As promised on my welcome thread I thought I would share Oreo's story regarding her suspected allergies, and also thought I could ask for some advice.
Please bear with me as it is a fairly long story, I will try and keep it as short as possible.
We adopted Oreo just over a year ago. She settled in really well and very quickly. Almost the perfect dog.
After a few days we noticed that there were 'wet patches' in her bed and also on the sofa where she had been lying. We thought she had been drooling while sleeping. When we got her she was bald under her legs and also on her belly. It didn't seem to cause her any issues.
It turned out that she was biting and licking her back paws. We took her to the vet who gave her a shot of steriods and some medicated shampoo and told us it was an allergy and this was the best treatment.
This cycle went on for a few months and the steriods didn't seem to help other than the fur underneath her legs and on her belly started to grow back.
About a month or so later, my partner rings me to say that the dog is bleeding and she has ripped her pad from her paw. She rushes her to the vet and he gave her some antibotics a steriod shot and a special sock for her foot.
We pushed for answers and Oreo was given a few tests (skin scrape and blood tests) and told that there was nothing abnormal.
At this point we decided to get a second opinion on the allergies as they didn't really seem to want to help.
The second vet was more willing to help but didn't seem to know where to start. I was concerned that as she was biting her back paws only I thought that being a lab she maybe suffering with pain from her back legs.
This was ruled out. I then asked if it could be a nail infection, this was ruled out also.
I was told it was definately and allergy and we need to try different things based on trial an error.
She was put on a course of antibiotics, medicated melasab shampoo and a buster collar. The biting and licking of course stopped and gave the chance for her back paws to heal. We got to the point where she only used the collar when we were not around.
We were then put on two food elimination diets which didn't help at all. So the vet said that it is most likely an airborn allergy and the best way to treat it is with a drug called autopica.
I have read reviews on this and it seems around 50% of dogs have horrible side effects which are worse that the original problem.
That brings us up to today.
Oreo has recently been moved onto a no soy, no grain, gluten free food and has improved a little.
She wears a head collar for times we are not around and her paws have healed very well and even fur is growing back now.
However, she still seems to want to bite her back feet but now also she seems to want to bite the nails on her front paws too. Closer inspection seems that some of her nails have started to crack and chip away.
She also bites the base of her tail, and her backside area and skoots her backside along the floor.
Would a possible anal glad problem cause her to chew her feet?
Is chewing and licking paws a sign of pain and how likely is it that she could have a problem with her back legs? Are there any tests we can have to rule out these problems?
I have spent many hours researching the problem with no luck. My vet seems unhelpful and I am in the process of moving to a third vet after a recommendaton.
Thanks for reading and I appreciate your comments.
It's only a thought, but you make no mention of flea allergy. You don't need to have fleas to have the allergy BTW.
Have you tried Advantix or similar ?
BTW I don't know how you put up with the smell of Thornit ! Sure it works and is cheap but that smell ! Jasper has a recurring ear problem - maybe two/three times a year. I use Sancerum ear cleaner and that keeps the infections undr control most of the time with a follow up of Canaural if it becomes difficult to stop. Still - If it works for you !
Do you have a university vet school near you? If so they might have some ideas re treatment.
Chris (Kassabella) has a dog that has severe allergies. You could do a search on her name or Tess/Tessa (her dog) & see how she's been treating her with sometimes limited success. Right now, she's in Australia so it will be a week or 2 before she gets back on here properly.
You are right. The smell of thornit is not the greatest. But it worked for Oreo and i'd gladly put up with the smell if it meant she is better. Be careful with it on fabrics as it stained my sofa!
Someone mentioned flea's but I kind of dismissed it on the basis that she was only biting her back feet. Now it's all four it could possibly be an issue. She has a monthly treatment for flea's via frontline spot on. I guess the spot on may not be working properly.
I didn't know that you didn't need to have flea's to have an allergy, sounds interesting though.
I will look at that.
I will look up Chris (Kassabella) and the threads about her dog, I would be interested to see what kind of things she has tried.
I think what I am trying to do is make sure it is allergies. What i don't want is for me to try all this stuff to find out Oreo is in pain with her back legs.
I can relate to horrible allergy problems. Our 2.5-year-old lab, Scout, had horrible allergies last year, and we spent thousands trying to figure out was going on. (In her case, ear infections.) Though Scout did not chew her feet, I've read that chewing feet is one possible sign of an allergy. You said that you've done a number of food trials. Have you thought about visiting an hollistic vet? I don't know if there are any in your area, but we were really close to searching for one when Scout was struggling. Our food trial worked and we settled on chicken being the culprit, but our vet said that Scout could also have been suffering from a fish oil imbalance (we switched her to Wellness CORE Oceanfish). I wonder if that would help Oreo.
It seems to be that if Oreo was licking her back legs, not chewing, that would indicate pain. But I'm not a vet...
Follow Scout's adventures on her blog: And Puppy Makes Four