause!





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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Oh! I agree! I was assuming they had already checked his feet for anything visible/obvious. Fleas, ticks, a thorn, a grass awn... even a tiny slice on a paw pad can cause them to lick.
It's not his pads, but between his pads.

We've had him checked and there are many things going on, so it's hard pinpoint. Gibbs was "off" when we got him back from Dana's parents and didn't seem like himself. The "easy" answer would have been to assume his mood or demeanor change was a result of change, but several things didn't seem to fit.

Here's the complete list of facts, some as reported by my in-laws:

1. He appeared to quickly adapt to staying at the in-laws and ate and played normally for 5 straight days.

2. The following Friday he didn't eat or drink well.

3. Dana and I picked him Monday and he was elated to see us, but didn't eat as well. Dana and I noticed he seemed lethargic that evening.

4. On Tuesday during the day, Dana called me to tell me he was still lethargic and didn't eat well. Not wanting to assume it was because of the change, we made an evening appointment at the Vets.

5. Our Vet trusted our observations and gave Gibbs subcutaneous fluids with some stomach medication.

6. As soon as we got home, Gibbs was himself - playing, jumping, etc.

7. He still didn't eat Wednesday morning and we noticed he stopped drinking. He was still playful in the morning, but became more lethargic during the day.

8. I decided to give him a bath and check his skin. I noticed a very tiny flea on his back leg and a bite on his hip. We use Frontline, but are changing to K-9 Advantix. He didn't appear to have any other fleas.

9. I captured the flea, circled the bite and went back to the Vets. All X-rays and bloodwork came back normal. She gave him an oral does of flea medication that will kill fleas within 10 minutes, gave him more subcutaneous fluid, told us to feed him boiled chicken and rice and switched us to K-9 Advantix.

10. He ate the boiled chicken and rice both last night and this morning, but still isn't drinking well. We were told that he might not drink as much because of the fluids.


Regarding the paw licking:

1. We were not immediately concerned with the paw licking and downplayed it to the Vet because Gibbs has always had a "fetish" with his paws. As soon as we brought him home, we noticed he'd "chew" on his front paws. It wasn't enough to cause any damage, but we thought it odd. We actually took him to the Vet to have his paws examined (when we first got him), and they were fine.

2. His paw licking was more noticeable this morning. I actually woke him up when I went downstairs to let him out. The very second he awoke, he licked his paws non-stop for about 5 minutes. That's when I noticed it and took it more seriously. I inspected his paws and noticed redness between his pads.

3. I immediately left a message for the Vet and posted this thread.

4. The Vet has left me message to come by and pick-up some anti-fungal wipes and/or medication because she thinks it may be a fungal infection.

5. I called Dana and she said he seems to be more of himself today. He's drinking a little more and playing.

John





Last edited by Gibbs Mom and Dad; 09-12-2013 at 03:14 PM.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 03:57 PM
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Yeah, that sounds a little more complicated than either JUST allergies or JUST behavioral. It may take some sleuthing on your part. It IS possible for dogs to be so allergic to flea bites that they have systemic reactions to even a single bite. So I suppose it's possible that's what's going on. Steroids can settle a bad allergic reaction down, but that's the LAST thing you want to give if you suspect a fungal infection. That's probably why the vet wants to try the fungal route first. Was the grass very wet at your parent's house while you were gone? If his feet stayed wet a lot, that could have brought on a fungal infection.

As the vet told you, it's not uncommon for them not to drink as much when they've had sub-cu fluids, so unless that persists, I wouldn't worry about that part. You might want to try mixing water into his food to make sure he's getting enough fluid.


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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 04:06 PM
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Yes, Henry had been doing this. My vet gave me a wash/soak to do with him.
For 7 days each night, each paw for 5 minutes I gave him a front-paw soak. It seemed to help.
Lately Henry's been licking again (but not as much) and I may do the treatments again.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-12-2013, 04:06 PM
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Our oldest dog, Zoe, had an issue with her paw a couple years ago where she was continuously licking. Her paw was red and irritated between the pads. We figured out that it was from walking on grass that had been sprayed with lawn chemicals. We had to put an Elizabethan Collar on her for several days in addition to medicating the paw in order to give it time to heal.


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