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Ask the Veterinarian/chewing on feet


I have a 7 year old female Brittany Spaniel. I've noticed her chewing on her back feet and front feet/wrists in the past. She recently started doing it again. I'm assuming her feet are bothering her, I feel like she's in pain maybe its arthritis? She runs around and stuff like usual, she's very happy and playful but she is getting old. Maybe it's allergies so her feet itch? Her vet gave me cortisoothe shampoo a few years ago for allergy in her skin but it's expired now. Is that something I should purchase again? I will be taking her to the vet sometime in May.

Allergic dogs usually chew on their feet!  If this is a seasonal pattern, your vet may want to try some prednisone or other types of systemic cortisone steroid drugs to calm the itching from the allergy during the season.  If it is just a short term problem, a cortisone spray called GENESIS works really well to quell itching topically.  Cortisone containing shampoos just wash off and have very little residual benefit.  Arthritis would cause year round pain and discomfort if that is the reason for her paw chewing.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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