Q. My Boston/pug mix, recent rescue, has smelly paws all of a sudden. Can I use athletes foot powder on him. My late boxer had this once and was given
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. It's best not to use an OTC human product as it may be harmful if your dog ingests it. if you are getting a "corn chip" smell it could be yeast as the feet are not drying out enough. Using a pet wipe to keep the feet clean and then drying them after coming indoors with a clean washcloth can help reduce yeast growth and stop the smell. It is also a good idea to prevent your dog from licking or chewing his feet as it can introduce secondary bacteria. If the problem doesn't get better, speaking with your vet may help.
DESTINI R. HOLLOWAY, DVM
A. Smelly feet could be a sign of a yeast infection of the footpads. Foot powders pose a problem for pets because they often can inhale the powder and this can cause irritation of the nasal passages. I would recommend creams instead of the powder and it has to be an approved veterinary product such as fungal wipes or fungal creams from your vet that are at safe concentrations for pets. These creams often contain Miconazole or Ketonazole for best results.
Also I would pay attention to your pets behavior and if you notice him licking at this paws (often a common cause of the fungal infection because of the added moisture from the saliva), then this is a sign of possible food allergies. Food allergies can be caused by the top allergens which are chicken, beef, and turkey. I would recommend a food trial with novel proteins such as venison, kangaroo, duck, or salmon to help combat food allergies. The best diets with the most effective results will be your prescription diets such as Royal Canin hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein, Hill's Z/D or even the Royal canin vegetarian diet that cuts out all meat proteins and uses soy as a protein source instead.