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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24385
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog kept chewing on s paws. He has one that had a pink

Customer Question

my dog kept chewing on his paws. He has one that had a pink area on it now. It looks like part of the paw pad is gone. He has two tiny holes on that are.
He had a piece of plastic stick on that paw last week. It seemed resolved. I let him rest from walks, and when he was ready took him out again.
He is not limping
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Paw and extremity chewing are symptoms we associate with both atopy - allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites - and food intolerance. Secondary bacterial and yeast (Malassezia) infection are common in the paws because they stay wet from the excessive licking. Cooper's vet will need to perform a cytology (microscopic examination of a small sample of the skin surface) to see if abnormal numbers of bacteria or yeast are present and then treat accordingly. Atopy can be addressed with an antihistaminic corticosteroid such as prednisone or, preferably, with the new cytokine antagonist oclacitinib which should work as well as prednisone without prednisone's adverse effects. A food intolerance isn't expected to be steroid-responsive. Instead, we address a food intolerance as follows:

Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Cooper's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from his vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time. Please note that atopy initially is seasonal but can be a year round problem as a dog matures. Food intolerance isn't a seasonal problem.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Stella,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Cooper. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin