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Put something on dog feet to stop licking?
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Put something on dog feet to stop licking?

I continue to struggle with my Westie's irritated feet. Foot baths in Epsom Salt seems to help, but he continues to lick and the feet he licks the most are the worst... I think it possible most of the problem is his licking.  I have tried to divert his attention with a chewy and that lasts for about 20 seconds...he gets bored easily.

I am looking for something I can put on his paws that will taste bad and discourage his licking.  It can't be another irritant to the skin,  Also, it can't be something that would damage the dog if ingests (in lick amounts), i.e., I may find out it doesn't work, he just licks it all off.

Thanks,  
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612551_tn?1247839157
This is a treatment, not an anti-lick, but it the licking is due to itch, this may do the job.  Anyone have experience with any of the following three, all have good reviews on Amazon.

1)  Sulfodene First Aid Skin Medication 2- Mercaptobenzothiazole which I assume is the active ingredient - try to pronounce it.

2) Sergent's Vetscription Benadene Hot Spto skin treatment

3) Excel Hydrocortisone spray - hey this sounds familar.

All have high reviews and Hot Spot sounds like what I see on my dog's feet.  
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974371_tn?1364538460
Problem is, anything you put on the feet he will most likely lick off.  Maybe this is bacterial and he needs a Vet check and maybe antibiotics if it is not food or a contact dermititis
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Still holding off on the vet.  I think this problem will respond to home treatment.

I purchased some [Sulfodene First Aid Skin Medication 2- Mercaptobenzothiazole], but as I wanted it "right now" I purchased the Adams equivalent, looks like the same bottle with Adams printed where Sulfodene is printed on that brand.  

The Adams brand doesn't smell bad, that could be a disadvantage as licking is part of the problem.  We'll see.  Reviews I read on the Sulfodene said it really smells bad.  Some said it was a deterrent to licking.  

I'll report on how this latest Westie experiment goes, including I we take him to the vet, again.
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Hi!  My vet gave me a product called "Lickguard".  It leaves a bad taste in their mouth that first time they lick.  My dog had a UTI and wouldn't quit licking even when the disease was gone.  It works great!  Doesnt hurt her at all and she has stopped licking!!  Good luck!
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Have you ever tried vinegar?
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612551_tn?1247839157
Thanks,

Lickguard sounds interesting. Is it over-the-counter or prescription?

yes I have a gallon size white vinegar that I use for cleaning...and of course vinegar for the table.

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612551_tn?1247839157
I found Lickguard on Amazon - OTC
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462827_tn?1333172552
Jerry,
Organic Coconut oil is what you need...Can be found  at any healthfood store.....Will come in a jar as a solid paste....Turns to liquid when heated.....

Coconut oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal,  & full of omega fatty acids.......

From Earth Clinic:
SKIN/HAIR/BEAUTY
Applied topically, helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward off infection; Reduces symptoms associated with psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis; Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin; Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking; Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots; Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion; Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.; Helps control dandruff.

VIRUSES/BACTERIAL INFECTIONS/FUNGUS/PARASITES
Studies have found that coconut oil can kill viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases; Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections; Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.

Also, CAN be taken internally for healthy Omega 3 Fatty Acids.....So, "Licking it off" becomes a good thing!  ;)     Karla

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He may need to have a cone collar put on him until the lesions have healed.  Hopefully, once they are healed up, he won't keep licking.  I had a dog that got hot spots, not all the time, but once she got one, it was H-E-double hockeysticks, because she wouldn't leave it alone.  I could usually get it cleared up with a course of antibiotics and predisone, and then she wouldn't lick the spot anymore.  Usually she only got a hot spot if it started with something else, like an insect bite.  Some dogs just lick, though, and it is the licking that creates the hotspot.  Westies are notorious for skin problems, and it is possible that your dog might have some itching that causes him to start licking, and then the licking opens up a hot spot.  I would probably go ahead and use the cone collar, especially if I couldn't find any other way to stop him from licking, and then once it was good and cleared up, I would take some time to wait and see what happened next.  If he keeps getting new hot spots, you might have to try to figure out something nutritional that you can do.  Post back if you get to that point, and I hope it doesn't come to that, but a lot of people, including me, will have some ideas.  
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Thanks, I just tried vinegar to stop the licking.  After putting it on his front feet and lower legs he sat a few feet away from me, licked enough to get it all off, and now is peacefully at my feet sleeping.  He never seems to be angry with me for doing things like putting stuff on his feet/legs.  Of course the "bitter bite deterrent" I have sprayed also gets licked off - maybe even some chewing and biting.  

I am concerned that the licking is part of the irritation on his feet, now three of them, the left front is yet to lose hair... he is licking there too now.  When I stop him from licking his feet he starts licking the end table, or the rug.. this dog has a licking problem... but not people, he never licks me or anyone else.
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This really sounds like it may be a contact allergy issue.  Do you take him out to do his business?  If so, where and on what type of surface?  What is his bedding made out of?
Or, could just be neurotic licking.
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This almost sounds like an obsessive-compulsive disorder, which often manifests in carpet or furniture licking. Does your vet know that if he can't get to his feet he will lick other things?
And I feel for you on the bitter tasting stuff. When I was trying to get my one dog to stop chewing the ridge of her crate I kept using stronger and stronger stuff until I was shopping at ethnic markets for super hot pepper juice.  She happily licked it all off and thanked me for seasoning things up a little :)
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612551_tn?1247839157
Thanks for all the stories and sympathies.

And to think I told my wife about a year ago when she said its time for another dog, NO!   Well, guess it is obvious who won that disagreement.  

He was with us for almost 10 months before the feet/leg licking became a problem.. so it may nod be OCD.  So it seems something set him off.

This time of year the outdoor toilet activity varies, now it is snow, otherwise grass and field grass.  Evey time I see him poop he does a tough-guy dig his feet before leaving the area.  So, whatever the surface is, it gets full contact with his feet.
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82861_tn?1333457511
There are a couple possibilities I can think of that may be why your dog is obsessively licking his paws.  It really helps to figure out what treatment will work best if you can figure out why he's doing it in the first place.

It could very well be an OCD type of thing if he doesn't get walked off his own territory regularly - like  30 minutes twice a day.  Some dogs are needier than others that way.   They get bored and start licking.  Aside from kennel callus development, licking can bring on hot spots from fungus and/or bacteria.  

Dogs can also get yeast infections started in between their toe pads for no readily apparent reason.  It's like doggy athlete's foot and is very irritating so they lick, keep everything wet, and the infection gets worse.  Give his paws a sniff.  If they smell really "doggy" or worse, it's probably some kind of fungus like yeast.  One of my dogs was really prone to that and the vet gave her Dermachlor Flush Plus.  It's an antibactial, antifungal liquid that also contains a little lidocaine.  A quick squirt in the toe pads twice a day worked wonders.  My dog never licked her feet after a treatment and it would clear up in 3 or 4 days.  Whether that was because the Dermachlor made them feel better or because the lidocaine knocked out the irritation or because she didn't like the taste, I'll never know, but it worked!  :-)
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Thanks, boredom is a likely contributor.. but the walking, that's another issue.  We got Wilson as a rescue about 8 years old Westie.  He had not been neutered so he may have been a breeder, but not a puppy mill as he has many "family" behavior traits.  These include jumping for joy when we get a leash out and enthusiasm for getting into his crate in the back of the car.  But, since joining our family he has had a free reign of are large, off-the-road, property where he takes on the serious task of running all the White Tail Deer anything else far away from our house, generally that means a couple hundred feet.  Boy can he run for such a small dog with short legs, and set up a racket of barking that sounds much larger than his physical size.  I do worry about him getting into trouble, but he is almost always under human supervision which may contribute to the deer bounding away.

I believe others have recommended Dermachlor Flush, I'll look for some at the pet store, doubt Walmart or he Supermarket pet section will have it.

As I think is in this thread I have been using a couple of hot-spot type treatments on his feet two or three times a day, one has a "bitter chew deterrent" which has little or no effect in the deterrent department...but he seems to be getting better.  His feet are showing some improvement.

He got his weekly medicated Ketoconazole shampoo bath were I took some pains to let him soak for about 10 minutes before rinsing.  I was careful too to wash with the soap between his toes.   He behaves well in the bath but is not so friendly when it comes to gooming..still working on that and trimming the toe nails.  On the latter subject I think trimming the hair around his feet may also help as the feet will dry faster with not covered by wet hair - a common result of being outside this time of year in NJ USA.  The Dremmel drum sandeer seems to be useful in nail care, but I think I'll add a Miller Forge pliers-style trimmer to make the job a lot faster - I've a ways to go in taking control on such matters as grooming and nails.  
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Status;Update:

As we approach two weeks I can say Wilson's feet look to be at least 80% better, hair is coming back and redness of skin I can see is mostly gone.

He still licks some but the medication used at least twice a day, morning and night, maybe a third time before bedtime/last-potty-call.  I used the meds noted above putting the Adams (Walmart) brand 2-Mercaptobenzon... (must be in the list of longest words ) put on with a cotton ball, dabbed on and use a spray (lighter weight liquid) Pro Sens ntiseptic Med Spray with Bitter Chew Deterrents (the reason I purchased) that contains Chlordixidine Gluconate (these mouth-full words could be spelled wrong).  The Chew Deterrent was not more effective from what I could detect.

The good news is he seems to be on the way to a full cure (if temporary).
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My dog has been licking his paws pretty much for the last 4 years, he is only 5. He does it constantly, we've taken him to the vets countless times to find a solution, this has included everything from them taking scrappings off his paws to look for mites to shampooing his paws. It has got to the point where he will lick them for hours. It has worn holes in our carpets from the friction of his paws and he has bald patches. He doesn't even like us touching them, if we do he flinches as if we have scalded him. I am at a loss. I love my dog to pieces and it seems like he's had such a miserable life because of this, there's obviously something causing it but if the vets can't even find a solution I don't know where to start. Any and all ideas will be tried. It is usually red in between his paws, occasionally bleeds if he's having a particularly bad day. Please help! He's a labrador dalmation cross, sure that wouldn't make a difference but just in case.
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I am convinced our Westie's may problem is food allergy (ies).  I am about to prove beef is a big No-No.  This is something the vet has already guessed and the rescue worker who saved him from being put-down by Jersey City Animal Control (They called the Westie club to see if anyone wanted to save him - he was a mess, starved and loss of much of his fur).  She nursed him back to life and cured the yeast infection that caused the skin problem and was likely the cause of his loss of hearing.  She warned me about food allergies and recommended a Grain Free Fish/Potato kibble.  She also told us she used boiled chicken to get him to eat in the beginning.  Seems his system was shutting down to die, and not eating was his way of making it happen faster.  She also recommended using a dog shampoo containing 1% Ketoconazole (sp?) and to bath him a couple of times a month (he fits in the kitchen sink, so not difficult to do) with the shampoo.

We've had him over a year now and, I think, because I couldn't follow instructions - I'm an old guy and I've never had or known a dog with food allergies, so it didn't register with me.

When the paw issue was difficult I purchased an Elizabethan Collar and physically stopped him whenever I caught him chewing/licking.  Tired to make the point with the collar, then take it off.  This was making progress and I think I had him on a fish/potato grain free - his feet were looking better.  He had his annual physical and the vet prescribed antibiotic, antihistamine with steroids and some ear ointment and  withing a few days he was on his way to having full hair covered legs and paws.  But.. dumb me, we had our visitor dogs over for a 10 day stay, they eat anything, including Pedigree Beef Stew and the like canned dog food with a Beef based Kibble for their main meal (Labradoodle and Goldendoodle).  Well I couldn't resist and I took a table spoon of the gravy off of each of the two cans and put it with about the same amount of water on our dogs fish/potato kibble, he loved it and was excited about eating every evening - then, oiuch, back to the chewing and licking and his rear legs and paws got looking real bad before I really noticed. I stopped the gravy train treat, buying a can of fish based canned dog food to dress up the evening kibble.  I also washed his legs and feet with the medicated shampoo and used the "hot spot" treatment.  Now two days later I am convinced  

Well having never had a dog with food allergies I have been hard to convince.he is recovering.  I will likely add some ProBiotics to his diet, if I can find it straight, not mixed with beef.

I also stopped giving him a Dentalbite (something like that - supposed to be a teeth cleaning treat) as a reward.  If he gets better I'll start the treats again but no beef anything.  I think (can check) the teeth treat is chicken flavored, really designed to taste good enough to make the dog chew it up, not to feed him.

I have not looked back at what was said earlier here, so I give this update and if it conflicts with anything I said earlier, I am still exploring and learning. I hope I have learned our poor dog has food allergies (I think independent of his near starvation - rather related to inbreeding of Wesies, what breed dog are you having paw licking problems. with?)
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