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Old 05-27-2013, 10:10 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 05-28-2013, 12:28 AM
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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 05-28-2013, 12:44 AM
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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, 07:40 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, 08:42 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, 05:56 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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Old 06-01-2013, 02:00 AM
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A couple things come to mind.
First is yeast as previously mentioned. With the dicoloring it can be allergy related.
To correct this, a elimination diet is to be required.

My dog suddenly came down with an ear infection once. That right there tells me that her bacterial flora is out of wack re: yeast.
My dog is on whole food but does get about 2 tbsp of kibble per day. She is small 7 pounds.
The very first thing I did was cut out all high glycemic vegies, from her whole food but also scouted out a decent kibble that did not contain these sugary vegies either.
It took a bit but we got everything in check now and no more issues but am very careful since I feel she is prone to yeast issues or rather is yeast sensitive. This is everything, right down to the ingredients in her toothpaste.
If I ever do now, I feed sugary vegies in moderation and is hard because she loves her carrots, peas, sweet potatoes and some fruits.
The kibble I use is go! Naturals Salmon and Oatmeal formula, made in Canada.

I have had to do the elimination diet too and turned out beef was the culprit but wasn't showing allergy signs for us but digestive issues.

I recall your post yesterday saying one of your dogs ate the turkey treats in the SUV. You'll have to look at everything the dog has been consuming if you feel this maybe allergy/yeast related.
Keep in mind a dog like humans wont have allergies if their bacterial flora is in check. Re: No over growth of candida albicans.

Second that comes to mind is a grass awn in her paw. This can be very serious. Simply search online for Spear Grass and you will soon see what I mean. Search bird dog + spear grass both the web and images. The awn can only go one way and that's in. The dog will lick the paw and as they do it works it's way in further. A dog had one go into his paw and years later the vet was taking it out of his lung. Be aware people this is real stuff and is not only common with bird dogs running through feilds but grows along side walks, in parks etc. When it goes to seed (pretty soon depending on region) is when it become hazardous to dogs. It can get into ears, mouths - throat and nose. Often times a dog will be misdiagnosed simply due to ignorance. Should a grass awn be suspected, it means finding a vet that is privy to this risk.

A friend's dog got a piece of spear grass in his paw and licked and licked. Thankfully she was persistent with the vet that something was inside the dogs paw. She was very strict with diet so already knew it was not a matter of yeast. She'd seen the spear grass previous on the walkway where she walked her dog. Other than the dog licking and licking there were no signs of anything wrong with the paw. No discoloration with the fur either. The dog went in for surgery. Quite awhile later, when the vet was about to suture up he spotted the awn, deep. A very good thing he got it!

Not to freak you out but the grass awns will travel internally and can be fatal if it makes it's way into the blood stream. It is important to be aware and do everything to avoid. Whenever I see it I rip it out, roots and all, bag it and discard into the trash.

From the photo however, I feel that the problem with your dogs paw is most likely yeast because the dog has the discoloring of the fur which is a sure sign that the dog's flora is out of proper balance. Even if the dog doesn't have that yeasty smell. Usually it is on more than just say one paw though.

Do you see any other discoloration on the dogs fur? Just on the one paw? The other paw has what looks like a pinkish spot too, no? How about the private areas? How are the eyes? Running? Goopy? Any discoloration on the facial hair anywhere?

Usually a yeasty dog will show this pinkish discoloration to their fur in more than just one area if it is yeast/allergy related.
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