Tuesday Topics #43 - Itchy Paws

cabana laying on her quilted dog bed, licking her leg, her paw pad is very pinkOver the past few months, I have noticed Cabana spending a lot more time licking her feet. We've been to the vet for other reasons, and he mentioned that her paw pads are really pink. I asked him if I should change her food, and he said he didn't think it was bad enough to warrant that. He said it could be caused by so many factors, like allergies to grass or pesticides, and that I should give her a bath with oatmeal soap, but that was about it for suggestions.

Still, it seems to be getting worse, so I've been looking online for answers. A lot of sites talk about mixing a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into your dog's food. Not only is it supposed to be helpful for allergies, but it also aids in digestion, watery eye discharge, and helps keep fleas and ticks away.

a greyed out photo of cabana licking her empty bowl, her head is a bit blurry because it's in movementSo before I switch Cabana's food, I decided to give the apple cider vinegar a try. Cabana definitely notices it when I put it in her food. She eats much slower, seeming to be puzzled by the taste. I don't think she likes it, although she still licks up every single drop, so it can't be too distasteful. But I feel a little bad for her--I hate to put a damper on the two brightest spots in her day (mealtimes).

I've been giving Cabana the vinegar for about 3 days now, but she's still licking her paws a lot. Has anyone else tried this remedy with any success?

Brittany  – (January 31, 2012 at 7:48 PM)  

I hadn't ever heard of that remedy. Patriot get red feet like that when he gets into any dog food that isn't his. It is usually paired with an ear infection too.

Hopefully you can figure out how to help her feet! I usually have to wrap Patriot's until they heal so he wont lick them.

sonia a. mascaro  – (February 1, 2012 at 4:34 AM)  

My dear dog Flora (she passed away, for seven month now... Sigh) once lick her feet too. The vet asks me if there were some modification in her day life. Sometimes, he said, lick the feet means that the dog are boring.
With Flora he was right. She must to walk around more times a week and we did this. Flora stopped to lick her feet. But this was my experience.

Min  – (February 1, 2012 at 6:16 AM)  

Unfortunately, Bella's paws are always red and itchy. Our vet thinks that it is a grass allergy since the new food we give her has cured other allergy issues. He suggested wiping off Bella's feet every time she touches grass, but we've been terrible at doing that for her. Someone else also suggested a little wash station by the door with water and soap.

Kari in Vegas  – (February 1, 2012 at 10:11 AM)  

hmmm we need to try something with Big Carl but we assume he licks himself since he is part cat

Stop on by for a visit

Martha G  – (February 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM)  

Whole Dog Journal (January) had an article about apple cider vinegar and many ways it can be used. Maybe you could bathe her feat in a vinegar rinse after the dog park. I'll look at the article later today and let you know if it has other suggestions you might use. Dogs have better noses than we do, but their taste buds aren't as strong, which is why they can eat things that taste terrible. Sloppy answer, but it's something like that.

Rebecca, Ely and Joe  – (February 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM)  

Has the vet checked for a yeast infection on her feet? Our yellow lab, Ely, gets itchy feet when the pollen is really bad and his allergies are really bad. He licks his feet which causes a yeast infection which makes them even more itchy and his feet change color especially in between his pads. The allergies at our vet suggested wiping his feet off when he comes inside and also give him a bath every 7-10 days with an oatmeal shampoo to get whatever is bothering him off of him. I got this https://www.ginsey.com/product/pet-head-dirty-paws-footbath at Target the other day. Hopefully it will help get everything off of his feet when we come inside. Our vet also said that yellow labs are more prone to allergies than the other color labs.
Hopefully Cabana’s feet will stop itching soon!

Sherri  – (February 1, 2012 at 3:25 PM)  

Hi - One of my dogs had itch problems. It was mostly itchy skin problems, but he licked on his feet too. I think it was all allergies. I added plain yogurt and fish oil capsules to his food (found this remedy on google). It seemed to help, and he loved the yogurt. Eventually I started using Dinovite, and his itching got alot better.

Becky  – (February 1, 2012 at 8:46 PM)  

Interesting. I grew up with my dad adding apple cider to his evening drink as a cure all for many ailments :). I haven't heard about it for dogs. Hope you get an answer soon. I hate to have your highlight of the day not yummy!

Susan Campisi  – (February 1, 2012 at 10:54 PM)  

Poor Cabana. I've never heard of that remedy. This site says it could be a fungus and suggests soaking the feet in apple cider vinegar:

That makes more sense to me. I hope you figure out what helps. Keep us posted.

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