Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

my dog continues to chew her pads off her feet / IMAGES / please help!! :(

sways_bodyguard
May 10th, 2006, 04:13 PM
hello, i have a 5 year old pitbull/boxer mix and she has (over the last 9 months) at random chewed and bit off her foot padding numerous times...
she has always been a licker of her feet, but lately i will find myself waking up in the middle of the night with my dog breathing very very fast and 1 or more of her pads have been chewed off... :(
she will lick and lick and lick them, then she starts to bite and tear...
usually this is done out of sight from me, but sometimes when it is really bad she will begin doing it right infront of me and i have to tell her to stop over and over and over...

ive had her in and out of the vet literally 30 times within the last 9 months and when she does chew one off it then takes about a 3-6 weeks to fully heal back...depending on severity,
for the last 4 months she has had to wear that stupid cone on her head at all times while im out of my apartment because she continues to attempt at chewing them off...sometimes i fall asleep without putting the cone on her and by the time i awake an hour later she has another one halfway off...(this has happened 3 times)
i hate leaving her in that damn cone!!! i have one of the soft collars now that is a downward cloth instead of the see-thru ring that went around her head but regardless they both suck and she shouldnt have to wear them!!!

at first my vet thought it was just that she is allergic to something, so she had me stop feeding her human food alltogether,
after many trials of food we have settled on a mixture of Purina HA Hypo-allerginic & Purina LA Limited-antigen...she seems to like that and it is very hypo-allergenic supposedly.
allergic to what tho? she has never done this before...

then my vet tells me it could be seperation anxiety..cuz my dog is very attached to me...
again, this has never happened before and ive had my dog 5 years... + she will do it right in front of me if i let her!!!

we have did scrappings, blood tests, my vet actually cut chunks of her paws out under anestesia so she could send it in for lab work...
nothing came back out of normal ranges...
it is simply mind boggling-

she also takes vetus pet vites & skin formula 3V Caps (which contains fishoil & fatty acids)
& has been on, and is still currently on Azathioprene (50mg tablet per day)- isnt this bad for dogs???

if ANYONE can help, even the slightest suggestion or big of knowledge would mean a great deal...
i appreciate it so much,

i have attached many pictures to help you get a vision of what im dealing with...

pictures of the actual aftermaths---
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/1825/x10nr.jpg

pictures of random weird pad growths---
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/8481/x27nd.jpg

pictures of random blisters---
http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/4021/x33qb.jpg

pictures of recent dis-coloring of the pads (just happened recently)---
http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/8061/x47ci.jpg

jawert1
May 10th, 2006, 04:18 PM
Hi Sways, first off, you need a second opinion on the allergies, not only does it sound like she's got em, but Purina anything is crap food and full of stuff that could be making her worse - despite her liking it. Innova makes a very good food for dogs with allergies and sensitivities - more about that here in the Pet food forum that you might want to check out. Prin is our resident food expert AND has a very handsome dog that has mad allergies to chicken, so hopefully she'll weigh in here soon. That being said, find out if your vet does an allergy panel, much like in humans, to see if you can pinpoint through bloodwork (rather than trial and error) what's the underlying cause of her allergies. Sadly, most vet's, though knowledgeable about lots, have NO CLUE about food and will push any old thing, regardless of how bad it really is (Purina foods have heinous ingredients and so there's a reason they put by-product rather than stating what - if they even know). I hope your girl feels better soon and please check back with an update on how she's doing. :pawprint:

shredy
May 10th, 2006, 04:38 PM
My sister has a french bulldog with the same problem. She licks and licks and licks, and her pads are red and swollen. They did an allergy panel and discovered that she is allergic to all sorts of grasses (including the grass in their backyard) and lots of others. They are going through a desensitization with her, and it has reduced the itching and redness considerably. Your best bet is to get the allergy panel and try a hypoallergenic food. Good luck!!

sways_bodyguard
May 10th, 2006, 04:59 PM
thanks for the replies...
i appreciate all you guys' time!!!
lemme ask tho-
all purina food is crap?
the Hypo-allergenic and Limited-antigen are special vet diets versions... :/
even those?

phoenix
May 10th, 2006, 06:39 PM
sways- post the ingredients of the food you're using.

rainbow
May 10th, 2006, 07:13 PM
Most vets know squat about nutrition. Like Phoenix said, post the ingredient list here and someone (especially Prin, our food guru) will let you know.:pawprint:

sways_bodyguard
May 10th, 2006, 07:53 PM
i will definately do that when i get home from work!!!

Prin
May 10th, 2006, 10:18 PM
Have you done allergy tests? If it's an environmental allergy, switching foods around won't help.;)

mom_to_many
May 11th, 2006, 10:18 AM
After looking at pic of the weird growths..could it be fungal..like athlete's feet? Something about the coloration made me think of that.

DRN
May 11th, 2006, 11:39 AM
I agree that you need to rule out allergies and fungus. Even with a culture, you can't be sure about fungus because it may or may not come back positive (we all have bacteria, fungus, etc., in our bodies - the point of the culture is to tell us if we have too much). I would ask the vet about a trial of antifungals and antiibiotics, but not at the same time.

This is just a gut feeling, but I would also consider something for anxiety. It's not uncommon for dogs to initially have a good reason for licking and chewing (fungus, infection, allergies, a foreign object), but after it resolves they will continue to chew. It's a doggie form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I have cockers and they do this quite a bit. I suggest asking your vet about Benadryl, melatonin, or the pet formations used for dogs who are afraid of thunder. It's really the same phenomenon even though it seems completely different.

Elaine H
May 11th, 2006, 12:18 PM
Hello
Okay I am no expert, I just recently am finding out that Nutro dog food is not what it is cracked up to be. I had two dogs chewing paws, scatching ears, thinning hair, brown gut in their ears, running their face across furniture like they where scraching. Took them to vet and he wanted to do all kinds of tests which where not cheap. I considered but wanted to see if this would work first.

My main concern was that one was chattering his teeth.

I went holistic after doing much research on the internet, and the vet telling me change them to Science Diet Z/D. I put them on this food, if though I didn't care for Science diet, for 4 days, knowing that my German Shorthair Pointer was on it for all of her life, and then got a fiberous tumor on her upper back leg at age 12. I first noticed small lump, and within 6 weeks she couldn't walk, and we had to put her down. We buried her in the backyard, because to many stories of where some of these decreased animals actually go!!!
Anyway we now have the two GWP on Eagle Pack Holistic Duck and Oatmeal, and I also have them on Nzymens. I was worried about the chattering, but I am happy to report, that I feel Yager seems like he is slowing down on the chattering. I think what I am doing is helping, Whether it is the food or Nzymens, I think it is a combination of both, but I think the Nzymens people have something here. Anyone that would like to research this just go to www.nzymes.com I feel it would be worth it if you think your dog has allergies and or skin problems etc etc.

I will update in a couple of weeks on the progress of my babys. So far I am seeing a difference in the attitudes, coats, and even the chattering is getting less and less.
Thanks Elaine

Elaine H
May 11th, 2006, 12:39 PM
Oh yes and i failed to mention that they do not chew on their pads anymore either. Please take time and research this website,
www.nzymes.com
I feel it will give you alot of information on what is going on with your dog.
Elaine

Elaine H
May 13th, 2006, 01:49 AM
Hello
I happened on to this researching the internet for my own dog, and thought about what was going on with your dog. So I am posting this for some information, and maybe to bring it up to your vet too. Just maybe another possible reason. It goes as follows below:

Over the years, I have seen this condition in pets that I have not found described in veterinary textbooks.

Dogs, particularly those that are all or part German Shepherd and between the ages of one and one-half and four years of age may suddenly and violently attack a portion of their body as if it itched severely. The most commonly affected area is the end of the tail, but sometimes a paw is affected. These are generally high-strung dogs with other neurological problems (like tail chasing or fly snapping). This problem has been called self-mutilation syndrome. It may be a form of seizure similar to frontal lobe epilepsy. I have not observed this problem in horses. When it does occur in horses, it is thought to be an obsessive-compulsive behavior trait. Some of these dogs and horses will respond to antiseizue medications (Phenobarbital, Primidone, Dylantin). Other cases respond well to the tricyclic antidepressant, chlomipramine (Clomacalm) and antidepressant, amyltriptiline (Elavil). Prozac is also effective in some dogs. Although Phenobarbital and Primidone are often effective, long-term use of these drugs can cause liver damage. It may take 5-8 weeks before an improvement is noticed. There is anecdotal evidence that placing these dogs on a greatly reduced protein diet may also be beneficial.

sways_bodyguard
May 14th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Hello
I happened on to this researching the internet for my own dog, and thought about what was going on with your dog. So I am posting this for some information, and maybe to bring it up to your vet too. Just maybe another possible reason. It goes as follows below:

Over the years, I have seen this condition in pets that I have not found described in veterinary textbooks.

Dogs, particularly those that are all or part German Shepherd and between the ages of one and one-half and four years of age may suddenly and violently attack a portion of their body as if it itched severely. The most commonly affected area is the end of the tail, but sometimes a paw is affected. These are generally high-strung dogs with other neurological problems (like tail chasing or fly snapping). This problem has been called self-mutilation syndrome. It may be a form of seizure similar to frontal lobe epilepsy. I have not observed this problem in horses. When it does occur in horses, it is thought to be an obsessive-compulsive behavior trait. Some of these dogs and horses will respond to antiseizue medications (Phenobarbital, Primidone, Dylantin). Other cases respond well to the tricyclic antidepressant, chlomipramine (Clomacalm) and antidepressant, amyltriptiline (Elavil). Prozac is also effective in some dogs. Although Phenobarbital and Primidone are often effective, long-term use of these drugs can cause liver damage. It may take 5-8 weeks before an improvement is noticed. There is anecdotal evidence that placing these dogs on a greatly reduced protein diet may also be beneficial.

elaine...thanks for the extended bit of information :)
should i assume that since you were still looking into the problem for your dogs, that they still bite and chew there feet?
reason i ask is because i know you had your dogs on the nzyme pills right?
im thinking about purchasing the pills from the www.nzymes.com because after reading that site decently, it does sound like something that might help...
is there any known side effects to giving your dogs those pills? and would you recommend purchasing just the pills or that whole little starter pack?

sways_bodyguard
May 14th, 2006, 11:47 AM
Most vets know squat about nutrition. Like Phoenix said, post the ingredient list here and someone (especially Prin, our food guru) will let you know.:pawprint:

here is the ingredients to the food i use, i feed my dog a mixture of the 2...

Purina Canine HA (hypo-allergenic)
http://www.petrx.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1024

Purina Canine LA (limited-antigen)
http://www.petrx.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1025


HA
Nutrient Information


Average Nutrient Content
on Serving and 100 Calorie Basis

Grams per
100 Kcal M.E. Grams per
8 oz. cup

Protein 5.33 16.09

Carbohydrate 14.85 44.84

Fat 2.63 7.95

Fiber 0.39 1.19

Calcium 0.35 1.07

Phosphorus 0.26 0.80

Sodium 0.06 0.18

Potassium 0.17 0.52

Chloride 0.17 0.52

Magnesium 0.03 0.09


Average Nutrient Composition

As Fed Dry Matter

Protein, % 19.30 21.33

Carbohydrate, % 53.80 59.45

Fat, % 9.54 10.54

Fiber, % 1.43 1.58

Calcium, % 1.28 1.41

Phosphorus, % 0.96 1.06

Sodium, % 0.22 0.24

Potassium, % 0.62 0.69

Chloride, % 0.62 0.69

Magnesium, % 0.10 0.11

Omega 6:3 ratio 9.7:1 9.7:1


Digestion Test Results*

Digestibility

Total, % 87.8

Protein, % 89.9

Fat, % 92.2

Carbohydrate, % 96.2

Calorie, % 92.2

Percentage of Metabolizable Energy from:

Protein, % 19.2

Fat, % 23.6

Carbohydrate, % 57.2


*Based on digestion testing conducted at the
Purina Pet Care Center 1997.

Packaging
Bags of 8, 18.5 and 35 pounds.

Ingredients
Corn starch, modified isolated soy protein, water, coconut oil, dicalcium phosphate, canola oil preserved with TBHQ, cellulose, corn oil, potassium chloride, vegetable gums (gum arabic and guar gum), salt, choline chloride, DL-Methionine, magnesium oxide, lecithin, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin supplements (E, A, B-12, D-3), riboflavin supplement, manganese sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, copper sulfate, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.
---------------------------------------------------------

LA

Ingredients
Brewers rice, salmon meal, trout, canola meal, tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), brewers dried yeast, canola oil preserved with TBHQ, potassium chloride, fish oil, calcium carbonate, salt, choline chloride, taurine, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, vitamin supplements (E, A, B-12, D-3), zinc sulfate, riboflavin supplement, ascorbic acid, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, beta-carotene, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate.

jesse's mommy
May 14th, 2006, 01:20 PM
elaine...thanks for the extended bit of information :)
should i assume that since you were still looking into the problem for your dogs, that they still bite and chew there feet?
reason i ask is because i know you had your dogs on the nzyme pills right?
im thinking about purchasing the pills from the www.nzymes.com because after reading that site decently, it does sound like something that might help...
is there any known side effects to giving your dogs those pills? and would you recommend purchasing just the pills or that whole little starter pack?

Just a suggestion, before you put your dog on any kind of medication, you might want to run it past your vet first.

Prin
May 14th, 2006, 03:37 PM
Neither food is good, IMO, but definitely stop the HA. A lot of dogs are allergic to corn and/or soy, and HA has both. The LA isn't great either as the first ingredient is rice, and not even whole rice but a byproduct of rice.

Check out a few examples of more holistic allergy choices and compare the ingredients with yours:

Solid Gold Wolf King: (http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/products/showproduct.php?id=62&code=170)
Ingredients:
Bison | Salmon Meal | Brown Rice | Millet | Cracked Pearled Barley | Oatmeal | Rice Bran | Canola Oil | Flaxseed Oil | Garlic | Amaranth | Blueberries | Yucca Schidigera Extract | Carotene | Choline Chloride | Vitamin E Supplement | Iron Proteinate | Zinc Proteinate | Copper Proteinate | Manganese Proteinate | Potassium Iodide | Thiamine Mononitrate | Ascorbic Acid | Vitamin A Supplement | Biotin | Calcium Panthothenate | Selenomethionine | Pyridoxine Hydrochloride | Vitamin B12 Supplement | Riboflavin | Vitamin D Supplement | Folic Acid

DVP Natural Balance Sweet Potato and fish: (http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/allergy/SPFish.html)
Ingredients:
Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Canola Oil (preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid), Sweet Potato Fiber, Dl-methionine, L-lysine, Sodium Chloride, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Rosemary Extract, Natural Flavor, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
(That one has more potato than fish though, not as good, IMO).

Timberwolf Organics Ocean Blue (http://www.timberwolforganics.com/cgi-bin/cp-app.cgi?&pg=ste_oform#)
Ingredients:
Low Ash White Fish Meal, Salmon, Potatoes, Sardine/Mackerel/Anchovy/Tuna Oils, Kelp, Alfalfa Leaf, Potassium Chloride, Carrot, Watercress, Spinach, Celery, Parsley, Fennel Seed, Blueberries, Cranberries, Pears, Figs, Thyme, Anise Seed, Ground Cinnamon Bark, Fenugreek, Garlic Pieces, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Apples, Taurine, Spirulina, Choline Chloride, Lecithin, Probiotics: (Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Lactis, Bacillus Bifidum, Streptococcus Diacetilactis, Bacillus Subtillus), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (a source of vitamin E), Lysine, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine, Methionine, Carnitine, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Iodine Proteinate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine (a source of vitamin B6), Copper Proteinate, Selenium Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Papain, Yucca Schidigera Extract.

Do you see the difference? And these foods probably won't cost you more than what you are paying for the special food from the vet.:)

susieqt
May 14th, 2006, 10:21 PM
If it were a food allergy, wouldn't she be showing symptoms on other parts of her body, not just her feet?

Prin
May 15th, 2006, 01:14 AM
Not necessarily. I mean the rest of the dog might be a bit itchier than normal, but when the feet itch because of an allergy, the dog really goes at them. Same with ears. If Jemma eats wheat, her ears almost bleed- they get so raw, but the rest of her is fine.

It's like if the dog can reach the itchy part, they'll tear it apart, so even if there are other faint symptoms, the feet or ear symptoms just overpower them all.

sways_bodyguard
May 15th, 2006, 02:14 AM
thanks for the replies...everyone-

prin, or anyone else...
after looking at the photos of my dogs feet would u venture to say that nzyme pills would be a worthwhile attempt?

alot of sway's (my dog) symptoms are right in line with what has been laid out for 'yeast problems'...
the mutilating of pads, random running her face/back in the carpet for scratching, a little hair loss, and the blackness on parts of her skin...

coppperbelle
May 15th, 2006, 06:36 AM
The first thing I would do is a food change. Try something like the Solid Gold or Natural Balance or one of the other foods that does not contain any corn or wheat. Stay away from the vet diets if you can. They do serve a purpose for some dogs but I would only use them if nothing else is working.
Before you add anything else to the diet give the food a few weeks to see if they work. If you add anything else you won't know if the food is responsible for the change. Remember with allergies to introduce only one new food item every couple of weeks. This means after you change the kibble that you don't give any treats, people food or anything else. Use the kibble as treats. Give the food at least a month to see results although you may see an improvement immediately.

Prin
May 15th, 2006, 04:06 PM
I agree with Coppperbelle. Supplements like "nzymes" have tons of stuff in them, and when you're trying to figure an allergy out, you want to limit the number of different things the dog eats. Like coppper said, start with a food, no cookies other than kibble, and go from there.

The only thing I would do though, is keep the dog on it for more than a month. As long as the dog isn't getting worse, and there's no doubt that the dog is not getting any worse, I'd stay on it. Some dogs can take months to get rid of the reaction, even if the food they're on doesn't have the allergen.

sways_bodyguard
May 15th, 2006, 05:06 PM
the only thing is, i dont know when or if it the chewing situation is potentially getting better because my dog wears the darn cone whenever i am gone and i dont trust to take it off of her because the damage she could potentially do to her foot in an hour could then take months to heal...
like, look at the images i sent :(
she never used do this and then within the last 9 months it has became a prominent thing...food was never an issue with my dog before and she had been on numerous foods in the past with no problems...
ahhhh!
this is so frustrating.
the vet has her on Azathioprene (50mg tablet per day)- but i took it upon myself to take her off of it cuz it wasnt stopping her from chewing and it is bad for her kidneys...
my vet seems rather clueless on this issue at this point, it just seems like we try something new every 2 weeks and it is just a mess

Elaine H
May 16th, 2006, 12:50 AM
Here is something else I found while researching, I just can't help thinking about your poor dogs feet. Elaine
Chewing on feet

Q: Dr. Mike, In searching your archieves I have not found my problem. I have a two year old, Old English sheepdog that is chewing the hair from in between his back legs and his toes. There are no sores, redness or anything. It's like someone took clippers to his legs. this all of a sudden started. I have tried busying him with chew bones, etc. and he seems to do it at night when he's bored, I think. I have looked into allergies and am putting him on a allergy dog food. I was wondering if you have ever heard of this and if you have any advice. I have been a breeder for many years and never encountered this. Barb

A: Barb- I think the most common cause of chewing on the feet has to be allergies, at least in my area. This can occur with food allergies and with inhalant allergies (atopy). Once in a while demodectic mange is confined to the feet and it is always worth checking for this when there is hairloss. Immune mediated diseases like lupus and phemphigus can be involved in hairloss and irritation of the feet but usually some other area of the body like the ears, eyes, nose or lips is affected as well. If a food allergy trial diet is not beneficial consider testing for inhalant allergies. If your vet doesn't do this, he or she can refer you to a veterinary dermatologist. Since this is a young dog it seems best to have a diagnosis if at all possible so that a good treatment plan can be worked out -- especially since many of these problems will require lifelong control measures.

Mike Richards, DVM

sways_bodyguard
May 23rd, 2006, 03:22 PM
now her back foot is extremely scabbed up :sad: but i havent allowed her to break them open...

i just recently changed her food to the EAGLEPACK-salmon but she doesnt seem to take much interest in it...
she hardly eats white rice now either (which she used to love)...
only thing i can get her to eat currently is the water packed tuna-
:(

Copper'sMom
May 25th, 2006, 01:06 AM
here's my 2 cents worth! LOL

Has there been any change in your life/routine that may have affected your pooch? ie. a new partner or loss of partner, a new job or different work hours, new pet/loss of pet, roomate - basically any change that the dog may not be comfortable with??
Any changes in her exercise routine?? Is she getting suffiecient exercise?

If allergies can't be diagnosed, my thoughts are that this has turned into more of a neurological problem or should I say obsessive compulsive problem OR it has become habit forming. Does she have anxiety?? Is she a nervous type dog??
{It's kind of like when a dog has a hot spot, the more they lick it, the worse it gets - and for many dogs it starts to become a habit because the licking makes it feel better, but in actuality, it makes the spot worse}

sways_bodyguard
May 25th, 2006, 01:47 PM
here's my 2 cents worth! LOL

Has there been any change in your life/routine that may have affected your pooch? ie. a new partner or loss of partner, a new job or different work hours, new pet/loss of pet, roomate - basically any change that the dog may not be comfortable with??
Any changes in her exercise routine?? Is she getting suffiecient exercise?

If allergies can't be diagnosed, my thoughts are that this has turned into more of a neurological problem or should I say obsessive compulsive problem OR it has become habit forming. Does she have anxiety?? Is she a nervous type dog??
{It's kind of like when a dog has a hot spot, the more they lick it, the worse it gets - and for many dogs it starts to become a habit because the licking makes it feel better, but in actuality, it makes the spot worse}

yes...altho the change was made about 6-9 months before she started ever doing this-
ive thought about that too but it seems to me that it would have started right away if so,
but anyways...i moved from ohio to california in 2004 and then had her flown out to me DEC 2004 after i got settled...
she was fine for about the first 6-9 months, and then this started happening around last october...
also, me and my dog are very very close...she is practically my child and she is very attached to me. so i guess her anxiety level obviously has rose since this move because when i leave the apartment without her she would be alone...
back home there was always my sister or mom in and out, + we had a cat...
but i dont think anxiety is causing this specific problem because she will do it with me sitting right next to her or say, if i fell asleep she could be laying right next to me and when i wakeup she will have 1 chewed off...

you make a great point tho, and trust me ive thought about that many times...but i just dont know why it didnt start immediately and why she was good for those first 9 months.

Copper'sMom
May 26th, 2006, 03:05 AM
ok, so if it's not separation anxiety, it could be anxiety in general(non-specific). OR it could be neurological like obsessive compulsive type of disorder.
Regardless of the cause, I would talk to your vet about this being more neurological / habit type behaviour after of course, allergy tests have been ruled out! If there's no medical problem, chances are it's a behavioural problem. Boredom maybe???

Silly question: Does she have chew toys or bones to chew on? And does she get enough exercise??

sways_bodyguard
June 12th, 2007, 05:47 PM
i have searched down this post to update it,
it has been a year now since making my initial post and we are still dealing with the same issues :(

sway has been seeing a dermatalogist for the past year,
environmental allergy testing was done and she was found to be allergic to over 20 different items...
he initially put her on ATOPICA, then she has been moved over time to a generic brand of CYCLOSPORINE, as that was cheaper for me (50mg every day).

sway tolerated this and after 3 or so months, we had a breakthrough and she got better...
THANK GOD at this point she no longer had to wear the cone and could be trusted not to lick her paws at all, even with me gone for long periods of time...
this went on for about 60 days and it was great.

unfortunately she began to have GI tract issues and violent diharrea episodes one night where her stools began running out uncontrollably, some even with intestine inner-linings...
she could do nothing but squat and wait, going all over my apartment and it was an extremely helpless feeling, seeing her :/
i had to take her in to 24 hour care ASAP and get her set up with fluids etc.

after a 2 day stay she was out and i began to feed her boiled chicken and rice and worked our way back into her dry food that at the time was CANIDAE.
we never took her off the cyclosporine.

a month later this happened again, where the stools began coming uncontrollably and she had to go back in for fluids a 2nd time.

my dermatologist suggested we immediately pull her off of the cyclosporine,
and a week later the skin problems had resumed...
this was around feb of this year.
he was concerned the cyclosporine was what was causing the GI issues...
he asked me to switch sways food, so i did...to NATURAL BALANCE POTATO & DUCK.

for the last 3 months (while off cyclosporine) i have tried a holistic approach, with my new family vet prescribing GUI PI TANG & EXTERNAL WIND, which are both chinese medicines...and have seen little to NO results in helping the biting and chewing of the feet.

the 1 good thing over the last 3 months is that there have been no GI issues since...

we are now at the point where my dermatologist has requested we attempt another run at the cyclosporine (cut back to 50mg every other day).
she has been on it now for about a week, and no GI issues yet, but it hasnt began to knock out the allergies yet either.

my dog has continually had to suffer with having to wear the cone when i leave my apartment...
that is still the only way i can somehow curb her habit to rip her padding off her feet.
1 episode of the padding being ripped open or all the way off and it causes my dog to be in pain for up to 2 weeks at a time, while it reheals...
it is truly a dilema that sucks both ways :(
i am at my wits end with this and am just begging for a result or something that can help and give her relief.

does anyyyyyyyyyyyone have any new ideas or information?
im thankful for anyones knowledge or wisdom!!!

SuperWanda
June 13th, 2007, 04:15 PM
Hi - I'm really sorry that your dog is having so much trouble. It must be a very frustrating situation.

I also have a foot chewing dog (I don't think it is as severe as what you are describing with your guy). In my case it seems to be a seasonal problem and therefore probably due to inhaled environmental allergies although I have never had her tested.

You said they tested her for environmental allergies - did they also test for food allergies as well? Just curious about the results for that.

Barbaraann
June 23rd, 2007, 01:16 AM
All this time I thought my 7-yr old Golden, Annie had cut her foot, now I'm not so sure. She had a bladder full of struvites over 6 mos ago and has been on Royal Canin SO since. Two thumbnail-size remain. Many bladder infections and now we are trying Cipro prophylactly.She has hip dysplasia and on Rimadyl and glucosamine/chondroiton. Her pH is always high and is currently at 7. Distilled water does not bring it down. The diet causes her to gain weight and she is 121 lbs and should be 85. She was on Hills RD prior to struvites for her weight. My vet does not know what to feed her to allow weight loss and not cause more struvites in the process. Royal Canin says not to use SO more than 6 mos. Vet says stones are not completely dissolved. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. I'm wondering if this is part of the foot problem that has just developed 3 weeks ago. I've been all over the Internet looking for information. All blood work is noncontributory and my vet thinks heredity may be a factor. I live in Tallahassee, Florida also known as "allergy capital" for humans and pets and we're in a severe drought currently. Any ideas? Thanks.

Hogansma
June 23rd, 2007, 01:29 PM
I had a dalmatian who also did this and it was severe allergies. The only dogfood she could eat was Eukanuba F/P (fish and potato) and I believe is only sold through vets. I also cooked her up rice, tuna and carrots. She was so bad she had to be on prednisone which unfortunately took a toll on the poor girl. I did decide in quality of her life over length of life and she had to be put to sleep last September at age 11. Hope this helps.

kiara
June 23rd, 2007, 02:42 PM
Seems to me that your dog may have allergies to grass or something else on your lawn? My friend has a collie that is allergic to grass and her feet are very itchy. Do you put any insecticides on your lawn? I would try and find a vet. dermatologist. Since your dog has had already many tests done that are inconclusive you should take the results to a vet. dermatologist and find out what your dog is allergic to. Maybe the vet could do allergy tests ! Itchy skin is a real torture for your dog. And it becomes a cycle of itching and scratching. As soon as new skin grows the itch begins again. I hope your dog will be more comfortable soon. Good luck.

Barbaraann
June 23rd, 2007, 04:31 PM
Thanks for answering so soon. It's still kind of iffy as to whether or not Annie has an abrasion on her right hind foot pad or not, however her foot sure looks like the pictures you have put online. I never spray my yard, too many wild critters come to visit. I have entertained the idea of putting a shallow pan of water at the door that she has to step into before coming into the house. I can't put anything other than water into it as I have 2 kitties that could ingest it. Still it could be the start of some type of allergy. The rest of her is okay. I'm really open to diet ideas though. The special diets she has been on already cost me a fortune but she's worth it. Food recalls aren't always posted so after my purchase at the vet, I go online to the food manuf. site (Royal Canin) and if there is anything recalled, they will usually list it first with the lot numbers, even before the vet knows about it--speaking from experience.

Barbaraann
August 8th, 2007, 08:54 PM
All of you have been so helpful in giving me directions in which to investigate. Annie has more than one problem, struvite stones and pad and leg chewing resulting in a lick granuloma. Finally got a urine culture and found out that her bladder infection is E. coli and only Bactrim or Macrobid will work. The Cipro and Clavamox she has been on has been for almost a year with numerous infections was all for nothing. She is now on Bactrim. My vet doesn't carry Macrobid and WalMart charges $150 (not on their $4 forumulary). There is a lot of evidence on the Internet to support that the actual infections cause the struvite stones and not so much diet. But a urinary diet will dissolve them because they are usually loaded with salt and fat to encourage thirst and thereby dilute the urine and dissolve the struvite stones. I went to a pet store and bought one of each holistic and organic canned food, and bag of dry, that I could find to see what she likes. In one week the hair started growing back on her legs, the licking has slowed down dramatically and the pad on her foot has healed. Even the lick granuloma has reduced in size. Nutrition does matter. Never again will I buy a commercial pet food for my dog. Now to get that weight off caused by the SO diet in a golden that has hip dysplasia--wish me luck! To think that all of this has resulted from one issue, a bladder infection, to stones, to excessive weight gain, to skin problems. I can only pray I'm not too late in getting her back to where she needs to be with the correct antibiotic and diet. I am grateful to all of you for sharing your experiences and knowledge. It was so very helpful to me in sending me in the right direction.

sassy owner
September 18th, 2007, 10:55 PM
Prin,
are there any holistic dog foods without fish that you can recommend? I am allergic to fish (i can't even touch it, one of my many allergies) my dog is very sensitive to chicken so i feed her lamb and rice now. she does well with that but she is having small outbreaks of hives on the top of her head. i was thinking, allergy to ragweed? since that is out now. but i want to look into feeding her better dog food to help with the hives if it is something she is eating.
thanks for any help.


Neither food is good, IMO, but definitely stop the HA. A lot of dogs are allergic to corn and/or soy, and HA has both. The LA isn't great either as the first ingredient is rice, and not even whole rice but a byproduct of rice.

Check out a few examples of more holistic allergy choices and compare the ingredients with yours:

Solid Gold Wolf King: (http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/products/showproduct.php?id=62&code=170)
Ingredients:
Bison | Salmon Meal | Brown Rice | Millet | Cracked Pearled Barley | Oatmeal | Rice Bran | Canola Oil | Flaxseed Oil | Garlic | Amaranth | Blueberries | Yucca Schidigera Extract | Carotene | Choline Chloride | Vitamin E Supplement | Iron Proteinate | Zinc Proteinate | Copper Proteinate | Manganese Proteinate | Potassium Iodide | Thiamine Mononitrate | Ascorbic Acid | Vitamin A Supplement | Biotin | Calcium Panthothenate | Selenomethionine | Pyridoxine Hydrochloride | Vitamin B12 Supplement | Riboflavin | Vitamin D Supplement | Folic Acid

DVP Natural Balance Sweet Potato and fish: (http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/allergy/SPFish.html)
Ingredients:
Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Canola Oil (preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid), Sweet Potato Fiber, Dl-methionine, L-lysine, Sodium Chloride, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Rosemary Extract, Natural Flavor, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
(That one has more potato than fish though, not as good, IMO).

Timberwolf Organics Ocean Blue (http://www.timberwolforganics.com/cgi-bin/cp-app.cgi?&pg=ste_oform#)
Ingredients:
Low Ash White Fish Meal, Salmon, Potatoes, Sardine/Mackerel/Anchovy/Tuna Oils, Kelp, Alfalfa Leaf, Potassium Chloride, Carrot, Watercress, Spinach, Celery, Parsley, Fennel Seed, Blueberries, Cranberries, Pears, Figs, Thyme, Anise Seed, Ground Cinnamon Bark, Fenugreek, Garlic Pieces, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Apples, Taurine, Spirulina, Choline Chloride, Lecithin, Probiotics: (Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Lactis, Bacillus Bifidum, Streptococcus Diacetilactis, Bacillus Subtillus), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (a source of vitamin E), Lysine, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine, Methionine, Carnitine, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Iodine Proteinate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine (a source of vitamin B6), Copper Proteinate, Selenium Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Papain, Yucca Schidigera Extract.

Do you see the difference? And these foods probably won't cost you more than what you are paying for the special food from the vet.:)

lildragon
December 30th, 2007, 06:55 PM
Hey there! I am a first time poster. I have been searching endlessly for help with my German Shepherd's incessant scratching and hair loss due to that scratching when I came across this site. I have really enjoyed the time I've spent reading all of your stories and truly feel for you and your pets.

To Sway- "sway has been seeing a dermatalogist for the past year,
environmental allergy testing was done and she was found to be allergic to over 20 different items...
he initially put her on ATOPICA, then she has been moved over time to a generic brand of CYCLOSPORINE, as that was cheaper for me (50mg every day)."

Even though I am new here I want to point out to you right away- esp since you have been hurting for sooo long- that sometimes you need to be on the BRAND name of a medication and not the generic. I know it is awful because of the price difference- but it is true. (I need to adjust at least one of my own medications because I can tell a dramatic difference between the two.) For you, I am referring to the Atopica vs Cyclosporine-- but as I have been typing I want to mention that I am going to try the brand name Benedryl again vs the generic the drug (which is anything diphenhydramine). It seemed that my Abby was improving at least a little on the Benedryl but we switched to the generic. Nothing has improved since the change and it actually seems worse. We had also changed to a chicken based food and I have seen from some of the posts that some dogs don't react well to chicken. We'll check out different food as soon as we get the chance to get the "real" Benedryl back into her system for a bit.

You did move in the winter and hadn't experienced fall or winter in the new environment either. I see that you've been there a long time now, but there's a possibility that something came about the first fall/winter season that affected your sweet Sway that was just unable to get out of the system. We moved this past October and although my Abby had issues a couple times before they are much worse now. Now we ask... is it the house, the stress, the food, the nature of the beast??

And lastly, DON'T LET PEOPLE SEE A VULNERABLE YOU. It can be a sad world of people selling products just because they want to make some money and it gets you a moment of hope. Don't seem desperate when you investigate and inquire. If you a get a 'salesperson' instead of a person with your dogs health improvement in mind, you'll keep spinning circles.

thegert
November 5th, 2008, 12:18 AM
I also have a dog that chews the pads on her feet. My dog is a soft coated wheaten terrier. I finally figured out, after having her for about 4 years, that she is allergic to chicken. When I switched her to Nutro lamb and rice, her funky brown goopy smelly ears cleared up. And she used to get really sick every couple of months or so. She would go outside and eat whole branches of heavenly bamboo and then throw it up, making these really loud retching sounds. It was awful. Anyway, the feed store I bought my dogfood from suddenly didn't have any more of the lamb and rice. So I tried another brand of lamb and rice. This is when she started chewing her feet. And I noticed her digging at her ears again. I went to another feed store and found the Nutro lamb and rice. It is too early to tell if it will solve the problem, but I sure hope it does. I just wanted to throw in the chicken allergy info.

loraeoliver
March 2nd, 2012, 01:52 PM
Im so happy although this is a sad situation to not be alone with this struggle. I have a two year old male dog that started to chew at the feet six months ago when I was newly pregnant. It happened a few times before but since has increased to a daily problem. I cannot leave my dog alone without a cone over his head as well. It seems to be anxiety but he also has IBD issues. He is a parvo survivor and also has many allergy issues. I am so frustrated and trying my hardest to manage his issues before I deliver. I am 36 weeks pregnant today and was given a wax to put on his paws yesterday. I thought his dermititis was the issue. Last night he didnt lick his paws once and I thought I found a cure. Today I put more on and he goes to town when I wasnt looking. Mornings are most difficult because of his stomach issues. I tested him yesterday with boiled chicken and he is not allergic so I am feeding him rice in the morning and chicken at night and switching his food to Taste of Wild with salmon oil on top next week to see if that starts to improve matters as well. He has a spot on his back of little bumps as an allergic reaction or purely stress related. I cannot afford to have the vet run all kinds of tests on him and try different meds with no gaurantee. I give him bendarly in the morning and at night. He is just gonna have to deal with the cone for now. I feel helpless and it sounds like the original post owner has the same issues. I hope she can find a cure that works to recommend so I can ask the vet directly without all kinds of tests. This is a sad situation and my dog deserves a better lifestyle.

Choochi
March 2nd, 2012, 02:25 PM
OP, first thing I would do is get her off the crappy food your vet suggested, it's full of corn and fillers. How on earth is that supposed to be a good diet for a dog with possible allergies?

What I would actually do, is put her on a raw diet, get her off kibble entirely. Even with some of the high quality kibbles, and even with the high quality elimination type kibbles, you are dealing with dozens and dozens of ingredients! For all you know she could be allergic to one of the manufactured vitamin additives in kibble in which case switching protein formulas will have no effect. The only way you can know for sure what's going into your dog (and truly eliminate the possibility of food allergies) is to prepare the food yourself or purchase a pre made raw product with clearly defined ingredients. I would do this first, and keep her on raw for a minimum of 2 months before making any further decisions. She needs to be on the new diet long enough for her body to shed all remaining toxins left from the old ingredients before you even begin to notice the benefits of a new diet. I know plenty of dogs who have had all sorts of mysterious skin and coat problems, were on multiple medications, and had their issues completely resolved by going on raw. It's such a simple solution and with such good history of success, it is the first thing I would be doing.

Also a little some thing regarding allergy testing I recently found out. There was a dog in our raw group who was tested to be allergic to chicken, could not handle it in kibble form, but absolutely thrived on a diet based on raw chicken. Don't ask me what exactly that means, just throwing some food for thought out there.

JONandMAC
April 1st, 2012, 01:33 AM
my dog mac has the same issue with his paws. he will sit there and lick them until the entire top of the pad hangs off and i have to clip it. i have taken him to the vet and they couldn't figure it out either. mac is about to be four and he has always had a corn allergy but nothing like this. i know a old dog woman who had me try something different. I give mac a injection once every month or so. the medication is called IVERMAX. administer about 1cc of the medication under the neck skin just like you would do for a normal routine vaccination shot. you can get this medication at any local farm and feed store like a co-op supply. this medication is usually for cattle and swine so dont mention it being for your dog. it seems to work for my boy mac. i am able to trust that he wont chew or lick when he has this shot. mac is 50lbs so i give him 1cc a month. adjust dose for certain weight of your animal.:thumbs up

i also firmly suggest the raw diet. when i can afford it i feed the natures variety chicken raw diet. 100% absorb able and a great diet for any dog. mac thinks its like candy for him

MaxaLisa
April 1st, 2012, 03:13 AM
Im so happy although this is a sad situation to not be alone with this struggle. I have a two year old male dog that started to chew at the feet six months ago when I was newly pregnant. It happened a few times before but since has increased to a daily problem. I cannot leave my dog alone without a cone over his head as well. It seems to be anxiety but he also has IBD issues. He is a parvo survivor and also has many allergy issues. I am so frustrated and trying my hardest to manage his issues before I deliver. I am 36 weeks pregnant today and was given a wax to put on his paws yesterday. I thought his dermititis was the issue. Last night he didnt lick his paws once and I thought I found a cure. Today I put more on and he goes to town when I wasnt looking. Mornings are most difficult because of his stomach issues. I tested him yesterday with boiled chicken and he is not allergic so I am feeding him rice in the morning and chicken at night and switching his food to Taste of Wild with salmon oil on top next week to see if that starts to improve matters as well. He has a spot on his back of little bumps as an allergic reaction or purely stress related. I cannot afford to have the vet run all kinds of tests on him and try different meds with no gaurantee. I give him bendarly in the morning and at night. He is just gonna have to deal with the cone for now. I feel helpless and it sounds like the original post owner has the same issues. I hope she can find a cure that works to recommend so I can ask the vet directly without all kinds of tests. This is a sad situation and my dog deserves a better lifestyle.

You might actually try a food that is completely different, like a fish based food, single protein, single carb source. Allergies may take up to a week to show up after a food has been fed (some allergies are delayed reactions), so your one day test might not actually work. There could be a problem with the chicken or the rice.

I'm actually a fan of a homecooked diet if it can be balanced, some dogs don't do well on raw, it's very individual.

I would also give a probiotic.

Myka
April 1st, 2012, 11:21 AM
This thread is 6 years old. Sway did not have allergies either, she had AIHA (autoimmune hemolytic anemia). Josh shared his years of fighting the disease and their final heartbreak when Sway passed away in 2009. Here is his blog: http://143sway.blogspot.ca/. Here's his first blog entry: http://143sway.blogspot.ca/2007/09/hi.html