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Why does my Shih Tzu chew his feet?
jennandpetersmom posted:
I was told by a vet tech to give him a benadryl daily. I do, but he still chews his back feet almost raw. He is 3 years old and approx. 15 pounds.
Ponyrun2 responded:
Does he go out on wet grass in the morning ? If so, he could have picked up a bacterial/yeast infection which requires more than just benedryl to treat... it's one of those vicious-cycle things where the more they chew the more it's irritated the more they chew....

My suggestion is to skip the vet tech and take him in to see the vet....
jennandpetersmom replied to Ponyrun2's response:
No. We live in an apartment. No grass. Thanx for the response! Off to the vet he goes.
Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS responded:
Dogs that chew their feet often do so because they have an allergy. That is why a benadryl was suggested. However, this particular sign is most often (not always) associated with food allergies and food allergies are not very responsive to antihistamines. If food allergies are suspected, then it will take a special food trial to see if the problem will resolve. It is very complicated and demanding about what your dog can not eat so be sure to listen carefully as your veterinarian describes the full program (special heartworm medication, no treats except the special food, no rawhides, etc.)

The problem could also be a "local" problem such as a bacterial or yeast infection of the skin of the feet and that requires specific local treatment. This could be the cause of the chewing alone or in combination with allergies.

Sounds like the best help for your dog is going to come from your veterinarian. Good luck.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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