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Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby nandon » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:48 am

I am sitting here watching my 1 year old Maltese licking his back paws; it started about 2 days ago with his licking his front paws. Now he is doing it to all 4. Should I call the vet, go bathe him or what; I'm mystified but I am sure it's been addressed on this web site before.
Nan and Beau

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Re: Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby mrose » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:37 pm

I have a 6 year old female that licks her paws alot. I read on this forum that it could mean a food allergy. My Lily has lots of other allergies, so I knew that was a distinct possibility. I removed chicken from her diet and she has cut down licking her feet tremendously. She still does lick, but not excessively like she was when she was eating dog food with chicken as one of the ingredients. We keep her in a puppy cut. When her hair starts to get long, she will start licking more often. She also will lick her legs when she is upset. If something upsets her, she will start licking then too. I think it is a way of soothing herself. I would try to see if it is a food allergy, since that is very possible. I hope this helps, and by the way, your Beau is beautiful!


Re: Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby Guest » Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:09 pm

My maggie used to lick and bite her back paws and I think it is from allergies.

MRose, what other allergies does your baby have? Did you have her allergy tested? I am considering this with Maggie because she is currently on cyclosporine for an undetermined allergy that makes her eye lids swell. I do not want to keep her on this medicine and would love to know what she is allergic to but the test seems very scary with all those pin pricks!


Re: Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby carriegene » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:42 pm

It is not always allergies. Can be a compulsion or just plain boredom. Mine worsens after clipping. She has been licking consistently for two days after being clipped. If I stop her, she will even lick me or lick the blanket. Vet has even suggested medications for compulsive licking which I will consider if this continues.

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Re: Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby mrose » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:33 pm

To Maggie's Mom: We first noticed that Lily had allergies when she had an allergic reaction to an immunization. Whenever we took her back for her yearly shots, the vet would give her a dose of prednisone before administering the shot. She also had a severe reaction to onion. We knew not to feed her onion. My husband let her give him a kiss after eating something with alot of onion. At the time we didn't know that was what caused the severe, life threatening reaction. That took some time to figure out. The emergency vet told us he would recommend having her allergy tested. Our regular vet suggested we not do that unless we had no choice. He said they can have an allergic reaction while being tested that can be dangerous to them. He also said that a lot of times the allergy test shows lots of things they are allergic to, but doesn't mean that is what with that test they will be able to diagnose the problem. I really liked our regular vet because he believed in finding the reason why something was happening, not just treating the symptoms. Thanks to this forum, we realized Lily's excessive licking was a food allergy. When we removed chicken from her diet, she stopped licking excessively. I have learned with Lily to be extra cautious. We don't allow her outside in the grass. She uses a potty pad. We don't allow her down any place where other dogs could have been. We let her run around outside on our big screened in porch. I have read your posts about Maggie's eyes. I know from your posts that you are determined to help Maggie. Have you taken her to another vet for a second opinion? We used to live in western Pennsylvania. That is where the vet is located that we liked so well. I don't know if you live in that area or not.


Re: Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby PrincessK » Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:55 pm

My little one was licking her back paws excessively and the vet diagnosed it as seasonal allergies....gave me a stray to use on her paws.

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Re: Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby MyMalteseKid » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:11 pm

Could be from allergies....try changing his food a little at a time. They say some dogs are also allergic to chicken and beef so if you try a different food select one w/o chicken or beef (try something like Lamb or fish based food). I use Wellness wet Lamb and Halo Wild Salmon dry.) Did you recently spray/treat your lawn with anything? If he goes for walks maybe your neighbor's had they lawns treated...This could also be something that got onto his paws. I would have your vet check him over to make sure no allergies are beginning. Let us know if Beau continues to lick.


Re: Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby maggiemoo » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:04 pm

Thanks for your reply Mrose. I have gotten several other opinions and we are going to yet another dermatologist shortly. I really don't know what to do. I do not want her to be allergy tested for the reasons you expressed but I don't want her to be on this medication, cyclosporine, forever. Maggie also reacts to her immunizations so we have to give her a shot of benedryl before the immunization and we are thinking of titering later if the reactions continue.

As far as a food allergy, she has been on the duck and rice formula from wellness simple solutions and duck breast treats for over 2 months now and she still has swelling in her eyes from time to time so I don't think its a food allergy unless she is also allergic to duck! imagine that!

I often wonder whether it could be something so simple as her bed, our bed, blankets.... it could be anything!

Maybe a trip to the U of Pennsylvania is warranted. Have you ever been there?

Anyway, I hope Beau's mommy gets to the bottom of his licking. I know who frustrating this can be!

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Re: Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby sophias choice » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:01 pm

I suggest you vist the vet. Our vet said it is very difficult (and most likely expensive) to diagnose a specific allergy. So she had me switch only to IAMS Vet Formula Skin & Coast Response KO. The K standards for kangaroo and the O stands for oats. Our Maltese, Sophia, improved and now only occasionally licks when she comes in from the wet grass.


Re: Licking Paws excessively What Does It Mean?

Postby nandon » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:59 am

Update on Beau's licking his paws excessively: and thank you for all the replies. After a week of Beau doing this, I took him to the vet. They pronounced that they saw no fleas, mites, nothing to take a scraping. Said he was extremely healthy looking and said must be allergy. Said could put him on an antihistamine with a cortisone in it, or Atarax, another stronger antihistamine, or could first try children's Benadryl, half tab every 12 hours which I have done for the last two days; no change. Vet said try for a week, and then call back and we'd try the above.
I think all of you are on target about the foods, the walking in grass treated by all these chemical companies. I had already wondered about that as Beau walk on neighbors yards that are pristine due to this chemical spray treatment. So I am being careful about that. The food situation is different; I have indulged Beau by topping off his dry food with cooked hamburger meat or something like a little Cesar's, so have hard time getting him to eat just dry dog food; would love to get this corrected and have tried samples or bags of almost everything, trying to find one kind he will love; right now am on Wee Bites, and did order a bag of Flint River Ranch (he will chomp this only if very hungry as a late night snack).
Other than this licking of the feet, Beau has been an exemplary doggie, and the vet thought he looked extremely healthy. Although I must say, Beau weighs a whopping 13.8 lbs and not due to overweight, but just his genetics. Although have papers of purebred, he seems to have fur more like a Bichon. Well, I dearly love him, he's just the best.
Thanks again for suggestions. Will keep you posted on what I find is the origin of the licking of the dear little paws.

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