Riley has been obsessively licking her front paws for a week... I thought at first it might be irritation from road salt but it continued even after bathing and drying a few times and after she didn't go for any walks for a few days due to crappy weather.  DH took her to the vet today and said her paws are a little red but don't look infected or injured or anything of the sort.  They gave us some Theraderm cream (contains a corticosteroid, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal) just to get things under control and said she probably has some kind of allergy.

Looks like we probably have another doodle with allergies, hopefully they don't get as bad as Luna's were :/  

Anyway things I am doing (or plan on doing), anything I am missing?

- Apply the cream 4x a day for a couple days, then 3x a day, then 2x a day until her symptoms reduce or the cream runs out (it says 2-4 times a day on the package)

- Switched food (from Chicken a la veg to Salmon a la veg) - this was the vet's recommendation, I don't think food is the culprit but she has never done great on the chicken formula anyway.  We'll probably just alternate between salmon and duck.

- Started giving EPO capsules 2x a day (2000 mg total), one with each meal

- Wipe down paws and face at least once a day and definitely after street walks (are regular baby wipes safe for this?  We have a ton of them)

- We've been keeping socks on her when she starts the obsessive licking but she rips them off most of the time.  


If that doesn't work then we'll reassess and might have to start some antihistamines or something but I really hope not.


Any more ideas?

Thanks doodle friends!

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  • I'm sorry to hear this. 
    It's not the food. I can just about guarantee that. 
    I'm not sure about the EPO dosage, it might be too high. JD's maximum dose per the dermatologist was 1500 mg a day, and he was 80 lbs. And he never got that much, it gave him the runs.  Especially if you're going to be feeding a Salmon based food, which has a lot more Omega 3 fatty acids. I'd go with one capsule a day to start, you can always increase it. 
    Buy the highest allergen rated furnace filters you can afford, and change them monthly. 
    I hate to say this to a busy mom of young kids, but you need to try to keep the house and especially the areas where Riley sleeps & spends the most time as dust free as possible. Lots of vacuuming. I threw away the dust ruffle on my bed, lol, because JD hung out in my room a lot.
    Hopefully the cream will give her some relief from the itching. I'd pick up some OTC cortisone anti-itch spray for after the meds are done, just to have it on hand. 

    • At least I can be sure it's not Ragweed or something plant-related because.. well.. it's the depths of winter. :p  My best guess is either dust (been spending lots of time indoors) or mold (we've been having a lot of rain and above-zero temperature lately so leaf mold from Fall leftovers is a possibility).

      Yeah I wasn't sure about the dosage for the EPO, I'll just keep it to one capsule a day. I hadn't started the 2x a day thankfully, just 1x a day, and I am lucky she just eats it like candy lol. The vet didn't mention anything about EPO or Omegas all they did was prescribe the cream and tell us to switch foods (to another formula in the same line, not Rx food, which frankly I was a bit surprised about).  That's about what I expected their response would be.  

      We already change the furnace filters pretty frequently since the house is new and still has lots of dust which probably isn't helping.  If it is a dust allergy things will be better for her next year than they were this year since house construction in the area is slowing down, just one house left on the street to be finished (thank goodness lol).

      Her crate actually doesn't have any bedding in it (she gets too hot) but I will start washing the tray more frequently and the cover for her doggie bed that she sleeps on during the day.  Most of the areas where she spends her time are hardwood floors (or the leather sofa) so not as much opportunity for allergen buildup.  I'm going back to work this week so I'll actually have more time to keep the house in better shape without a wee terror running around all day long.

      We do put her food into a big airtight storage container, that lasts about a month, if there's any left in the bag (there's usually a bit) we put it in big ziploc freezer bags and freeze.


      Thank you as always for your valuable advice, Karen :)

  • Oh, and if you aren't already debagging her food into plastic bags and/or containers, start now. 

  • After a couple days of steroid cream she *seems* to be itching a little less.  I had a good look at her paws earlier (something she handles WAY better than Luna did!) and they look a bit red but I think they are better.  

    Fingers crossed that once the irritation is gone that the additional Omegas and increased housecleaning will be enough to keep things under control.

    • I hope so, too. 
      But if not, don't be afraid to consider using antihistamines. When given in conjunction with the EPO, they really do help, and JD did not experience any negative effects that we know of from taking Claritin consistently for many years. 
      Please keep us posted. 

      • I think DH and I are just extra cautious because we always have that wonder in the back of our minds if the medication we gave Luna contributed to her getting cancer.  Regular OTC antihistamines are nowhere near that powerful though so if she needs it we will definitely consider it.  I don't think we want to have to put toddler socks on Riley forever lol.

        • And don;t forget the anti-itch sprays. The relief is temporary, but they do help. 

          • Oh right, I should pick some up thanks for the reminder :)  We just have the bitter stuff (which really doesn't work lol), no anti-itch.

            Odd question but would human hydrocortisone 0.5% ointment work too?  I mean it should, right?

            Spray something like this?




            Sentry Hydrocortisone Spray for Dogs, 4 oz: Pet Supplies
            Find thousands of pet supplies at low prices. Shop online for dog, cat, fish, bird, and small animal supplies at
  • Dinah, now 3, is itching for the first time (December).  The weather is in the 40s to 60s. The doctor told me it was leaf-mold allergy, and that allergies give itchy ears, paws and itchy bottoms.  

    She did not suggest a remedy!  So now I'm wondering just WHEN will the mold issue stop.  I see it as a constant.  Guess the doctor thought it would be temporary.   We'll see.  The condo landscape crew isn't finished picking up leaves and it's January.

    • True allergies are immune-mediated diseases which are permanent, i.e. incurable. If the allergens are seasonal, like pollens and some molds, the symptoms may also be seasonal, but the allergy itself is there for life. And it is very very rare for there to be only one allergen. So if Dinah does indeed have an allergy to leaf molds, chances are that she has allergies to other things as well. Only time will tell. 3 years old is the most common age for allergies to show up, BTW. 
      Very few general practice vets are well-trained in diagnosing or treating allergies. For most cases, your best bet is always going to be a veterinary dermatology specialist. Seeing a sepcialist usually ends up being less expensive, because it takes much less time to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and start effective treatment, rather than guessing at what it is and playing games with food, which is what often happens with GP vets.  

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