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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12791
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 18 years.
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Just looking at suggestions. Our miniature schnauzer has been licking

Customer Question

Just looking at suggestions. Our miniature schnauzer has been licking the top of her left paw constantly. She still plays, no limping, etc. I'm thinking she may have got a bite or something. I'm concerned that if she continues, it will become raw and then get infected. We've looked at the top of the paw but didn't see a sticker. There may be a small bite (or the skin may just look that may as a result of the constant licking.) I was thinking about buying a dog shoe putting some topical on it. (The shoe do keep her from being able to lick it or lick anything I put on it.) We have washed the area and also put a warm compress on it a couple times...but the warmth only last a few minutes. Didn't know if that was wise...maybe it's better to have air. Thoughts?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and happy to answer your questions today.
I am so sorry no one has assisted you and Sophie yet today.
You have definitely started out doing everything great! Unfortunately dogs can get lick granulomas and we sometimes don't have an answer for the cause. It can be an issue with tingling, a foreign body, boredom to name a few possibilities. More information on lick granulomas:
I can definitely give you recommendations to minimize infection and reduce healing time but if there is any discharge or it is not healing then please have your vet evaluate the lesion to ensure additional medication is not warranted.
1.) No licking! If this area is reachable then please purchase that bootie or a cone to prevent her from reaching the area. Licking introduces oral bacteria to the area and can increase risk of inflammation and infection
2.) Trim the hair around the wound if there is any matting or debris
3.) Use ivory soap and water or dog oatmeal shampoo to the area twice daily with ten minute contact time before rinsing and tap dry
4.) I prefer to not apply salves or ointments because it traps in moisture to the area and reduces healing or delays healing time. If needed you can put a very thin layer of a triple antibiotic on the area after cleaning
5.) Remove any scabbing that occurs with healing. Again it also traps in moisture and then can actually abscess
6.) Limit activity. The more activity the more likely this wound will take longer to heal because the skin cannot heal in an active setting, particularly on the side.
If this is the beginnings of a lick granuloma then sometimes we do require antibiotics, anti inflammatories, prescription shampoo and my favorite laser therapy to stimulate healing and reduce the itchiness that feeds the cycle of the inflammatory response. Not all vet clinics have laser therapy but it really can minimize the need for medications and help soothe the discomfort.
Please let me know if this information makes sense and any additional questions i can assist with or clarify today.
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Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
Hi Cyndi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Sophie. How is everything going?

Dr. Altman