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What does gnawing on paws mean?

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What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 2/15/2012, 8:58 pm

Tallulah often chews on her paws and also rubs her muzzle on carpet, bedding, sofa cushions etc...what does this mean? Her skin and coat seem fine and I clean her muzzle creases with hypo-allergenic wipes every few days. Her paws look normal. I have periodically tried Benadryl but I can't see where it made a difference and I think when I tried using it daily she ended up constipated. Any thoughts?
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  smoochieface on 2/15/2012, 9:55 pm

Sounds like an allergy, either to food or something environmental. Does her food contain wheat or corn? A large number of dogs are allergic to wheat and corn and it's found it most commercial dog foods.
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  ocnside on 2/16/2012, 10:36 am

Is is when coming in from outdoors? I always dry Julian's feet and belly if it is damp or wet...It does sound like allergies...has it just started?
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  Snifter&Toddy on 2/16/2012, 11:50 am

Yes, very likely to be allergies. What does she eat?
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  elisemarie on 2/16/2012, 10:34 pm

I have reason to believe if a Pugga is chewing on their paws it means something is irritating them.

It could be something in the yard, in the carpet, etc.

My Toby used to lick his paws until no tomorrow. It drove me crazy. It wasn't until I took a look at where he was walking outside (in Arizona) did I realize the irritation on his paws came from - believe it or not - the residue that remained from the ants parading across the driveway.

With that in mind, I always made sure Toby received a foot bath every time he came inside the house.

~~~~~

Last night, I dropped a piece of bread on the carpet that had some horseradish sauce on it.

As quickly as I could pick it up, A'chi was right there investigating what had happened. She must have gotten some of the horsey sauce on her front paws. Until I could figure out what the hey happened, she never ceased to lick her paws. She had gotten some of the horsey sauce on her paws and it was burning the pads of her paws.

Just that little amount of an irritant was enough to drive her crazy. It goes without saying she received a a very loving and gentle pedicure once I figured what was up.
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 2/17/2012, 12:43 am

I feed Tallulah this for her dry food (1/3 cup 2x/day)

Newman's Organic Adult Dry Dog Food: Chicken, Organic Barley, Organic Oats, Organic Peas, Chicken Meal,
Organic Sorghum, Organic Soybean Meal, Chicken Fat (Naturally Stabilized
with Mixed Tocopherols [a Source of Vitamin E]), Organic Brown Rice,
Organic Millet, Organic Rice, Organic Flax Seed, Dicalcium Phosphate,
Organic Carrots, Chicken Liver, Sea Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium
Chloride, Dried Kelp, Parsley, Zinc Amino Acid Complex (Source of
Chelated Zinc), Choline Chloride, Iron Amino Acid Complex (Source of
Chelated Iron), Vitamin E Supplement, Rosemary Extract, Manganese Amino
Acid Complex (Source of Chelated Manganese), Lecithin, Copper Amino Acid
Complex (Source of Chelated Copper), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A
Acetate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Ascorbic
Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine
Hydrochloride, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Biotin, Cobalt Proteinate (Source
of Chelated Cobalt), Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide (Source of Iodine),
Sodium Selenite, Dehydrated Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation
Product, Dehydrated Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dehydrated
Bifidobacterium Thermophilum Fermentation Product, Dehydrated
Bifidobacterium Pseudolongum Fermentation Product, Dehydrated
Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product.

...and this for her wet: Wellness 95% Turkey which is grain-free (Turkey, Water Sufficient for Processing, Natural Flavors, Cassia Gum, Carrageenan.


This is a naturally preserved product.) She gets 1 big Tablespoon along with her dry food which I add warm water to to make a "gravy"


Does anyone see any problem ingredients? Any suggestions for different brands ?? Thanks!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  Renee on 2/17/2012, 12:54 am

I see at least 5 different grains, which could be all, some, or none contributing to her itchies. Could be the chicken as well.

I would try grain free, and see if you can note any improvement. Taste of the Wild is generally my go to for fosters.
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  Snifter&Toddy on 2/17/2012, 5:35 am

I agree; mine were on a food which had rice in but no other grains and still that caused problems. Chicken is also a common allergen.

I would try totally grain free, as has been suggested, and a different protein source.
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 2/17/2012, 9:44 am

I never thought about something she was walking on being a possible issue - if her paws are wet when we come in from a walk I have a microfiber towel I keep by the back door to wipe them off. I figured that since it seems to be muzzle and feet perhaps it is food related but now I'm wondering about environmental causes because Tallulah has her nose to the ground whenever she's outside - rooting around, snorting, sneezing etc.....

Hmmm...y'all are giving me some food for thought... In addition to her twice daily feedings I also give her rawhide chews, Greenies and she is a snack hound that loves: apple, melon, crackers, cheese, rotisserie chicken....oh, come on- she's a pug so she'll eat just about anything....my 80 yo father babysat her one time and fed her sauerkraut and pickled herring!!! I asked him why he would give her those and he said "because she wanted them". So where do I begin to sort out all the possibilities???? Aaaaagghh!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  Renee on 2/17/2012, 1:24 pm

dianebarrybrazil wrote:
Hmmm...y'all are giving me some food for thought... In addition to her twice daily feedings I also give her rawhide chews, Greenies and she is a snack hound that loves: apple, melon, crackers, cheese, rotisserie chicken....oh, come on- she's a pug so she'll eat just about anything....my 80 yo father babysat her one time and fed her sauerkraut and pickled herring!!! I asked him why he would give her those and he said "because she wanted them". So where do I begin to sort out all the possibilities???? Aaaaagghh!

You're going to need to toughen up a lot in order to make this work. First off - no grains. So, that means no crackers, noodles, rice, etc. I would also caution you against feeding greenies. They have been documented to cause obstructions. I also steer clear of rawhides personally.

Fruit and veggies, like carrots, bananas, blueberries, watermelon, cucumber, etc, are all good and healthy treats to give. Plain chicken should be fine as well, but, I don't know what kind of seasoning may be on a rotisserie chicken. As for sauerkraut and pickled herring...probably not a great idea! I do keep tins of sardines packed in water for my pugs. Hubby loves to give them "good" treats, not "healthy" treats, so he can satisfy his own need to give them treats by letting them all share a can of sardines. I don't have to get upset then.

Note that it can take a few weeks or longer to see a serious improvement. You have to be good though, and stick with it.

Good luck!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  SacramentoPugs on 2/17/2012, 3:15 pm

I definitely agree with the others on this one, food seems to be the most likely culprit. There are several ingredients in your kibble that raise an allergy red flag. One of the ingredients is soybean meal, as soy is a notorious allergen for dogs.

Renee's recommendation of Taste of the Wild is a good one, or you can look for another grain-free food to try. The first things I look for on a dog food label are the 3 big no-no's: Corn, wheat and soy. But because pugs have a pretty high propensity for allergies to begin with, I just avoid grains altogether.

No cheating with inappropriate treats, or you won't know if the change in her food is helping. I'd stick with something gentle when you need to reward her, like baby carrots. Avoid cheese until you've eliminated other things as the cause of her allergies.

Don't worry, we're not saying that your pug can never ever eat goodies from your dinner, or sneak a Dorito off the floor when you have company. If her allergies improve on a grain-free food, you can introduce things back into her diet one at a time and watch for reactions.

LOVE her Pug Snuggly coat in your avatar!!!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  Pugsaunt on 2/17/2012, 5:52 pm

I know that the soybean meal would set Penny off. I second the grain-free recommendation. Given that Penny has problems with wheat, corn, and soy, I am a devout label reader and am extra-cautious on her treats. I do believe that she would try pickled herring and sauerkraut if she had the chance!!!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 2/17/2012, 7:13 pm

Thanks for all the help - I'll go get that Taste of the Wild (I assume it's a dry food) and see if that makes a difference. I used to buy both Wellness 95% Chicken and Turkey but switched over to just buying the turkey when I overheard 2 women in Petco talking about how a lot of dogs are allergic to chicken but don't seem to have a problem with turkey. I will change her snackage as well - no more bits of wheat thins etc. As to the Greenies and rawhide chewies, what can I give her instead? She loves to chew and gnaw on those. I tired baby carrots but after maybe eating one, I'd find that any others end up on the floor or under furniture, sofa cushions etc.
Does Taste of the Wild come in different flavors or different formulas based on age or size? Just want to make sure I get the right one.
Thanks
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  pugmom on 2/17/2012, 10:30 pm

You have loads of good advice to try.....Good luck.



Just to mention that my grand pugs all love the Nylabones to chow on. I do not know if that is unusual or not. The grand pugs also love the marrow bones that you can get at the supermarket. (I take the marrow out of the middle) Greenies and rawhide are no-no's here.
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  Renee on 2/18/2012, 2:23 pm

pugmom wrote:
Just to mention that my grand pugs all love the Nylabones to chow on. I do not know if that is unusual or not. The grand pugs also love the marrow bones that you can get at the supermarket. (I take the marrow out of the middle) Greenies and rawhide are no-no's here.

We do all kinds of bones too, soup bones, knuckle bones, marrow bones, in the summer time. I can't have them eating those things in the house. Too much mess on the carpet. But, summer comes around, and they all lay out on the grass or the deck and enjoy their raw bones.

I have never tried nylabones.
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  SacramentoPugs on 2/21/2012, 2:43 pm

dianebarrybrazil wrote:Does Taste of the Wild come in different flavors or different formulas based on age or size? Just want to make sure I get the right one.
The only varieties I've seen are for all life stages -- they don't seem to do a puppy or senior formula (or if they do, my store doesn't carry it). There are many flavor varieties to try, in both kibble and canned. I feed a combination of wet and dry together, and rotate through the different varieties regularly.

I wouldn't introduce any new chews made from meat products until you have a handle on the allergies. Nylabones (the non-edible kind) might tempt your girl, although my pugs have never been fond of them. After you're done with the elimination diet and allergy business, you might want to look into bully sticks. They're great chews, fully digestible but take a while to gnaw down. www.bestbullysticks.com typically has the best prices.
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 2/25/2012, 10:53 pm

I did buy a variety pack of Nylabones but Tallulah wouldn't touch them. I'm going to check into the Bully Sticks - thanks for the info!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 3/1/2012, 8:22 pm

Just a quick update on Tallulah...am transitioning her over to Taste of The Wild dry food and ordered a load of Bully Sticks (I must say I am trying not to think about what they're made of....). She was not interested in them at first but now has been happily working one over for the past 2 days. (I also ordered her an elk antler to gnaw on but am holding off so there aren't too many dietary changes all at once). Had to take Tallulah to the vet today - scratched cornea - vet says not uncommon with pugs - and I told her I was switching her to a grain-free diet and she approved; she said a lot of pugs have sensitivites/allergies. So we are hopefully on the right track! Thanks for all the help!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  Pugsaunt on 3/2/2012, 5:25 pm

I think she will like TOW, and I'm glad that she is enjoying the bully sticks. What shocks me is a vet that recognizes that many pugs have food sensitivites/allergies! What a treasure!!!!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  pugpillow on 3/3/2012, 7:54 pm

Yep, treasure that vet!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  elisemarie on 3/4/2012, 7:52 pm

I researched near-by locations to purchase Taste of the Wild, and happily found one here in town.

Which dry-food "flavors" would you recommend? Bubba is 6.5 years old, and A'chi is 6 months old.
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 3/4/2012, 9:34 pm

I initially tried to find Taste of the Wild at Petco and Pet Smart but neither carries it. However, our little local pet supply store had it and the owner said it's her top seller.Also it's made in the USA which I was happy about because some of the pet foods made in China I just don't trust. I bought the most popular version: the bison and venison one (? High Prairie). I asked her about how to slowly transition Tallulah from Paul Newman Organic dry food to this one and she said it was such a jump in quality that I could just switch her over. So I just switched her and she took right to it! I'm giving her 1/3 cup of the TOTW mixed with a little hot water to make a "gravy" and 1 Tbsp of Wellness 95% Protein turkey. So far, so good. The pet supply owner did suggest I try all the versions of the TOTW and give Tallulah variety so to buy a different one each time. Since I've only tried the High Prairie version I can't speak to the other versions yet but I can say that Tallulah dives right into her bowl and licks it clean which she rarely did with the Paul Newman.

Also, I'm very happy that my vet seems to know a bit about pugs - I had no idea that this was unusual until I read the posts here. But my vet likes the idea of going grain free and said that if the TOTW doesn't work out she has other brands/suggestions. Good luck with finding the right one for your little guys!
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Re: What does gnawing on paws mean?

Post  Renee on 3/4/2012, 10:01 pm

You should be able to just rotate through all the varieties of TOTW without any issue. It is good to rotate. Bonus that you get to shop at a local store, rather than a big box store!
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