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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5222
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My dog has been constantly chewing at his toe nails. I have

Customer Question

My dog has been constantly chewing at his toe nails. I have already taken him to a vet and he was on an anti inflammatory medication, but it didn't seem to help. None of his treats or food has changed. We havent treated are yard at all. And his nails have been trimmed already. Nothing in his routine as in walking or exercise has changed. This seems to of happened out of no where. The last month has been high in humidity. His paw pads are slightly ruff and now turning yellow around the edges and beginning to clump and fall off. I just would like some sort of suggestions before returning for another vet visit.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

1) What NSAID med is being used?
2) Have any other meds been tried?
3) When did this begin?
4) Does he lick his feet, as well?
5) Any pics to share, or video, of this?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
He was taking temaril-p for about a week, its been 3 weeks since then. And for the last five days i have been giving him 25mg of benadryl a day to see of it was allergies, but that hasnt helped at all. Its been happening for over a month. Not so much as feet licking, but he does produce a lot of saliva when chewing. And these were the best pictures i could get due to him not liking his paws touched.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

When he chews, which surface does he hold to his mouth? The top of the foot or the bottom of the foot (that rests on the floor)?

How much does he weigh?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
He normally holds the top part to his mouth. He weighs 60lbs
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. We often see that allergies are the cause when pets are chewing at their legs, nails, between the toes, the paw pads, etc. The high humidity may also be to blame. The areas that are clumping and falling off are likely due to moist dermatitis. There are a few things you can try from home:

1) Antihistamines. My favorite is Zyrtec. You may need to give it daily for 7-14 days before you see the most benefit. Dosing info here:http://cheyennewest.com/antihistamines-for-dogs-cats/

2) Use an e-collar to stop the behavior. Sometimes the behavior is linked to a compulsive desire, as well. This can help keep the pet from licking and causing more problems although it does not treat the underlying issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFWPH17u0eU

​3) If this is a chronic issue, talk to your vet about using an allergy medication like apoquel or atopica.

​4) Talk to your vet about trying a course of antibiotics along side the antihistamines or atopica/apoquel to see if this helps with the yellowed skin. A tape test can reveal if there is yeast present, too, which may indicated the need for antifungal therapy given orally.

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