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Daisy chews her fur around her front feet

May 15th, 2009, 09:32 AM
:shrug:Hello all, I am new to the boards but am seeking help. Daisy-Mae is a 4yr old Lakleand Terrier that we adopted last June from a foster family who fostered her from a Rescue Organization when she was 2 yrs old. Just recently we took her for her last set of shots (Lepto and kennel cough) and since then she has started to chew on the fur around the bottom opf her front feet and at the end of her toes(nails) . This is unusual for us because we only saw her do this occasionally and now it is more and more frequent. She has also started getting a little lethargic and want to go for more car rides in the van with us. We are usually at work for the day but our two teenage kids are sometimes around for half the day so she is only alone for maybe 5 hrs at the most depending on their schedules. I have been on temporary layoff for three weeks now (hope to get called back soon) and I have noticed more of her behaviour. Maybe she enjoyed no one around because she could relax and take a snooze. She is still eating somewhat ok but she is a finicky eater, will not eat kibble but likes a soft kibblew chew which I mix with a little bit of cooked beef(a 70-30 ratio 70 soft kibble 30 beef or a bit of liver)She has seperation issues when someone leaves the house and she is currently in an obedience class where she is doing very well, but when she meets another dog on the street she is alpha and wants to rip a face off or submissive with a little snap as the dog leaves. In class at recess she runs with other dogs but does not get aggressive she just runs with the followers.
I know this is a lot of issues but I mwould appreciate any advice anybody has about these issues. I am a retired soldier with PTSD and she is right there when I wake from a nightmare and she has helped reduce my medication by half and I no longer take high blood pressure pills, she is my lifeline....can anyone help? thanks kevtech

May 15th, 2009, 09:47 AM
Let me start by thanking you for serving your country. My husband has PTSD, having served two tours in Iraq (and being blown up more then once) so I am very glad that you have your new four legged friend to help you through the nights.

The chewing of her feet could be several things. It could be allergy related or medical. Or it could be boredom. If you tell her to stop it, does she? What kind of kibble is she getting with her meals?

As for her aggression towards other dogs - it sounds more like a fear response then an aggression issue. My pom comes on like gangbusters towards dogs he doesn't know but is very relaxed and will play nicely with dogs that he does know. The training classes should help her to become more confident and being around other dogs that aren't in her space should help also.

May 15th, 2009, 09:55 AM
The first thing I thought was allergies...our GSD chewed her feet last summer, and seasonal allergies were the culprit. It could also be her food. FWIW, ours was a HUGELY picky eater until we changed her food to a raw diet. Now she's the biggest chow hound of the bunch! (It helped her skin and coat, too!)

May 15th, 2009, 10:29 AM
What kind of allergies could it be? I chech her feet from a walk and brush away any dirt I check for fles or ticks but find none, she has a professional groomer trim her nails, I did not know dog could get allergies. She has this reverse wheeezing through her nose once in a whlie almost like an asthma attack in humans it is like she is try to clear her nose drawing in like a kid snuffing his snot(sorry) it goes for a few seconds and settles down but sometimes it repeats for 20 min any ideas?

May 15th, 2009, 10:46 AM
Dogs can have environmental (dust, pollen, etc.) or food (proteins, grains, dairy, etc.) allergies just like people can. Reverse sneezing is pretty common and not necessarily related to allergies (we have one huge reverse sneezer who has no allergies that we know of, and the itchy dog doesn't reverse sneeze). It's something worth discussing with your vet. If environmental is suspected, it may be as simple as managing with OTC allergy medication, just as humans would. If it's dietary, elimination diets (i.e. removing suspect ingredients one at a time and replacing with novel ingredients) can be useful for targeting the culprit.

May 15th, 2009, 10:49 AM
Thanks Bendyfoot if it gets worse or more frequent she will go to see
DR Jen

May 15th, 2009, 12:21 PM

My white shepherd had an allergy to glucosimine.
Yes the stuff all doctors like people and animals
to take for stiff and sore joints. It is in some
( most ) dog food made for the large breeds.
The allergy started when she was about 5years
old and the food company charged the ingredients
and I bought the one for large breeds. Then
on top of that the vet gave her glucosimine
( 1500 mgs per day ).

It takes time to figure it out and trial and error
but it is well worth the effort.


May 15th, 2009, 02:57 PM
So you have an itchy terrier too. I have a foot chewer and honestly, it seems to be seasonal for him. His big chewing spells are in the spring and fall. He will sometimes sit and lick his paws from boredom, but the really aggressive chewing times always follows walks in the grass. I believe it can be an allergen that is causing this. Now, realize my dog has other allergy/skin issues as well. He has a severe allergy to flea bites. He is also sensitive to dyes in foods and treats. Certain breeds of terriers are just prone to skin allergies. He recently went through one of his big chewing spells and swallowed so much hair that the vet gave me kitty hairball laxative treatments for him. :rolleyes:

Chewing on the paws is a symptom of an allergy much of the time. The tricky part is determining what she is allergic to. It could be something in the grass that is blooming now, it could be food. If she chews to much, she can develop painful raw "hot spots" that may need treatment. Vets can prescribe allergy medications for dogs that may help. If the condition gets too severe, steroids may need to be used, but know that steroid use can cause additional health concerns.

You do say that you are with her more recently. Also, she has not been with you quite a year. I would tend to lean more environmental unless she has had a change in food. When my dog chews from allergies, he will really attack his paw, chew and snort. I can't distract him except by holding him and not letting him get the paw. When he is licking from boredom, I can get him interested in something else and he will stop willingly.

And the reverse sneeze thing freaked me out the first time. I thought my dog was having a seizure. For my current dog that does this, it seems to be brought on from extreme cold weather. All these things have different reasons for different dogs. Could you contact the foster family who had her last and see if they observed any seasonal allergies? If the excessive chewing continues, you will need to find a way to provide relief. Oatmeal shampoos for dogs can help with the skin, but you may have a breed that you shouldn't bathe too frequently. Good luck with her. Isn't it wonderful when our best friends bring comfort to our own health issues. It sounds like you are giving Daisy a wonderful life. (Pictures? hint, hint).

May 15th, 2009, 09:55 PM
As the human of a terrier with allergies, the first thing I'd say is make sure she is not getting any chicken - that's a big one, and one of the easiest to control. See if it makes any difference.
If that's the culprit it won't make a difference right away, but see if she chews less after a few days to a week.
Home made food (raw meat/organs/bones/whatnot) give you control over her food so it might be easier to track the culprit - if it is allergies.
I'd definately see the vet though, just to make sure.
Good luck to you, allergies can be a challenge to track down.

May 16th, 2009, 01:48 PM
Thank you all for your advice, I checked her food frutose and corn syrup are on the list near the top. Daisy will not eat dry kibble or a wet dogfood,we have worked abit on a home cook meal but it is 70-30 70 dogfood and 30 meat product(beef or chicken) our vet said she was happy Daisy was eating more dogfood. The food I have is Purina TopChoice which is a semi moist food but one of the threads says it is too high in sugar and bad for her teeth...any recommendations for a dogfood? or should we look for a home cooked food..there are lots of recipes out there....