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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Pink paw fur?

Since we got her Shirley girl is constantly licking/biting at her paws, we've noticed that the fur in between her toes is pink -- we originally had her on Evo large bites, and switched almost 2 months ago to wellness core ocean -- both grain free and now two completely different proteins -- yet she's still licking/biting -- at one point the vet told us to give her benadryl feeling it was an allergy we did that for a few weeks but saw no change.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:13 AM
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:37 AM
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First, it's pretty clear that the paw licking is not food allergy related. Food allergies are pretty far down the list of causes of atopy, and grains aren't the most common food allergens anyway. Plus, if the symptom is mainly on the paws, then it's probably not atopy anyway. Combine that with the fact that you've switched proteins complete in the food change, and food allergies are almost completely ruled out.

Second, pink or red fur is what happens when the fur is consistently exposed to saliva. The lighter the fur, the more obvious the effect.

Third, she's probably stepping in something that's causing her to lick. Fertilizer, salt, toxins on the pavement, rough concrete, household cleaners, insects, etc. are all things that can cause irritation and therefore licking. My guess would be an environmental irritant, rather than a systemic allergy.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tippykayak View Post
t.

Third, she's probably stepping in something that's causing her to lick. Fertilizer, salt, toxins on the pavement, rough concrete, household cleaners, insects, etc. are all things that can cause irritation and therefore licking. My guess would be an environmental irritant, rather than a systemic allergy.

If it was environmental wouldn't the benadryl have helped even slightly?

If it was seasonal, we have 4 seasons here, she has not had relief during any of them...

I only use diluted vinegar on the floors when I have to
We don't use fertilizer (even if we did she would only be exposed for a short time not year round)
not exposed to salt (again even if she was it wouldn't account for licking all year round)
pavers around the pool, but she hasn't seen those since last august
No insects to speak of she's in the house most of the day.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:53 AM
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For what it's worth, when one of my goldens consistently licked/chewed at her paws, we found that antihistamines (such as benadryl) only had an effect when combined with a high dose, high quality fatty acid suplement. This was recommended by a veterinarian specializing in allergy/skin issues.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2goldens2love View Post
If it was environmental wouldn't the benadryl have helped even slightly?

If it was seasonal, we have 4 seasons here, she has not had relief during any of them...

I only use diluted vinegar on the floors when I have to
We don't use fertilizer (even if we did she would only be exposed for a short time not year round)
not exposed to salt (again even if she was it wouldn't account for licking all year round)
pavers around the pool, but she hasn't seen those since last august
No insects to speak of she's in the house most of the day.
If it were allergy related, it would probably have gotten better with the benedryl, but if the irritation were already going strong, benedryl wouldn't necessarily have made a noticeable difference.

I can't tell you what it is, since I'm not with the dog all day, but I can tell you that you've pretty much ruled out food allergies. The most likely thing now is an environmental irritant. A flea bite or two gotten outside before the topical (or whatever else you use for flea management) has a chance to work, a few ant bites in the yard, an exposure to a chemical that you're not aware is in your home or yard, etc.

If she's bored or prone to neurotic behavior, it could also be a habitual, self-stimulatory behavior.

Another thing to rule out would be hypothyroid. It's not particularly likely if you're not seeing any other thyroid symptoms (weight gain, coat problems, behavioral problems), but it's a relatively simple thing to rule out.

Just spitballin' here.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:56 AM
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Could it be OCD?

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakemup View Post
For what it's worth, when one of my goldens consistently licked/chewed at her paws, we found that antihistamines (such as benadryl) only had an effect when combined with a high dose, high quality fatty acid suplement. This was recommended by a veterinarian specializing in allergy/skin issues.
I think this may be a good idea. Sometimes the addition of good fats to the diet can really help with itching and coat problems. Just be careful with high dose fish oils, since they can interfere with blood clotting.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 12:18 PM
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Environmental allergies can be to about anything like dust, grasses, heck even vinegar. It can be OCD started by a real irritant and I know of some dogs who go into a licking frenzy just by their feet getting wet.

I am another big fan of fish oil (although not too much) it does good stuff for so many parts of a dogs health.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretchdrive View Post
Could it be OCD?

We thought at first it was nerves -- she's been doing it since we got her in August -- but it hasn't let up -- maybe just a bad habit at this point?? but how do you break it?

BTW both doggies get fish oil daily
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