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612551 tn?1450022175

Skin allergies ? on only one side

Thanks for all the help I've gotten here on helping my Westie get along better with the breed sensitivities/weaknesses he has.

A new issue, reaction on only one side, can that be an allergy, how?

I have been working for several days and posted here on the use of medicated shampoo and Epsom salts on feet that look irritated, have lost hair around the toes,and get a lot of licking.  The thing I didn't mention, it is affecting only two feet, both on the right side. His left front and rear feet look fine to me, but the right side they sometimes even show some red skin, irritation I assume.  

I shifted back to washing in a medicated (yeast, but it doesn't appear to be yeast to my ignorant eye) shampoo foot wash, twice a day.  I had done Epsom salt the previous two days.  The dog is in fact licking  his right rear foot now. Is it possible he has developed a foot licking habit and that is what is irritating the skin and causing hair to fall out?

There are no other signs of irritation, he walks and runs in a normal fashion,  and he sleeps well, the irritation doesn't keep him awake.
3 Responses
612551 tn?1450022175
Hum, I tell the truth.

Is it possible that the feisty little Terrier has just taken to licking paws on one side to the point that he has irritated them?   May be something like a human baby sucking a thumb until it hurts.   Our Westie isn't a baby age wise, but...

I think I now see him working on the left front paw, and I'll watch to see if it begins looking irritated.
974371 tn?1424653129
Licking can be caused by many factors.  Could be food allergy, inhalant allergy, contact allergy, compulsive habit, bacterial or fungal infection, etc.  
has the dog been on the grass a lot?  I had a Sheltie years ago that had an allergy to grass at certain times of the year.  Have you put anything on the carpets or floors like Fabreze or anything?  
You can continue with the Epsom salts soaking or switch to baking soda and warm water.  You can keep a container handy and wash the feet off when the dog comes in from outside.
Any new dog bed or bedding being used?
I have read that some use a Chamomile tea solution for a soak but have never tried that myself.  I am afraid the dog may end up with a lick granuloma.  If it continues. Probably should have a Vet check.
Maybe try distracting with a large chew bone or large, raw beef bone.
You can always try socks but make sure none with dyes in the material.
Skin issues can drive you nuts and sometimes you need to be a vigilant detective and keep a diary, a pattern may show up.
612551 tn?1450022175
Thanks, I think the licking is aggregating if not causing the condition.  I see now some problem on the left rear foot, now three out of four. I looked because I saw him working on the left rear foot. He just likes to lick.  He doesn't try to lick people, but I often see him licking hard surfaces, metal legs on a glass coffee table, or a wood door frame... strange dog.

He is allowed outside with all types of grass and weeds, but in NJ it is mostly frozen now - seems that would not foster much to be allergic to. We adopted him last April, so he had a spring and summer here and had feet that looked a lot better.  I recall trimming hair because it was getting so long at his feet and didn't see the irritated skin with loss of hair.

Today I started soaking 3 times a day - about 5 minutes on each of the three feet now.   I may get a big pan so I can put all feet in at the same time, or I could use the sink where he gets his bath.  I am now also rinsing.  I had not bothered to rinse the first couple of days.  The skin doesn't seem to be sensitive, in any case he doesn't respond as if in pain when I stick his feet in warm ES water.

The rest of his coat looks very good, but he smell like yeast a couple of days after a bath.  I say  that with a limited knowledge about what yeast infection smells like  

He sleeps well so his feet are not keeping him awake, I'm the only one losing sleep : (  
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