A shocking revelation // Why it may not be allergies or obsessive licking
An injury, not allergies, is likely causing paw licking
(If you prefer to watch a video on this topic scroll to the bottom of the article!)
Does your dog lick his or her feet? Have you been told it's allergies? Do you find no matter what you do or what special diet recommended by your vet you feed, the problem doesn't go away?
Every year thousands of veterinarians gather at conferences to solve the issues of allergies and paw licking in dogs while the reason many do not respond to treatment is that the cause is not allergies!
In such cases, the reasons why they lick their paws may be that their feet hurt or they may have an abnormal neurological sensation due to a neck or back injury.
The pain may be either local due to a muscle sprain, footpad wound, bruising or long toenails.
Most people are familiar with an abnormal neurological sensation in their hands or legs when they have a neck or back injury. It can present as "pins and needles" or itching. Dogs are no different.
Collars injuries are the most common underlying cause
Neck injuries are most commonly caused by collars. The neck supplies nerves to the extremities and when injured, the neck muscles get tight and impinged causing an abnormal sensation and dogs start licking.
For more information on the damage collars cause, click here.
5 steps to stop your dog from paw licking
1. Replace your dog’s collar with a harness and a shock absorbing leash.
2. Stop your dog from playing tug-o-war. More details here.
3. Have your dog examined by an experienced chiropractor, physical therapist or a vet experienced in either discipline.
4. Avoid retractable leashes. More details here.
Most dogs improve dramatically within a few weeks after applying steps 1-4.
Four out of five dogs improve dramatically just by taking these simple four steps.
5. It may be worth reviewing your dog’s diet and apply a detox - cleanse program.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM