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Ask Dr Scott Nimmo Your Own Question
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20412
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My dachshund licks his legs just above his feet. What could

Customer Question

my dachshund licks his legs just above his feet. What could cause this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome,This is just a quick note to let you know that I am locked on to your question and am working on it now.My name is***** and I am a small animal vet with many years experience and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today. However before I can start I need a little more information to make things clearer for me so could you please answer the following :1. How long has he been doing this, is this something Otis has been doing for a while?You can then expect a written reply sometime within the next fifteen minutes or so.We also have the option to talk things over by telephone or via an internet service such as Skype if this is more convenient for you. Please get back to me if this is more suitable for you. { There is a small extra charge for phone calls }Regards,Dr Scott
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Otis has been doing this for a quite awhile. I would say 3 years. I asked a vet about it and was told that feeding him chicken could cause it so I stopped the chicken but he is still doing.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
With you shortly ...
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Hello again and thanks for waiting.I have worked out an answer for you below ...Where small breed dogs like yours are licking their skin on their lower feet and paws and this has been going on for some time then very often the diagnosis is a condition called atopic dermatitis, this is in fact a form of chronic allergic dermatitis. While not a desperately serious condition it can be very frustrating to treat for both vets and owners alike, I will tell you some more about it and what causes it and what your options are ... 1. Some cases of atopy are due to an allergy to a small protein in the saliva of the flea which the flea passes when it bites. Stringent flea control is a must not only on your dog but in the house as well. Where a dog is hypersensitive only a couple of bites may be enough to trigger a massive skin reaction, it is good practice to really control fleas properly whatever skin condition your dog is suffering from.2. It can also be an allergy to components of the diet { chicken ? } so consider a hypo allergenic diet, your vet will advise and will stock these but you can also get them from better pet stores. If you go down this road your dog will have to be fed only this and water and it may take six weeks for this approach to show any signs of success.3. Other allergies are more difficult such as to pollen or house dust mites,because you can never get rid of the actual allergen these dogs can be maintained on a variety of drugs such as antihistamines steroids or atopica. A common over the counter antihistamine in dogs is Benadryl, more info HEREIf this is the type of disease you are dealing with then if you stop the drugs the disease will often come straight back so often a low maintence dose is given once symptoms have been controlled. Antibiotics and antifungal drugs may also be needed in the early stages because of secondary infections.4. Other treatment for skin allergies are possible such as desensitisation. While atopy is the most likely diagnosis be aware that there are other possibilities so sometime further diagnostic test such as skin biopsy can be useful. 5. The bot***** *****ne is that very often this is a difficult condition for owners to tackle on their own with home remedies, your best plan might be to have at least one consult with your local vet so you get treatment started along the correct lines. I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.Regards, ***** be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
I am just checking back in to see how your dog is getting on after our recent dialogue concerning his skin condition.
How are things going?
Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.