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Puppy biting his paws

April 16th, 2007, 08:20 AM
Cody, our 9 mo. Cocker Spaniel, has recently developed a bad habit of biting/licking his paws. We took him to the vet a couple of weeks ago. She ended up bandaging his paw for a few days so he would leave it alone (he had a bad case of dermatitis between the pads from licking so much). Now that paw is nicely healed, but he is doing the same thing to his other paws. I distract him whenever I see the behavior, but I can't watch him every minute! Any ideas what is causing this, or how we can discourage it?

Many thanks,

April 16th, 2007, 08:31 AM
My 4 yr old tzu does the same thing and we are quiet sure it is allergies, but we haven't figured out to what (yet). You can have allergy tests done on your dog or you can try changing his food to see if that helps. My tzu will be starting on benadryl to help relieve some of the itchies, but ask your Vet before you start giving your dog any meds.

Good luck! :fingerscr

April 16th, 2007, 08:43 AM
It sounds like it could be allergies. Food is often the culprit, what are you feeding him?

April 16th, 2007, 09:43 AM
We have been feeding him Purina Puppy Chow since the beginning ( I can see you all shaking your heads!). We tried a couple of different foods early on (at about 3 or 4 months), but they gave him diarrhea, so we always went back to the original food. Recently we have started with Performatrin Ultra chicken and rice, he seems to be fine with it. The problem with the paws started before we switched to the new food, so I don't think I can blame it.

April 16th, 2007, 11:06 AM
If, for example, all the foods contain chicken though, it could be a chicken allergy (or rice, barley, etc). A food allergy won't always cause diarrhea, skin problems are just as likely. I would try to find a completely different food- maybe a fish and potato or duck and potato to eliminate all the things he's had so far (Like California Naturals Herring & Sweet Potato). And switch him over really really slow to prevent diarrhea. It's worth a shot- I don't think a dog would willingly hurt itself just out of habit, but I could be wrong about this ...

April 16th, 2007, 11:07 AM
A good quality food will likley help with this? How about household issues? Could he be allergic to something in the house?


April 16th, 2007, 11:25 AM
I agree with the others. It may be an ingredient that is common in the foods that is causing the allergy instead of the actual brand of food itself.

A good dog food without any of the same ingredients as the one you are feeding now may do the trick.

Check out the food forum,, there is a lot of helpful information there.

April 16th, 2007, 11:45 AM
If it's not an allergy, it could be a due to boredom, or anxiety or other "issues" .
Has anything changed in his life, that has caused him stress? It may even be something small, but to him it's stressfull.

Mocha's mum
April 16th, 2007, 08:38 PM
Mocha does this too....mostly in the middle of the night....:yell: :frustrated:

I considered food allergies...changed his food several times, and I've finally found one that agrees with him (he had bad ears too). But...he's still chewing on his feet :shrug:

April 16th, 2007, 09:18 PM
Some cockers and hairy toed dogs get what is deemed a yeast infection between their toes, due to lack of air flow etc.. normally the vet will recommend a skin scraping to determine the cause. This normally needs to be done prior to the grass beginning to grow so they can rule out seasonal allergies as well. It could be food allergy related also.

Loves Labs
April 17th, 2007, 08:30 AM
Hayden has always done this - he bites his nails mostly.
I just try to keep on top of it and stop him everytime he has seemed to decrease since he was a puppy.

Our vet seemed to think it was a anxiety thing - like a nervous habit. He is quite the skittish, nervous guy, so this made sense to us. Could this be the same issue for your pup?