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Dr. Shalet
Dr. Shalet, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian
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My dog has red paws that she is licking and chewing on

Resolved Question:

My dogs paws are red and she is licking and chewing on them. Been to two different vets over the past 8 days. Blood and exrays were taken. They both look great. I and they were focused more on a hip problem, broken bone, early signs of arthritis. But all of that has been ruled out. Neither vet talked about in between her pads at all. But my wife and I now feel that this could be the cause of her occasionally limping, wincing, panting,licking, and chewing her paws.

Last night my wife tried at the suggestion of her sisters vet, dabbing some tea on her paws with a cloth or paper towel. Also before bed last night my wife put on some of this product called "Surgeon's Skin". This product was bought on QVC for people to help relieve itching and irritation. But both things that we tried are less than 24 hours into us noticing her red (in between) her pads. what to do?

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Shalet replied 7 years ago.


The first thing I think of when a dog is chewing on their pads is a food allergy. This is often the first sign. The only way to diagnose a food allergy is with a hypo-allergenic food trial. This requires dedication on your part as a strict diet (with no treats) must be fed for up to 12-weeks. Cocker Spaniels are certainly a breed that can be prone to allergies.

Your dog may also have a bacterial or yeast infection on the pads of her feet. I recommend having a veterinarian evaluate the bottom of her feet. He/she may want to take an impression smear (smooshing a microscopic slide on the foot). This slide can then be stained and evaluated under the microscope to determine if yeast is present.

I have some links for you that I will share shortly.

Expert:  Dr. Shalet replied 7 years ago.

Here is a link about hypo-allergenic food trials.

One other thing that can cause pododermatitis (infections of the feet) is demodex. This is a mite that is present in all dogs but can get out of control if the immune system is not up to snuff. A skin scraping of the feet can determine if this mite is present. I'd expect you to see signs earlier in life if this were the case but it's best to rule it out nonetheless.

I recommend you take your dog back to the veterinarian and have them carefully evaluate the feet and pads. If there is swelling and/or pustules then antibiotic therapy is in order.

Best of luck and I hope this helps!

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