ASK DR CLAIRE
Both Labradors are constantly chewing at their paws. What do we do?
Licking and chewing at paws is really just a symptom and can be the result of many underlying causes.
In this case, we really need to find out the cause of the licking and chewing so that we can properly treat your dog’s problem. This will help us reach the best treatment plan too.
Some of the underlying causes of licking paws might be:
- Infection (usually bacteria, yeast or mites)
- Allergic dermatitis (usually pollens, also food and fleas).
Allergic dogs have a reduced skin barrier problem making them more susceptible to allergens. The licking tends to precede the infection of the area.
Allergies are particularly common in Labradors.
A hands-on examination from your local vet would be a great place to start.
Some basic tests need to be done to check for infection and parasites such as skin scrapes and sticky tape impressions to look for mites, and infection under the microscope.
It’s important to note that your dog’s diet is a big one to consider in cases of licking at paws, especially as conditions such as food allergies can develop later in life. Sometimes eliminating the problem part of the diet is all that’s needed, whilst changing to an appropriately balanced home-cooked food or a hypoallergenic commercial one.
We’re here to help!