Won't Stop Licking Paw

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Ty'sMom

Boxer Buddy
My 8th month old boxer began licking his left paw this morning and hasn't stopped. He also is acting differently and isn't being his wiggly self.

Last week he went to the vet because he was itching his ears but after 3 days of topical cream he has stopped itching his ears and has occasionally just been itching his chest.

His chest have some red bumps on the too.

Is this allergies in a different area? We feed him a lot of steak as treats and he has been having a lot of bully sticks lately but he had them before he itching started I don't know where this came from. He is on Timberwolf Ocean Blue for a few months now.

I left a VM for my vet and plan on taking him tomorrow but in the meantime I would like to hear what people think it might be.

Thanks!
 

gmacleod

Elusive Moderator
Staff member
If it was just the foot, I'd wonder if he possibly had some foreign object in it (a splinter, or bee sting - something like that). It's worth checking anyway, to see if you can find something. But combined with a recent ear infection and bumpy skin - well, it sounds a lot like allergies.

To work this one out, you've got to do a bit of an elimination trial. First thing I'd suggest is tossing away the bully sticks and the treats. I don't put any value on bully sticks anyway, so nothing lost by eliminating those. But the steak (ie. real meat) is a bit of a sad loss - meat is a wonderful addition to a dog's diet. Nonetheless, if you're going to figure out possible food allergies, those things have to be stopped for a bit.

My suggestion would thus be to first eliminate everything except his kibble from his diet. If the symptoms dissipate, incidentally - you've proven that it was caused by either the bully sticks, the steak - or both. You would then add one of those back into his diet/routine and see what happens. A couple of weeks later, test the other.

But if, when he is consuming nothing but his kibble, the problem continues, you will have found 2 things: (1) the problem isn't steak or bully sticks - not beef, in other words; and (2) the problem might be his kibble.

In this case, you would then need to switch foods. The thing to do would be to change to something that contains none of the ingredients that are in his current food (something like Natural Balance's potato/duck could be a good choice) and - if possible - that has different ingredients to anything he's consumed before. If a food allergy exists, this should bring about a near-instant improvement. It can take several weeks to get total clearance of symptoms, but still, improvement should be apparent quickly. That is because he cannot have pre-existing antibodies against something he's never encountered before (an allergy being an abnormal response of the immune system, producing antibodies to fight some perceived allergen).

If that improvement happens - then you've proven that a food allergy exists to something in the Timberwolf Ocean Blue. You would then have the joy of adding things back into his diet one by one to discover the exact culprit(s). It is very much worth knowing what exactly the problem was - so that you know what to avoid in the future.

If no improvement occurs with a unique food though - then you've fairly well proven that it is NOT a food allergy at all. In that case, you're looking at finding environmental issues. That can be a long process, and a bit hit-and-miss (like people, dogs can be allergic to anything at all - grass, dust, particular detergents, etc). It's can be rather more difficult that dealing with food issues too, since it's not necessarily possible to eliminate the problem. Allergy testing, whilst far from a precise science, might be the best bet in that case. Do check the food thing first though - aside from being much easier, what you've described sounds as though food is at least as likely as environmental allergies.
 

Burton'sMa

Boxer Booster
just as a side note.....a good thing for the ears...I use alot to keep my boys ears dry and clean is the PetCo PetGold dry ear powder......I use it on the outside of his ears.....from itching on the outside too.......it is antibacterial too.....I like it better than the R-7 (although I know the R-7 is recommended by show dog people), but the R-7 brand leaves an almost sticky film that the PetCo brand does not....but I noticed that my boy will sometimes itch his ears in the a.m.....which since I have allergies....my ears sometimes in the morning tend to feel a little waxy inside too.....so, I started putting the powder in and around his ears and he seems to like it....of course, I give his ears a little massage when I do it and it almost puts him to sleep.....of course, your dog does sound to have some type of food allergy (I totally agree with Gmacleod)....but just a side note...something I found to be really good for my boy's ears:)
 

VolFamily

Boxer Pal
We took Tyson to her Vet 2 days ago for "chewing" on her back paws. She was doing it nonstop. She also had a small red/bumpy patch on her belly that I had not noticed, and she had a pink chin! She does have seasonal ear allergies, and he thinks these new symptoms are all a part of it! He prescribed an anti-inflammatory and told us just to watch her. If it goes away & never comes back or only comes back every now & then, we don't have to do the allergy tests. We have not changed her food, so it's probably not a food allergy. Our Vet did tell us that flea allergies are the #1 allergy they see, with the seasonal environmental type being #2, and food being # 3 at about 15%. The Vet said it could really be anything, & he tested a dog last week that is allergic to human dander (can you imagine)!! Hopefully, we won't have to go through the tests & neither will you!!
 
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