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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.

There are many things that can cause foot chewing and pain is one of them. Usually, however, they lick and lick when they have pain.

During the spring, many dogs get a contact dermatitis from the new grasses and organisms in the soil, which make their feet itch and tingle. Then they will chew and lick them.

The fact that the vet gave you something for "itchy feet" makes me think that's what she has. For dogs that get it in the past, they get it every year.

Think back and see if it's mostly in the spring. That's when we normally would see it. My own dog had it a few times.

Some dogs get it so bad that it spreads to their mouth and then they have red, itchy feet and lips that they rub all over the carpet and furniture.

Oatmeal shampoo/rinse helps as does cortisone cremes to put on their feet/lips.

Spaniel type dogs seem to be more prone to this because we saw more of that type of dog then others with this, but that's probably just my observation. My dog had some of that and English Pointer in her.

I'd call the vet and ask for another bottle of the shampoo if it helped in the past. Then he can look at her feet when you take her in next month.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

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Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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