Q. Our dog chews on her feet, even though we redirect her behaviour as we catch her doing this. Is there a natural supplement we can give her that might
A. You must determine the underlying reason that is causing her to chew her feet. This is a common sign of allergies but may also be due to skin infection or foreign bodies. Allergies can be frustrating to diagnose since they can have multiple causes (inhaled, food, contact). Place an e-collar (cone) on her to prevent chewing. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a complete physical exam. He or she vet may prescribe a short course of steroids to break the itch cycle (which is causing her to chew) then can dispense or recommend an antihistamine to prevent the itchiness from returning. Some antihistamines work better than others in different dogs, so you will need to find the one that works best. If an infection is diagnosed, the appropriate antibiotic will be prescribed along with topical treatment. A pet approved colloidal oatmeal bath or foot soak can soothe itchy skin. Consider adding an essential fatty acid supplement (usually a fish oil) to her diet to promote healthy skin. Search www.pet360.com for fish oil supplements. If your vet diagnoses allergies, your task is to try to determine what she is allergic to and decrease or eliminate it. Discuss food elimination trials, hydrolyzed diets and allergy testing with your vet.
DR. ANDREA M. BRODIE, DVM
A. If your dog chews her feet then there is a possibility that this is caused by allergies and/or bacterial infection or mites. Please have your veterinarian examine your dog. He will be able to chose the right treatment after diagnosing the cause.