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Old 05-27-2013, 09:10 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is online now
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Default Chewing on their foot

Summer's been chewing some on her foot the past couple months. It's starting to get that reddish color on the fur. It's only on the inner two toes on her back left foot. I've looked all over the foot for signs of inflammation or anything and haven't seen anything at all.

I have always read that it was allergy related? Is that true? Nikki used to do this all the time but for her it wasn't such a localized spot. She'd chew and lick her entire front paws. For Summer it is only that one little spot.

My problem is that I can't think of what allergies it could be at all. I HAVE changed the dogs' kibble portion of their diet from mostly Blue Buffalo Wilderness and TOTW (all flavors of each) to Acana (all flavors). I *THINK* (but cannot be sure) that the foot chewing had started slightly before I switched the food over. I'm not 100% though. Is there any potential issue that is in Acana that is not in TOTW or Blue? I've had fantastic results with the Acana otherwise- lots of improvement in their coats especially and Mia is seeming to keep thinner a little easier too. Summer's had some upper respiratory allergies in the spring time historically and is on allergy medicine when she needs it.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:28 PM
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AllieMackie AllieMackie is offline
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Weird suggestion: smell her foot. If it smells like icky bread at all, it could be yeast. Often localized chewing on one foot without outward sign of inflammation is a sign of yeast. It -could- be a food allergy but IME that usually causes overall feet itching.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:44 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Yep, first thought was yeast.

Rosey would get itchy with allergies in a similar spot, and that spot only, but I'd guess yeast first.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:40 AM
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Hmmm.... can't smell anything but I will ask the vet next time we're in. We have to go get her rabies pretty soon.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:42 AM
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Jinjo's eyes started to run about a year before he progressed to the obsessive foot licking till it reached this point:


I had him down to JUST my home cooked simple food for a week (no supplements even) and he was so bad I knew it was something in the food I was making for him and I had two option, #1 exclude rice or #2 exclude beef, I chose beef. Took out ALL beef from his diet and wouldn't you know, his skin cleared right up. His eyes still run but not as much as they did, he still licks his feet, but it's not to the point of self mutilation.

I would say it's diet, and try to go with a limited ingredient food rotation till you can pin-point which ingredient is the culprit. I would have to say try the meat source first (buy foods that contain ONE and only one meat source, just lamb, just beef, just turkey, just fish, etc), then go to the fillers if that isn't successful (grains, potato, beet pulp, etc).

Forgot to add, this is from a few weeks ago, no more red shredded fur:
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:56 PM
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Sometimes dogs do this as a sort of OCD thing...or even a more mild bad-habit. Especially if she did at some point have irritation and started chewing, it might just feel good or be amusing for her.

Milo will sometimes obsessively start to bite/chew at himself, but it's always when he's getting over-excited/over-stimulated, and he has a lot of other OCD behaviors as well. I don't recall you ever saying anything about Summer being like that, though. If you interrupt or distract her, does she stop, or go back to it?

It could also be a seasonal/environmental allergy, especially this time of year and if it started before the food switch. If she hasn't gotten new treats or anything, you may want to ask your vet about giving her benedryl or something temporarily and see if it subsides.
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