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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21245
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog recently has started scratching all of his paws lately-

Customer Question

My dog recently has started scratching all of his paws lately- Like there is an overbearing itch. He also starts sniffing around his feet a lot. I don't think it's an anxiety thing- he sometimes yelps and it appears as if something were buying his feet. What could it be and what is the solution?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:
Is he licking or chewing his paws as well?
Can you see any redness, swellings, or sores on the foot or between the toes and paw pads?
Does it have an odor?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He doesn't have much swelling and maybe a little redness near a fingernail or two. He had one little skin colored bump in between his toes with what looked like dry skin. And he has a bump near his mouth that looks like a cold sore on humans - I don't know if it's related. On occasion he scratches his ears or his face- one ear tends to get black:brown stuff in it. We clean it regularly. His paws smell like Doritos - especially the front ones
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
First, based on his signs, the lack of significant change to the feet themselves, and his itchiness; I would be concerned that your lad's signs are related to an allergy. Since his feet are the main area of irritation, this could be a pollen based allergy (ie grass, tree pollen, etc). These often are worse where direct contact is made, but can be diffuse and affect other regions of the body.
Furthermore, I would just note that that corn chip odor his feet have tell us that we likely have a secondary imbalance of the microflora that lives on his skin. Often when dogs scratch or chew areas of skin, we see changes to the yeast and bacterial population. And I would note that this odor is specifically associated with overgrowth of yeast and a bacteria called Proteus.
In regards ***** ***** his signs, I would note that you can consider trying him with an antihistamine. As long as his signs are not severe (since severely itchy dogs do sometimes need steroids from their vet to halt allergic dermatitis), you can consider treating him with Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of his body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation for him. We like to keep the dose low in dogs, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your lad has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet.
As well, since we likely have a secondary yeast or bacterial issue complicating this and likely irritating him more, I would note that it can help to bathe the feet in dilute Chlorohexidine or we often use Malaseb (which you can get the extra-strength formulation from your vet or the milder version OTC/online). Both of these are very good for tackling those overgrowths and can help settle his paws. And you can do this whenever he comes in from walks.
Finally, if he is doing any chewing/licking of his paws at all, you may need to cover his feet with socks (since they are breathable but can protect them) or consider short term use of an e-collar to block any self trauma.
Overall, these would be my concerns for his current signs. It is possible that both bumps are microabscesses from this situation (since any chewing on his feet could transfer those bacteria to the face). But if we use the above, we should be able to decrease these signs for him. Of course, if he is very irritated, then we would want to have this checked by his vet and consider a short course of steroids to settle this for him.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )