What Could This Be?
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Thread: What Could This Be?

  1. #1
    CementPond is offline Village Puppy
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    Default What Could This Be?

    So for a long while now we have been dealing with our pug licking his paw incessantly to the point that it creates this large black spot and his hair seems to fall out in that location.

    Over the last few years he's been to the vet on numerous occasions for it. The first time I ever took him the vet (an associate vet since ours wasn't in at the time) said that he was most likely doing it out of boredom and to walk him more/longer. He also didn't see any reason, cuts/injuries/etc., for him to be doing it otherwise. So we did as he suggested. That didn't work. But roughly 6 months went by with the issue coming and going at random.

    We took him back again at which time our regular vet was there and she said it was most likely due to allergies. Plus the fact that he showed other signs of allergies. So she gave him some steroids and allergy meds. It seemed to work but only temporarily. Then it came back.

    This issue has been ongoing and off and on over the last few years with multiple vet visits followed by allergy/steroid and antibiotic meds. None of which would work indefinitely. And since they don't work indefinitely, we did NOT want to keep him on anything long term. The longest we tried was 6 weeks straight. Plus that allergy medicine is over $75 a month!

    And, although our pug had been on a prescription diet through the vet for the last several years, we decided to take him off of it and try making our own food for him in the event that it was a yeast infection. The vet was/is well aware of the ingredients we are using now in his food and agrees they are fine for our pug. The vet tech even said she's been doing the same for her pugs and that it has worked wonders for them since she changed their diets. Sadly, while it may be doing him wonders in other ways, he still seems to be having issues with this dang paw!
    I also read on the Internet that it could be due to dust mite allergies and/or flea allergies, but he's been on a flea & tick and heart worm regimen regularly. I also cleaned the place top to bottom in the event it is/was dust related and that didn't seem to totally take it away either. I really don't know what else to do. We also notice that he sometimes gets crusty around his chin and muzzle at times as well. And yes, I clean his face pretty regularly.

    Over the years I have tried the following. Some of which the vet has even suggested. ALL of which she was aware of and gave the ok. They include, and not all done at the same time either, mind you:

    Bathing him once a week/every 3 days/twice a week
    Bathing him with the following combos: Special dog shampoos/Dawn Dish Soap/Vinegar & Water/Dawn, Vinegar & Water/Dawn, Water & Tea Tree Oil
    Used Malecetic Wipes (for paws and face)
    Used Stridex Medicated Pads (for paws and face)
    Used coconut oil (for paws and face and we put it in his food)
    Used Apple Cider Vinegar (on paws and in his water)
    Used peroxide (on paws)
    Did daily paw soaks in vinegar and baking soda
    Benadryl
    Triple Antibiotic Ointment (for paws and face)
    Hydrocortizone Ointment (for paws and face)

    I think that covers it all. If I forgot something and someone mentions it, I'll let you know. But I seriously don't know what else to do. Of course the vet said we could get some allergy testing done but it will be costly and we don't have the money right now. Which is why we also wanted to try some NON harmful home remedies during all of this first!
    Like I said, we have gone from thinking it was environmental allergies, to food allergies to dust mite allergies, to flea bite allergies, etc. Don't know what else it could be. Would love to hear any suggestions you may have. Thanks!!!

    I'll include two pics. As you can see there doesn't appear to be any cuts or abrasions UNDER his foot either, that would cause the licking/biting.





    Last edited by CementPond; 02-28-2018 at 01:08 PM.

  2. #2
    LilyFayre's Avatar
    LilyFayre is offline Village Tea Pug
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    Hi!

    So sorry to hear that this has been such a long ongoing problem. You certainly seem to have covered most things in trying to help him. None of my dogs has ever had this problem, and I can only think of a couple of things you might consider. Some people report a full resolution to this problem when they switch to feeding them raw food. I can’t say that I’m a fan of raw feeding myself, but guess I’d give it a go if I believed it could help. Some give credit to giving their dogs turmeric - usually in the form of Golden paste as it has anti inflammatory properties. I think there are several Facebook groups that specifically discuss raw feeding or Golden paste.

    Slightly newer thinking on excessive paw licking is that it can be caused by the dog being in pain in their neck or shoulders - I suppose you could test that theory by asking your Vet to supply a short course of painkillers.

    If it is behavioural then your only option is to try persuading him to lick/chew something else and maybe use a cone if he’s damaging his foot too much.

    Please let us know how you get on
    Suzie
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  3. #3
    CementPond is offline Village Puppy
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    Thank you for responding, Suzie. Funny you mentioned a raw diet because I just came across that info again today as well. Some people really do swear by it. I've also heard of the turmeric but have not tried it. I don't think it's due to any pain only because he's been to the doc numerous times since this has started and when he does his normal yearly checkup they usually test his joints and things and he's never acted out, yelped, showed signs of pain, etc. during any of it. He also jumps and runs and plays around just fine without any pain, so it seems.

    Since making my post earlier I have contacted the makers of this medicated shampoo (I will post it below) and they seem to think it looks and sounds like a yeast infection/allergy still (based on the look and the smell I described to them). I guess that could be possible only because, even though I have changed his MAIN food, he does still have the occasional treat and table food (which I know he shouldn't but the grand kids are the biggest breakers of this rule...lol). Anyway, I think I'm gonna be diligent with the NO TREATS/BAD FOOD other than what I make him, and see what happens. I'm also gonna give this shampoo a try as well as an e-collar to see if any or all of these things work. I mean, even the description of what a yest infection smells and looks like in dogs has me believing that may really be what he has. I just don't know anymore.

    https://www.amazon.com/Antifungal-An...ct_top?ie=UTF8


    Quote Originally Posted by LilyFayre View Post
    Hi!

    So sorry to hear that this has been such a long ongoing problem. You certainly seem to have covered most things in trying to help him. None of my dogs has ever had this problem, and I can only think of a couple of things you might consider. Some people report a full resolution to this problem when they switch to feeding them raw food. I can’t say that I’m a fan of raw feeding myself, but guess I’d give it a go if I believed it could help. Some give credit to giving their dogs turmeric - usually in the form of Golden paste as it has anti inflammatory properties. I think there are several Facebook groups that specifically discuss raw feeding or Golden paste.

    Slightly newer thinking on excessive paw licking is that it can be caused by the dog being in pain in their neck or shoulders - I suppose you could test that theory by asking your Vet to supply a short course of painkillers.

    If it is behavioural then your only option is to try persuading him to lick/chew something else and maybe use a cone if he’s damaging his foot too much.

    Please let us know how you get on
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  5. #4
    GordonBrunoPugMom's Avatar
    GordonBrunoPugMom is offline Village Royalty
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    Some of the thing the vet told you seem odd to me. Teatree can be toxic to dogs when ingested. Anyway itís been years right? It looks like it developed into a Lick granuloma. So your pug has done this also for so long that he probably does need help to stop the behavior. If there is no physical reason than it might be psychological after all. Sometimes anxiety can cause behavior like this. Did your vet suggest a trainer? Perhaps see another vet for a 2 nd opinion. You could try bitter tasting wrap. Andover Healthcare PetFlex Bitter No Chew Animal Bandage
    This is a tricky one because there are so many reasons a pet starts itching. Is it just that one spot ?
    Last edited by GordonBrunoPugMom; 02-28-2018 at 07:04 PM.
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  6. #5
    CementPond is offline Village Puppy
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    When I tried the tea tree oil it was literally a drop in the entire shampoo bottle that was mixed with Dawn & water. I was assured that was not enough to do any harm and I also read about others having used it too. As I said, it started years ago but it comes and goes. So, it's not like he has the spot always or constantly. But it never fully seems to go away completely. Just gets better. Not sure what he has to be anxious about. Literally his life has been the same since we got him at 10 weeks old. He's 7 now. I also don't work and so I'm home with him all day. I just don't know if I believe it could be anxiety. Boredom, maybe. Which is why I did what the first vet suggested and tried walking him more frequently/longer. But that didn't seem to matter.

    Now we have wrapped the foot in some of that self sticking bandage just to get him some relief at night cause he licks in the middle of the night even. But then I noticed that his foot started to look swollen in the am even though we wrapped it loosely so we stopped doing it. But I never heard of any bitter wraps/bandage. Maybe I will look into it. And no we haven't really tried any corrective techniques yet. By now he may just do it out of habit. Who knows.

    Either way it is tricky because it does seem like an allergy and he does seem to mostly be affected during the Spring and Summer. It's just so baffling. As for it being his only spot, pretty much. I mean he used to have really bad infected ears too but after repeated cleanings/antibiotics/steroids, they finally put an Odi-pack(?) in there about 8 months ago and it's been gone ever since and we've not had any problems with his ears at all. But it was always the ears, one side more than the other, and always this one paw (although he licks the other he favors this one). Although, like I said, at times his chin and face will seem to break out too. And, not sure if it's related or not but, the insides of his legs are all dark too. Not pink. But I heard that can just be a normal part of aging in some dogs so I don't know. And the vet never seemed worried about it. He also scratches, using his back legs, his side/kinda behind his front legs. But that's not always a constant either.

    Quote Originally Posted by GordonBrunoPugMom View Post
    Some of the thing the vet told you seem odd to me. Teatree can be toxic to dogs when ingested. Anyway itís been years right? It looks like it developed into a Lick granuloma. So your pug has done this also for so long that he probably does need help to stop the behavior. If there is no physical reason than it might be psychological after all. Sometimes anxiety can cause behavior like this. Did your vet suggest a trainer? Perhaps see another vet for a 2 nd opinion. You could try bitter tasting wrap. Andover Healthcare PetFlex Bitter No Chew Animal Bandage
    This is a tricky one because there are so many reasons a pet starts itching. Is it just that one spot ?
    Last edited by CementPond; 02-28-2018 at 07:41 PM.

  7. #6
    Wonka & Nilla's Avatar
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    It could be an obsessive (OCD) type of behavior. I agree with trying one of the bitter wraps and see if that stops the licking. I hope you find something that works and helps your boy.
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  8. #7
    CementPond is offline Village Puppy
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    Thank you! It very well could be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonka & Nilla View Post
    It could be an obsessive (OCD) type of behavior. I agree with trying one of the bitter wraps and see if that stops the licking. I hope you find something that works and helps your boy.

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