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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2440
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My. My dog's paws are swollen and red after going outside in

Customer Question

My. My dog's paws are swollen and red after going outside in the grass gave her Benadryl but the park is still swollen what can I do
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

I'm Dr. Jo and I'm a licensed veterinarian with more than twenty years of experience. I'm here to help with your question about Bella's paws.
I'm so sorry you're having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided. I'll do my best to earn your good rating, because that's the only way I receive any compensation for helping you.
In the meantime, in order to help me help you better, I'll need some more information. To start with, can you please tell me:

  • How long ago did this happen?
  • How much Benadryl did you give?
  • Do you know if there was anything applied to grass like pesticides or herbicides?

I'll be standing by and awaiting your reply.
Thank you.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
It happens every morning after being outside I give her 3 Benadryl in a peanut butter sandwich. The s2alling goes down but here still red. That told me it was allergies just to give her Benadryl but now she can't really stand I need and better answers
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

Thank you for the quick reply. Typing in more now...

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

While I cannot make a diagnosis online, this sounds like some time of contact allergy. Benadryl *can* provide a little relief, if you use enough (one mg per pound of body weight, so three 25mg Benadryls is enough for a 75 pound dog), but it's often ineffective.

The most important thing to do in the case of a contact allergy (that means it's due to something she's touching) is to avoid exposure. While walking through your grass may be impossible to avoid, it would help to wash her feet off as quickly as possible when she's done. I would be inclined to get a baby pool and make her stand in that for a bit before coming in.

I know it may not be what you want to hear, but if it's at all possible, I would consider making a "safe zone" for her in the yard where there isn't any grass and put down astroturf or something.

The thing is, you can use more powerful medications to address her red and swollen feet (like steroids), but none of these *cure* the problem; they only mask the symptoms, and they're not completely safe to use.

(typing more)

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

So, in the meantime, please do be sure to wash her feet so the allergens aren't trapped in her fur and the skin between her toes. That's the most crucial thing to do for relief.

(typing more)

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

It's quite likely that changing the routine to where you soak and rinse her feet after she's been in the yard will be enough to solve the problem completely, without any medication at all.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

I know this may not be the answer you are looking for, but if she were my patient, I'd be advising you to do the same thing. It wouldn't be safe to carry on the same way and then just use a steroid every day for relief of the symptoms. And the other daily medications for allergies are really expensive and also have some degree of safety issues.

Avoidance is your best plan, both for results and from an aspect of safety and expense.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

You can learn more about allergies in dogs here:

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

Another point worth bringing up is that individual dogs vary in their response to different antihistamines. While you're only getting a partial response to Benadryl, it's possible using a different antihistamine may work better. You may have to try several different ones before coming across one that works for her, but it's possible that may help.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

But, in summary, the only drug that CERTAIN to provide relief from redness and swelling in the case of a contact allergy like this is a steroid like prednisone. Unfortunately, it's not safe for long-term use.

That's why you'll need to think outside the box and come up with a way to avoid the problem in the first place.

Does this help to answer your question for now?

I'm sorry it's such a difficult situation to be in.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 13 days ago.

I hope this information was helpful to you.

Please also remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss your question until you are satisfied with the answer I've provided. You may return to this page at any time to review this information and/or post more. You may do so even after you've rated my response. I'll be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help you.
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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 12 days ago.

Just checking in to ask if you have any more questions about your dog. Thank you. -Dr. Jo

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