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Old May 16th, 2006, 12:50 AM
Elaine H Elaine H is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Southrn California
Posts: 12
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
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