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Dog biting/licking paws and losing hair around eye
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Sunshi500 posted:
Our 1 1/2 yr old Aussie has been chewing on his paws for over a month now. He now has chewed off hair around one of his knuckles on his paws, and he is slightly losing hair around his eyes. We haven't seen him being bothered on his face at all, just chewing on his paws constantly. He does wear Frontline Plus. We will probably take him to the vet, but does this sound like allergies, or more like mites of some kind? We've tried to give him Benadryl to stop the chewing, but he's been obsessed with it once we calm down for the night. His other paws are a little red from chewing on it also.
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Will Draper, DVM responded:
Sunshi- this sounds very much like atopy, also called allergic inhalant dermatitis. In a nutshell, things that your dog inhales...such as pollens, molds, fragrances, etc. will cause skin itching and irritation. One of the most common signs of this is chewing at the feet. It can also cause some excessive eye irritation, therefore causing some alopecia (hair loss) around the eyes.
Another strong consideration that can also express itself in this way is mange/skin mites. There are different types of mites...some that are contagious to humans, others that are not. I'd check to make sure no one in your home is having itchy, redness of the skin. Mange tends to be more of a "young dog" issue, but can be seen at any age.
These two issues (atopy and mange) are treated quite differently...so it is very important that you take you Aussie to your vet as soon as possible to determine the best course of treatment. Best of luck, and keep us posted!!
Dr. Will


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