How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Peter Your Own Question
Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28129
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
25161683
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Peter is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my dogs feet between the toes are like black and she licks

Customer Question

my dogs feet between the toes are like black and she licks them. her feet are white so i can see it very clearly. the toenails are also discolored. i had some spray from my vet. it did nothing.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
Hello, I am Dr. Peter a licensed Veterinarian. I would like to help. I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advise. There is no additional charge for information request.

1- Is the hair turning black or the skin is turning black?
2- How old is your dog?
3- How long has this been going on?
4- Any skin lesions in other areas in the body?
5- What are the ingredients in the spray you have been using?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the hair and skin are turning. she is 7. going on for about a mo. no lesions anywhere else. miconazole nitrate 1%
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
1- Is the licking to all 4 or just one paw?
2- What do you feed her?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
only three feet are black, on just the tonails and between them. only one back foot is worse. the other two are only slightly turned. she only licks on the one back one and one front. she gets nutro venison and brown rice, i have two dogs and they both get same dog food, and the male does not have the same problem.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
The discoloration (black) of the paws is caused by chronic inflammation and the inflammatory cells releasing melanin. In addition, the chronic exposure of the coat to saliva causes darkening of the coat. One of the most common causes for excessive licking of the paws is an underlying allergy (food or environmental). This is what I would recommend you try:

1- Need to stop the licking or will not get better. Pick up an ecollar (cone) in your local pet store to stop her from licking.

2- Soak her paws 2-3 times a day for 5 minutes in a solution of chlorhexiderm shampoo/soap. You can find chlorhexiderm over the counter in any pet store. Dilute 1 tablespoon of soap for every cup of water.

3- Once you soak the paws as above, dry and apply a topical antibiotic like neosporin or bacitracin.

4- Change the diet to a prescription food called Hill's z/d or a grain free diet with a different source of protein then what he normally has in the past. For example: Taste of Wild Salmon. When on this diet he should not eat anything else or he will not improve. Needs to be on this diet for 6-8 weeks before you see significant improvement.

5- Start her on Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 1mg for every pound body weight every 12 hours. For example if he weighs 10 lbs he will require 10mg every 12 hours.

6- Supplement with Fish Oil, 20mg of EPA for every pound body weight once a day, long term.

7- If after doing the above there is no improvement, have her checked by your family veterinarian.

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

why cant i print out these instructions? i get a blank page

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
I am uncertain of what to do at your end. But, you could try pasting the document and copying it onto another document. I have repeated my answer below.

The discoloration (black) of the paws is caused by chronic inflammation and the inflammatory cells releasing melanin. In addition, the chronic exposure of the coat to saliva causes darkening of the coat. One of the most common causes for excessive licking of the paws is an underlying allergy (food or environmental). This is what I would recommend you try:

1- Need to stop the licking or will not get better. Pick up an ecollar (cone) in your local pet store to stop her from licking.

2- Soak her paws 2-3 times a day for 5 minutes in a solution of chlorhexiderm shampoo/soap. You can find chlorhexiderm over the counter in any pet store. Dilute 1 tablespoon of soap for every cup of water.

3- Once you soak the paws as above, dry and apply a topical antibiotic like neosporin or bacitracin.

4- Change the diet to a prescription food called Hill's z/d or a grain free diet with a different source of protein then what he normally has in the past. For example: Taste of Wild Salmon. When on this diet he should not eat anything else or he will not improve. Needs to be on this diet for 6-8 weeks before you see significant improvement.

5- Start her on Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 1mg for every pound body weight every 12 hours. For example if he weighs 10 lbs he will require 10mg every 12 hours.

6- Supplement with Fish Oil, 20mg of EPA for every pound body weight once a day, long term.

7- If after doing the above there is no improvement, have her checked by your family veterinarian.

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i was making sure i could print the instructions. i got them.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
Great!!
Dr. Peter and 4 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
where can i find the shampoo you sugested. petsmart did not have it
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
They may have it by different names, the active ingredient is "chlorhexidine." You can also order it online amazon.com
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
does the fish oil have to be for dogs only or can i buy fish oil in my pharmacy? there is only 300 mg of epa in each capsule. that means i would have to give her3 or 4 capsules a day,to get 1200 mgs.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
No, you could use human fish bought in the pharmacy.

I would need to know your dog's weight to tell you how much fish oil to give.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
you told me i need 20 mgs epa per pound of weight. is it the same with human fish oil thats a lot of capsules. about 4.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
If you tell me his weight I will tell you how much to give?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
she weighs 64 lbs.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
She will require 1,280mg of EPA. If each capsule has 300mg of EPA then you need to give her 4 tablets a day.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
Your welcome.