Hi, my dog started about 3 days ago with very itchy paws to the point that they are now very red and irritated. I looked up some home remedies on soaking his feet we used povadone iodine and green tea a few times a day whule his feet look better he ua still licking them constantly and his mood is terrible. He now has a very dry crusty nose and he seems to be shiverring on and off. I have a vet that does house calls due to the fact he is not good in cars but shes closed until monday. He also is favoring his right rear leg and it seems to be oozing. Im hoping the vet will be able to come on monday but was wondering if there is anything i could do for him until then or what it may be.
Dr. Marie replied:
It really sounds like Zero is very uncomfortable!
There are a few things that could cause the symptoms that you have described.
The most common reason for itchy feet, especially in the late summer/early fall is allergies. Often we don't know what a dog is allergic to. At this time of year it's unlikely to be food, but more likely to be some type of weed or grass outside. Also, dogs can develop allergies as they age so even if he has not had allergies before, this can still be the culprit.
If this is an allergy then your vet will prescribe some steroids which really will help.
In the meantime here are two things that can possibly give him some relief until then. The first is to soak the feet in epsom salts. One way to do this is to fill the bathtub up with an inch of warm water and put in as many epsom salts as you can dissolve. (You can buy epsom salts at any pharmacy). Then, have Zero stand in the tub for 5 minutes. You can do this 2-3 times per day and it may help his feet.
You can also soak the oozing part of his leg in some epsom salt solution as well.
The second thing is to give him some Benadryl. I find that Benadryl is not a wonder drug when it comes to allergies but it can give some temporary relief. The dose of Benadryl for dogs is 1mg per pound. So a 25 lb dog would take a full tablet and a 12.5 pound dog (or close to it) would take a half tablet. Be sure you get plain Benadryl and not a product that is mixed with other things like decongestants. You can do this up to 3 times a day.
There are some more rare things that can cause these issues. If there are ulcers on the feet and nose then this could be something called Pemphigus which is an autoimmune condition and very serious. It is treatable, but is often a lifelong condition.
Another possibility, although not common is distemper. If he is properly vaccinated then distemper is not likely. Distemper usually causes some respiratory discharge as well. Hopefully it is not distemper because the majority of dogs that have severe symptoms with distemper do not survive.
If you feel that your dog is very uncomfortable and the above measures are not working then you may need to seek out an emergency vet.
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. AskAVetQuestion.com 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.
Okay i will try those things. The only thing that worries me is the shaking i was wondering if it was a infection. With the symptoms he has do you think i should go to a animal hospital or wait until monday.
Dr. Marie replied:
Let me ask you a few questions and that will help us decide:
How is his appetite? Is he eating anything at all?
Is he as active as usual or really lethargic?
Is there any yellow or green pus coming from the oozing area?
His appetite has decreased but will eat a handful of kibble and milkbones. He is very lethargic. No yellow or green just clear. But seems to also be breathing heavy
Dr. Marie replied:
You know, there is something that really doesn't seem right here. Allergies should not make a dog feel so unwell.
I know it will cost more (and will put you through a car ride which Zero does not like) but I think you really should have someone see him today.
He could have an infection. Or this could be a very serious allergic reaction to something like a bee sting.
It doesn't sound like something that should wait until Monday.
I hope everything goes ok. Feel free to reply after you have had your visit. I would love to hear what the vet says.
Hello we took Zero for a emergency visit today which he did surprisingly well while there he has a infection of the rear right paw he is now on steroids and antibiotic along with a topical spray we also changed his food and to stainless steel bowls. He does not have a fever but his bloodwork says he has a high liver count which they want to keep a eye on. But he has already stopped breathing heavy and his nose has cleared quite a bit he has eaten well today and is now resting. Thank you for your help hopefully he continues to get better.
Dr. Marie replied:
Thank you so much for the update. I'm so happy to hear that he is feeling more comfortable!
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Dr. 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.
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