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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19638
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I have a medium sized dog, Cavachon, that is 8 years old. For

Customer Question

I have a medium sized dog, Cavachon, that is 8 years old. For the first time ever he has chewed one of his front paws raw and it is bleeding. No changes in diet or environment recently. How do I treat this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Was there any bites, wounds, bruises, thorns, ticks or anything you could see on the paw yesterday?
Any trauma or did he come in contact with anything irritating?
Has he been chewing the other paws at all?
Any odor with this?
Can you take a photo of this paw? If you can do so, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the wee paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No bruises, thorns etc that I noticed yesterday. He was chewing at the area some which is not totally new for him. Did not however evaluate the area thoroughly. No ticks for sure.
No contact with irritating substances as he has been in the same environment without change.
No other paws are involved.
No odors noted.
Picture is attached:
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Poor lad!
He has given himself quite a severe moist dermatitis and that is quite raw. First and foremost (and I do apologize to your lad), he needs an e-collar placed at this stage. We need to prevent any further access to this are for the short term as we treat and get this skin to heal.
Next, I would advise cleaning the wound with a diluted antiseptic (either chlorohexidine or iodine, both should be diluted to a weak tea like color) or salt water (1 tbsp salt in a pint warm water). This should be done 3 times a day, and discharges should be washed away. Afterwards, gently pat the area dry. We would then want to apply a topical OTC antibiotic cream (ie Neosporin). If he is very itchy with it, you can apply a thin coating of OTC hydrocortisone cream as well (it will also reduce inflammation and soreness). We will likely need to do this for at least the next 5 days or so.
While topically treating this, do keep an eye for any pus, odor, swelling or draining underneath this would. The reason is because if his reaction was to something get caught under the skin (ie foxtail, grass seed, etc), we could see an infection arise under the tissue to. And if we do, then we'd need to see his vet for systemic/oral antibiotics, anti-inflammatories (ie Metacam, Rimadyl, etc), +/- have them lance the region to find the foreign body (though hopefully not present here).
As well, in case we have an allergen that has irritated the skin, I would note that you can also cover him with an antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine for these cases (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl). A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of his body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation for him. We like to keep the dose low in dogs, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your lad has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet.
Finally, just since you noted that his chewing of this area isn't totally new, I would just advise monitoring his general interaction with that leg and the associated joints. The reason is because sometimes dogs will chew their skin in response to discomfort deeper in the tissues (ie arthritis, etc). So, we just want to make sure that this wasn't a displacement behavior for anything else present here. If you did think he has some arthritis issues, I would note that there are some very good OTC supplements (ie glucosamine, Chondroitin, Duralactin, Omega 3 +6 fish oils) that can help with that side of these situations. So, those could be of help for him in the long term if you suspect a deeper discomfort in the leg may have triggered his self-trauma to the skin here instead of a skin based irritant.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for the help. We will get to work on all of the above!
Shoeshine says thank you!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, my dear.
I am glad I could you both a plan of action to settle this for him. :)
All the best for wee Shoeshine,
Dr. B.
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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )