Ask the Veterinarian/Dog Allergies


Hi there!
I have a  4 year old black lab. She always has a pink mouth, pink ears & licks the bottom of her paws consistently. Sometimes the front, but mainly the back paws, to the point where there are red marks from bleeding. We had her on Science Diet & we slowly transitioned her to Natural Balance thinking maybe it was from her food. That didn't help so we took her to the vet & they said it was a grass allergy, so we fenced off the grass in the backyard & haven't let her on any grass whatsoever in months, but that hasn't helped either. Any idea what could be causing this?

It could be allergies if she is licking her paws all the time.  To treat allergic dog with medication, ask your vet for some steroids.  For a large Lab, I would recommend a shot of dexamethasone (usually 6 mg) in the muscles of the rear leg and then 1.5 mg Dexamethasone in a tablet every other day to maintain the blood level for a few months during the allergy season.  Steroids relieve the dog from the signs of allergies, but they do not take away the allergies.  Your dog can be tested to see what kinds of things she is allergic to and then she could get allergy shots to de-sensitize her body to the particular things that she is allergic to.

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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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