Dog ate chocolate?

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Brown fur from licking.

Species: Dog
Breed: Bichon
Age: 2-5 years
Plato has been licking his paws, face and butt a lot. Now those areas are turning brown. His fur is all white so you can see how much brown in those areas.

I feed only organic foods with no corn and the first ingredient meat. Plato got very sick and almost died when he was under a year old from corn in his dog food.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Julie and thanks for your question.

By far the most common reason for a dog to lick in those areas is allergies. However, food allergies are actually not that common. Most often when a dog has allergies it is because they are allergic to something in the environment such as a weed like ragweed. Usually we can't find the source of allergies.

The fur is stained brown because that is what happens when saliva repeatedly touches the fur. It will eventually go away once the allergies clear up. You can also buy good products in the pet store or at your vet that will help you to clean these areas.

Regarding the allergies, in many areas allergy season is coming to an end and you may find that your dog clears up on his own. If you live in an area that is cold enough to see frost then once there are a few good frosts most dogs start to get better.

But, many dogs do need prescription medications to help with the itching. The most effective medicines are steroids such as prednisone. When we give prednisone to a dog for allergies we give it in very small doses and it is not harmful to a dog.

While there are a few dogs that do ok with antihistamines the vast majority do need some steroids.

Regarding the food, if your dog has an environmental allergy then changing the diet will not help at all.

I hope this helps! If you think he needs medication your vet will likely want to take a look at him just to confirm that this is indeed allergies.

Hope Plato is feeling better soon!

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.