Our lab is constantly licking at her paws and in between her toes. She also licks other parts of her body but the majority of the time is at her paws. Vet told us she has an allergy and they've tried a couple kinds of antihistamines, but nothing has alleviated the itching. I don't know where to begin to solve this; i.e. change her food. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I remember reading somewhere that constant licking is a sign of boredom or lack of excercise. I tried finding the post and I dont see it, maybe someone else will have suggestions.
It's a classic sign of allergies. They may be food or environmentally related. Allergies are tough to pin down. Talk to your vet about it. S/he may advise treating with an over the counter antihistamine, Rx prednisone, or even a medicated shampoo.
What dog food are you feeding and what are the ingredients?
That would be the first thing I would look at and the possibility of a food change before just covering up the symptoms and releaving them with meds.
My sisters dog had a TERRIBLE time with allergies and has her whole life (she's 12) Finally after trying neumerous foods and antihistimens, steroids, shampoos etc. She tried the Hills Perscription Z/D formula it's expensive and I generally hate Hills foods but it's helped her SOOOOO much it's really amazing. I've never seen this dog not scratching and she's finally itch free.
Generally they say to start with a food that's completley different than what your feeding i.e. if your feeding chicken based try a fish/potato or vinesion based food. Try to avoid corn, wheat, and soy as they are common allergens.
That wasn't my point. My point was she needs to see a vet. The vet can determine if it is food or environmental related and prescribe the necessary changes. I was merely pointing out that there are things that will help the problem.Originally Posted by Snowco Labradors
I wasn't knocking your post. Just giving my opinion.Originally Posted by rottnlabs
Determining a food related allergy takes trial and error and elimation. somthing you can do on your own and don't need a vet for. If however you can not find the culprit than a vet can do very expensive food allergy testing. And if they find nothing than you look into invironmental issues.
Also want to point out that too many vets are too ready to just give meds without proper diagnosis. that was my point in finding the culprit first and i should have been more specific in my original post.
Thanks to all of you for your responses and suggestions. We did take DeeDee to the vet and they diagnosed her problem as allergies, tried several antihistamines, but they really didn't work. We don't want to put her on steroids yet. They told us if it doesn't get better, they would recommend a vet who specialized in allergies. Not sure I want to go that route yet as it will probably be expensive. So I'm first trying to eliminate all wheat-based products from her diet. I changed DeeDee's food to Dick VanPatten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium Allergy Formula. It's duck and potato. She likes it and after about a week, I've seen some improvement, but I'm not completely sold on the stuff. I've heard from several people, even the breeder who we got DeeDee from, that we should try Purina One Lamb & Rice dogfood or 'Nutra' brand. Does anyone know if either of these brands are helpful? I should add that we found out her problem is hereditary as her mother has allergies and was put her on an all natural diet.
Give your girl more time on the new food. It can take a while to get the culprit out of her system.
I hope your breeder is reconsidering continuing to breed her girl - so she doesn't pass this on to other offspring.
I have had a dog with allergies and know how horrible it is. She was never bred.
You are working with a vet. You are going to work with her food. Since she is after her feet more than other parts, pay attention to where he.she walks/plays. What I am specifically thinking about is lawn fertilizer. DON'T use any for the rest of the year. See if there is an improvement. Know where you are letting her play, is the fertilizer applied to that grass. My son's dog has this problem, that is the only reason for mentionng it.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.