Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum


I have a strange question.  Nala went to the vet for her yearly check up.  She got the lepto vaccine.  Just that.

I noticed that ever since the vet visit, she has been biting at her paws.  She has never done this.  Nothing else changed, same food, same environment, didn’t travel, etc.

Could this be a coincidence that she got that shot and then the biting?  I looked at her skin and it’s fine.  

Christine & Miss Nala 

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I just googled side effects of lepto vaccine in dogs and found this...

  • Fever.
  • Sluggishness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Facial or paw swelling and/or hives.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Pain or swelling around the injection site.
  • Collapse, difficulty breathing, and seizures (anaphylactic shock)
  • Sounds like it could be hives (google doctor here and not really a vet), a little Benadryl might help but I would probably call the vet and let them know.

Thanks so much,

I did google as well.  Her paws, skin, everything is normal.  Happy, eating, etc.

She has had this vaccine before.....


Well, her annual visit happened at the time of year when you can expect allergy symptoms to show up, so it may be coincidental. Paw lickign and biting is the primary symptom of allergies in dogs, so keep an eye on that. They can give themselves an infection oversight. You may want to pick up some anti-itch spray at any pet supply store and try that if they seem to be bothering her.  

Hi Karen!
Is the anti itch spray something to soothe it, or it is more of something she won’t like the taste a deterrent?

This is all new to us.  Our kids allergies are off the charts this year, so maybe Nala has developed an allergy.

Thanks so much,

It's to stop the itching. Most of them contain cortisone. 
(I think it is terribly cruel when a dog is itching to do something to deter them from scratching, biting, etc. without doing something to get them some relief, so I would never recommend just a deterrent. )

Allergy symptoms most commonly show up in dogs around 3 years old, but they can show up as early as < 1year or as late as 5-6 years. 

Here's some info on other things you can do to help give dogs temporary relief from allergies:

For temporary relief of inhalant allergies, here are some things that you can do:

Give Omega 3 fatty acid supplements. You want the Omega 3 fatty acids DHA & EPA, which are only found in fish. You can also give GLA in the form of evening primrose oil supplements. In both cases, use human softgel supplements. 

If you feed dry dog food, check the Omega 6:3 ratio. You want a ratio of 5:1 or less, the lower the better, and the Omega 3 content should come from fish.

Give antihistamines. Different antihistamines are more effective for different dogs. Typically, you want second generation antihistamines that do not cause drowsiness, like Claritin, Zyrtec, Atarax, etc. rather than Benadryl.

Use OTC anti-itch sprays on the affected areas. These are available at most pet supply stores.

Wipe the dog down every time he comes in from outside, paying particular attention to the feet. Brush the dog daily.

Keep the indoor areas where the dog spends the most time as clean and dust free as possible. Wash bedding weekly, wash food & water bowls daily. Vacuum as often as possible.

Keep dry foods in air-tight storage containers and don't buy more than you can use in a month unless you can freeze it. Discard the bags the food came in and use ziplock freezer bags. 

If the feet are affected, you can soak them in tepid water with epsom salts. Be sure to dry thoroughly afterwards.

Bathe the dog often, weekly if possible, with a shampoo formulated for allergic dogs. (I like Douxo Calm). Do NOT use leave-in conditioners or other grooming products. Use a cool dryer setting or air-dry. 

As much as I hate doing it, keeping windows closed really helps with pollen allergies. Run the A/C in warm weather especially, the allergy symptoms are exacerbated by humidity. Use a furnace filter with a high allergen rating and change it monthly.

Thanks again Karen.  You are just awesome. 

I totally agree about not using a deterrent, I would never do that to my girl.  She seems to be having a better day.  I would like to get the anti itch spray, but am wondering if I put that on her, is it bad if she still licks her feet?  


I've used it for years and none of my dogs has ever had any issues with it. I try to distract them from licking the paws for a minute or so after spraying them, to let the spray dry. After that, they do seem to leave them alone, maybe because the itching stops pretty fast, but at any rate, I've never had a dog get sick from licking their paws after I'd sprayed them.

Thanks so much Karen for always helping me out!  So appreciated :)

Glad to help. Let us know how it goes.

HI Karen,

I am having a rough time with Nala.  We bathed her with a special shampoo I bought on Chewy.  I also have the spray for itchy skin, but just started that.  Poor Nala is itching like crazy.  She is biting and her hair on the back of her front paws is getting thin.  I called the vet and they recommended Benadryl, but I will not give my own kids that, therefore not Nala.

Then they said Allegra.  60 mg tablet cut into 1/4.  Every 12 hours.  We gave her 1/4 of a tablet last night.  So far still itchy.

She is 21 pounds, does that sound like the correct dose?
Also, what kind of Omega 3 pill should I get, do you have a certain kind that you prefer?

They told me to bring her in on Monday if it doesn’t improve. 

Poor Nala....

Be careful with this. GP vets cannot diagnose Atopy, or treat it with the gold standard, which is desensitization immunotherapy.  A really good vet will refer you to a dermatology specialist. But many of them will try treating it themselves with immunosuppressant drugs like Prednisone, Cyclosporine or Apoquel. A newer drug being used is Cytopoint. While Nala may very well end up needing these drugs, I'd want to make that decision with a dermatology specialist who can present you with ALL the options, because this is going to be for the rest of her life, and what you do now is going to make a huge difference down the road. 

I can't tell you the dosage for Allegra. JD was on Claritin, 3x the human dose, and one point we tried Zyrtec, for which the dose was the same as for adult humans. Dosages are different for all the antihistamines, and some work better than others for individual dogs. 

Omega 3 supplements should be fish oil, it's the DHA and EPA that help. I don;t have any certain brand I prefer. I used human softgels, but nowadays there are better options made strictly for dogs. This is also an area where a specialist helps. But I would ask your vet if they have any fish oil supplements they can recommend.



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