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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5222
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My rat terrier has been licking her front left paw until it

Customer Question

My rat terrier has been licking her front left paw until it gets inflamed she has been to the Vet and they did X-rays gave me soaks and antibiotics and she is still after it
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the rat terrier's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** we think she is 7 or 8 she is a rescue
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Mia?
Customer: No other than the licking and when her foot is sore she limps she is in good shape
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Please cancel this I thought it was 5$ I don't want a membership and a $19 bill
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 10 months ago.

I am sorry to hear about Mila's issues. I presume that the radiographs that the vet took show no abnormalities? Depending on what area you are in, migrating grass awns (also called foxtails) can work their way into and under the skin causing chronic irritation until they are removed surgically. Typically these have a draining tract but not always as sometimes the site of insertion heals over. In this case, the area needs to be surgically explored and the pieces of foreign material removed after which the hole should be flushed out and left open to heal or closed if it is a big area. Other possibilities include an infection of the nailbed (especially if it is only 1 paw) which can be bacterial or fungal. Some dogs lick a leg or paw because they are anxious and will get sores or hot spots that cause them to continue lick at the same area until they cause self trauma and a wound. The treatment for this involves placing an e. collar on the dog so that he or she cannot reach the area ay longer and it can be allowed to heal and sometimes steroid injections in the lesion or anti-depressants to help reduce repetitive behavior.

Another possibility is the presence of a tumor in the bone or soft tissue and ideally this would show up on x-rays but the signs may be subtle and if your vet as a service through which they can submit x-rays to have a board certified radiologist look at them, I recommend this because a radiologist may pick up on lesions hat are missed by general practitioners.

Either way, my best recommendation would be to place an e. collar on her if she is not wearing one already as sometimes simply breaking the cycle of self trauma and inflammation can go a long way in helping chronic wounds to heal

Do any of these sound like the reason your dog may be licking? Was I able to help answer your questions tonight?