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Itchy, biting feet

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Itchy, biting feet
  • For the life of me I can't remember what this is a sign of.  Butch (chihuahua) has been biting at his feet, like they itch.  For some reason I remember - could be wrong - that this is specific.  Related to what they've eaten or an airborne allergy or something. 
     
    Does anyone know what I'm thinking of?  Anyone with a crystal ball or anything??
     
    Food - Nutro Ultra.   He's strictly indoors, but goes out to potty, then right back inside.  We've not sprayed the yard with chemicals or fertilizer or anything, so I don't think that's it.  Should I try bottled water?  Maybe being so small the chemicals in the city water bother him?
     
    Man, I know I heard something about itchy feet.....
  • Well I don't know specifically whether it's food or environmental allergies that typically cause the itchy feet, but I honestly think it could be one or both.  I assume that anything that he's been exposed to in the backyard or where you walk him is the same as usual?  Nothing has changed in the diet (food or treats)?  Has he ever done the licking feet thing before?  My allergy lab has gone thru several episodes of this before and I was never quite sure if it was food or environmental issues (she has both).  I have found that using benadryl helps but even better and easier is using the tea solution to calm the itching.  I just brew some tea bags and make it stronger than I'd normally drink.  I let it cool and then saturate the paws with that and then blot them dry.  It seems to really calm things down.  Good luck and I hope you find out what the culprit is.
  • ORIGINAL: mrs1885

    <snipped>Man, I know I heard something about itchy feet.....

     
    I am guessing you are thinking of yeast.
  • Malassezia yeast, one of the top 4 itchiest dermatological problems a dog can have. Generally a secondary infection with an underlying allergy problem. Has your dog just recently become itchy, or is this an ongoing problem.
  • Malassezia yeast, one of the top 4 itchiest dermatological problems a dog can have


    I agree, and if you use the tea like Cathy said it should help a lot; also, sudsing the feet with Selsun Blue, leaving it on for about 15 minutes, and then rinsing thoroughly also helps kill the yeast. Since you live in Florida you have to deal with outdoor allergies year round; if you lived further north the cause could probably be narrowed to a food or indoor allergy. Jessie has both environmental and food allergies and one thing that's helpful in preventing yeast infections is to use MalAcetic Wipes on her feet a couple times a week;  [linkroduct_id=459-0109]http://www.jbpet.com/Shopping/productb.asp?catalog_name=jbwholesale&;product_id=459-0109[/link].  >http://www.jbpet.com/Shopping/productb.asp?catalog_name=jbwholesale&;product_id=459-0109]http://www.jbpet.com/Shopping/productb.asp?catalog_name=jbwholesale&;product_id=459-0109[/link].   My vet recommended them and charged $15 for a container. By ordering multiple containers a few times a year I save on what the vet charges.
     
     ETA; Often, what starts as a yeast infection becomes a bacterial infection ( I learned this when Jessie used to have a lot of foot infections).  Bacterial infections require a topical or oral antibiotic from the vet to heal so if your dog's feet don't respond to the tea soaks you will need to take him to the vet.
  • Selsun blue, or a 2:1 water and apple cider vinegar solution are supposed to be very effective.

    I use malaseb wipes and shampoo for my own pup. They smell nice and are convenient.
  • I use malaseb wipes and shampoo for my own pup. They smell nice and are convenient.

     
      I looked them up and the wipes have ingredients for yeast and bacteria; great idea.
  • If you're currently using malacetic, you'll LOVE the malaseb. I get malacetic free because I'm a vet student, but malaseb works just as well, and smells so much better that I gladly pay the overinflated teaching hospital prices to use them instead.
  • I can only share my recent experience with you.  We live in South Florida and both our dogs were scratching and biting themselves, including their feet.  I took them to the vet, fearing mange because I'd never seen mange first hand and didn't want it to get worse. 

    I told my vet the symptoms, first question he asked "are they biting their feet?"  The answer was yes; and he told me that's not mange, it's Atopy (=inhaled allergies).  He did a skin scrape just to be sure, but reassured me that if a dog bites their feet it most often points to Atopy because Florida is FULL of allergens.  Next question was what type of grass do we have?  Well, we have St Augustine; as it turns out that and Bermuda grass are highly allergenic to dogs. 

    The vet gave them a shot, then some prednisone and a salve for GSDs ears.  I didn't like the prednisone because steroids suppress the immune system, but at the time our dogs needed some serious relief, and it did help.  The Benadryl I was giving wasn't enough; for fear of overdosing, I gave one 25mg cap.  Turns out I underdosed; my vet instructed me to dose at 1mg per pound, so with 1 dog at 58lbs, and the other at 65lbs, I could safely give two 25mg cap up to 3 times a day.  He also recommended that I limit their time outdoors, yeah -like they'll accept that, and wash their feet before coming inside. 

    I've learned a few home remedies from a few threads here, you can search ;posts by calliecritturs, she's into homeopathy and offers some terrific remedies.  First, I made sure I still have benadryl on hand, but the biggest helpers were black tea, coal tar shampoo, and tea tree oil.  I mixed some tea tree oil into a bucket of water - 2 med/large dogs I used a 5 gallon bucket & put in 1 ounce of the oil.  Then I bathed the dogs with the coal tar shampoo in warm water and rinsed them clean, followed with a final rinse of the tea tree oil solution. 

    I steep 2 bags of the black tea in the morning when I make my tea, and dilute it to about 2 quarts.  I keep this in the garage and rinse my dogs feet before they enter the house.  I found it easiest to use a quart size Chinese soup container and simply dip their feet in the tea.  Also, I prepared a quart sized spray bottle with water and about 30 drops of tea tree oil.  I spray the dogs, wipe them down, then brush them; actually I do this before the foot rinse.  Once I brush them, their mitts get sprayed with the tea tree oil spray and rinsed.

    I found that this has helped and our dogs have off the prednisone for quite a while, and I want to keep them off of it.  It has its place, but it's not for everything.  I home cook their dinners, so I've been adding quite a bit more sweet potatoes, and started adding kale, to help boost their immune systems.  I use local Wildflower Honey (my farmer's market carries it) to control my own allergies.  It hasn't completely suppressed them, but has help immensely, so I decided to try it with our dogs.  I give them a heaping tablespoon of plain yogurt every night with fish oil and  add 1/2 teaspoon of the local honey to it.  It's funny, they sit in the kitchen drooling as I prepare it for them. [:D]   Good luck!


    Oops, never mind, nothing to edit.
  • If you're currently using malacetic, you'll LOVE the malaseb. I get malacetic free because I'm a vet student, but malaseb works just as well, and smells so much better that I gladly pay the overinflated teaching hospital prices to use them instead.

     
    This sounds very interesting and I'm all for convenience.  Do you order these online or can you find them locally?
  • its fleas!
    sprinkle some flea powder there please...
  • its fleas!
    sprinkle some flea powder there please

     
    Just my opinion, but I'd say itchy feet was least likely to be fleas than anything else.  In addition, if the dog's licking the feet (because of the itching) you don't want to put flea powder on and cause a toxic reaction.
  • its fleas!
    sprinkle some flea powder there please...

     
      I agree with Cathy; typical signs of fleas are chewing and scratching around the base of the tail as well  as the sides and chest. Cathy and I both have dogs with allergies and itchy feet is very common with allergy dogs.
  • That is the only thing he does? Any other symptoms? Allergies?
  • ORIGINAL: cakana

    If you're currently using malacetic, you'll LOVE the malaseb. I get malacetic free because I'm a vet student, but malaseb works just as well, and smells so much better that I gladly pay the overinflated teaching hospital prices to use them instead.


    This sounds very interesting and I'm all for convenience.  Do you order these online or can you find them locally?



    The vet I work for, as well as the vet school both carry the malaseb wipes. Get the towelettes, not the little container. They're much larger and easier to use. I don't know if they're available online or not because I haven't looked.