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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Night time paw licking

Hi all,

Mucho has this strange habits where during bed time, he'll start licking and lightly biting his paws. Also he'll start "chewing" the hair on his legs.

Apart from coloring one paw red, and causing some mats, I'm not worried he'll do any damage... yet. I am curious because while I think he does it out of boredom, during the day he never does it, at least never in such intensity. He always starts the moment we go to bed and he jumps in with us. Eventually he'll settle down, but in the morning we also hear him doing those things.

The curious things is that there are big spells of inactivity during the daytime as well, but he prefers to start working on a chew toy, then quietly lie down and sleep on a pillow.

I've thought of giving him a night-time chew toy, but the only indestructible ones we've found are some real bones that make quite a racket when they inevitably fall down to the floor. Apart from waking us, they definitely annoy the apartment below.

Has anyone experienced something similar?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 05:47 AM
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Is Mucho getting enough exercise during the day? It may be that additional exercise would tire him sufficiently that he would sleep at night rather than paw lick.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 07:24 AM
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I would bring him to the vet and have his paws checked out. Could be habit, could be allergies.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Vet has checked; no visible signs of allergies. Only a single paw has turned red; Wouldn't he lick all paws the same in case of an allergy?

He gets *some* exercise - we go for three 20 minute off-leash walks a day, plus many sessions of chasing the ball and each other, both outdoors and indoors. I don't know how to judge if it's enough or not. When he was younger he'd initiate some RLH sessions in the house but now we have to get him excited to run around.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 09:22 AM
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Paw licking

My Lola suffers from seasonal allergies which last about 8 weeks each year. My solution to stop the paw licking and biting was to purchase some newborn baby socks. She has been very good at keeping them on and does not try to pull them off. The best part - she STOPPED the licking. I am thankful it is only for a short time - don't know if I would want to do this all year long.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Jane, I doubt Mucho will tolerate those baby socks but I'll get two pairs for him just to have fun. Even if it doesn't work he'll have some socks of his own, instead of stealing mine all the time

On a more serious note, it could very well be that it's a seasonal allergy. We haven't noticed this during winter time at all.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orestis View Post
Jane, I doubt Mucho will tolerate those baby socks but I'll get two pairs for him just to have fun. Even if it doesn't work he'll have some socks of his own, instead of stealing mine all the time

On a more serious note, it could very well be that it's a seasonal allergy. We haven't noticed this during winter time at all.
Our first Havanese, Bailey, did that and it was definitely caused by seasonal allergies, as he wouldn't do it during the winter at all. He got all the fur between his pads stained a dark red from licking and chewing and then it would clear up during the winter months. We moved from one part of the state to another when he was 9 years old and his old vet thought that could help because of the different vegetation. Initially it did, but after living in the new area for a while, his system got used to it and it started again.


Mary (miss you, Bailey-1996-2011 and Tyler-1997-2015)
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 04:46 PM
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On a more serious note, it could very well be that it's a seasonal allergy. We haven't noticed this during winter time at all.[/quote]


Maybe some Benadryl would help if you give it about an hour before bed if you have it there in Greece. Dosage is 1mg per lb. It never helped my dogs but it's worth a try since it works for some dogs. If you don't have it, you could ask your vet what antihistimine would be appropriate to try.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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The vet has seen Mucho up close and has advised against giving him any medicine for now - and I'm inclined to agree. He's prescribed a special shampoo though and I'm using that now. Not sure if it makes any difference yet, it might take a while for everyone to get used to a new paw-cleaning routine.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 12:18 PM
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My Lucy had this problem last winter: licking paws, chewing nails, nibbling at legs. One paw was red from her saliva. It turned out to be the first indication of allergies. The local vets whom I think are very good in other areas, were not helpful. I actually think most vets are not very knowledgeable about allergies and sensitivities; nor do they have much to offer in treatment (as with doctors and people!). I was very fortunate to discover a wholistic vet within three hours of where I live. She doesn't have a quick fix for sensitivities, but took a swab from Lucy's feet and confirmed she had an overgrowth of yeast.
The solution is to do foot dips. Mix apple cider water and vinegar, half and half, and dip each foot in it once a day. I used 1/2 cup of each and found I could reuse it for three days. I'd do it after our morning walk. They don't need to soak, just in and out, squeeze out the excess and that's it. By the time we returned a month later, Lucy had stopped the licking and the vet said her feet look great. That was in the spring and there has been no recurrence.

Sadly, her environmental allergies have blossomed. I am now waiting for a food sensitivity test kit from Nutriscan. I am quite excited about the possibility of nailing down anything going on in this realm. Lucy's been on cooked pork, kale, broccoli, algae-based omega 3s and some other supplements since spring. Another resource the vet mentioned is a book called Pets at Risk: From Allergies to Cancer: Remedies for an Unsuspected Epidemic. She feels that this vet/author has a piece of the puzzle, so I am also waiting for this to arrive. Jean Dodds, who developed Nutriscan which uses saliva to test for the 24 most common food allergens, is a highly accredited vet and has a blog with lots of interesting health information (especially around allergies, sensitivities, and thyroid issues).

With any dog with yeast problems, I'd be on the lookout over time for other signs of allergies or sensitivities. My understanding is that they often first start showing up around age two. Good luck with Mucho! (what a great name!)
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