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Old July 16th, 2002, 08:33 AM
michelle D michelle D is offline
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Location: Cayman Islands
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my dog knaws on his feet

My year and a half year old german shepard mix has been recently been knawing on his front feet. It started about 2 weeks ago and began by licking his paws just like normal when grooming himself. In the last week or so he has begun to knaw more frequently actually sticking his whole foot in his mouth and also pulling out hair and chewing on his toe nails. It hasn't become raw yet but I think it occasionally bothers him as he sometimes limps when we are out for a walk.

We live in a hot climate and the rains have recently started. I have heard of other arthritic dogs that could do this on certain joints that bother them. I have also heard of this being a sign of seperation anxiety, although i don't think he does this while we are gone because i think his feet would be raw. I haven't been able to find any information on animal anxiety.

Any hints or information to what it might be? This situation is eating at my dog and me.....your input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old July 16th, 2002, 08:54 AM
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Choc Lab Lover Choc Lab Lover is offline
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Location: Toronto, ON
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Maybe..?

"My dog has been biting his nails and (seems to be) pulling his hair from his front toes until they are all red. Tonight, I realize that he is biting it until he is bleeding. What should I do?" .http://www.petsmart.com/dog/answers/behavior/articles/article_10596.shtml#f

For that particular one this is what they suggested...

The first thing to do is to take him to a vet to see if this is a medical condition. If it is not a medical problem, then you can pursue your dogs problem as a behavioral one. Medically, the first thing that I would look into is if you dog has allergies. Both food allergies and allergies to things in the environment (pollens/grasses/etc.) can make a dog chew his feet. They will chew until the feet are raw and infected. If an infection is present that will itch as well, so the chewing continues. I recommend you take him into the veterinarian so that if there is an infection, he can be put on antibiotics and possibly an antihistamine or a steroid to take away the itch. To diagnose food allergy, an "exclusion diet" must be fed for 6-8 weeks to see if the problem improves. If environment is the problem then you may find an antihistamine that works for him and stay on that. Dogs can get allergy shots, just like people do, but it can be expensive.


Seeing you said its been raining maybe its pollen activing up
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