Thank you for your question regarding your 3 year old Lab cross boy who has an inflammed nail
bed on his dew claw. There are a number of things that could be going on here from a nail bed infection, to a pulled nail at it's base, to an allergic reaction or bite on this area.
Don't put any more alcohol on the area. You can definitely bathe the area with warm salty water however - just mix 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of warm water and use this to bathe and dab the area 2 - 3 times per day. You can also try a little Benadryl - the typical dose is 1mg per pound of body weight up to twice daily. You can read more about the use of Benadryl in dogs online here: http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl .
If the redness doesn't reduce by the morning, then get your boy along to your local vet to have the nail assessed, as an infection or nail injury definitely need to be considered here. The only other thing to try and do in the meantime, is to try and stop your boy from licking at this area, as this will only worsen the problem. This may mean getting an 'elizabethan collar' (e-collar) for your boy from your local pet store.
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