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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Don't know if this is worth a vet visit or not? Please let me know what you think!
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
It's like the colour is changing..
Answered in 9 hours by:
10/10/2017
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,938
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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I'm sorry for the delay. Are these pics of different areas on her paws or are the three pics of the same area? I see inflammation and either saliva staining from her licking the area or evidence of yeast (Malassezia) infection.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Different areas of her paws. The first 2 I posted are what they look like recently, it does look less irritated than it did. The third picture I posted is what it looked like before I started soaking the paws. Was more red and irritated. But now, it's like it's changing to a pinkish/red colour and staining the fur.. is this normal? Should I go to the vet?
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
She was licking them more in the beginning but I don't notice her licking them now. Is there anything else I can do for this?

Thank you for the additional information. The staining is either due to her licking (saliva staining) or yeast (Malassezia) infection. Her vet can clarify which is present by performing a cytology (micrscopic exam of a small sample of affected skin surface). Yeast is most often a secondary infection seen in dogs suffering from an allergic dermatitis. I'd like her to see her vet to have the cytology performed and to discuss both atopy (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc.) and food intolerance - both of which can cause pruritic (itchy) paws. Here's a synopsis of both atopy and food intolerance for you:

Environmental allergies (atopy) are usually initially addressed with prednisone as well. In some dogs an over the counter antihistamine such as clemastine (Tavist) at a dose of 0.025 - 0.75mg/lb twice daily or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) dosed at 1-2mg/lb twice daily (maximum dose of 50 mg at any one time) may be effective. Antihistamines, however, aren’t reliably effective. Adding fish oil to the diet at a dose of 20mg/lb daily of the EPA in the fish oil might synergize with antihistamines to provide better anti-pruritic action. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are antiinflammatory but may take 8-12 weeks to kick in. The new oral immunotherapy using the cytokine antagonist oclacitinib (Apoquel) is likely to revolutionize how we address atopic dogs and should be discussed with her vet. Oclacitinib works as well as a steroid without a steroid's adverse effects. The new injectable immunotherapy with the monoclonal antibody IL-31 (Cytopoint) should also be discussed with her vet. Please note that atopy, at least initially, should have a seasonality to it while a food intolerance should cause pruritis regardless of the season. Chronically atopic dogs may be pruritic year round.

Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that her immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra. (I prefer the hydrolyzed protein diets because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein.) A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thanks for the info. She actually has bad allergies where she nibbles at herself and seems frustrated by it. I have her on Vanectyl but she still seems to have the allergies and I can't figure out where they're coming from.. nothing has changed in my home. It does get dusty sometimes, and I'm concerned because we had an issue with mold in the basement a while back that was taken care of. If there's more mold down there, would it affect her allergies even though she is NEVER allowed in the basement?

Certainly. Molds can find their way upstairs. Vanectyl contains an antihistamine (trimeprazine) and glucocorticoid (prednisolone) which is often helpful in atopic dogs...not so much for food intolerant dogs, however.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Would the mold cause her these issues? And how does it find it's way upstairs

Yes, molds can be offending allergens. The molds enter the air and circulate throughout your home.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Should I be concerned now that if it is mold it can have seriously dangerous effects on her? If it was mold, wouldn't I be showing signs as well?

You're concerned about a specific type of black mold that can be dangerous to you and pets. We don't know if that type of mold is present. You would show signs if you were allergic to mold(s). We'e all exposed to dust, dust mites, pollens, and molds but we're not all allergic to these allergens.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Okay I'll go downstairs then and look around to see if we have any again... the issue was a flood in our basement. We have boxes and stuff down there that got soaked and caused an issue. Now I'm concerned there's more.. if I can't get someone out her to clean the mold (if there is any) for a few days or so, will this pose a risk for her? Can this get any worse?

Worsening would be unlikely. She has already improved rather than worsened because she's not licking her paws at this time.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Okay. And you think the issue with her paws is due to allergies?

Allergies are a common cause of interdigital pruritis (itchiness). My patient's licking these areas then predispose to secondary bacterial and yeast infections.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Okay. I'll be sure to check the basement to see. If there's no mold down there but dust, I'm assuming that can also cause allergies? I wish I had a maid sometimes haha!
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I will also bring her to the vet.

Yes, dust and dust mites are important allergens. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,938
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

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