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Foot Licking Blues…

September 01, 2009

Recently, a frustrated Frenchie owner emailed me about her dog’s incessant “foot-licking.” Her question “got me to thinking” and I felt moved to share my reply to her below. Official Disclaimer: I am not a vet, never played one on tv, this is just info I share to help you make good choices and be informed.

MY RESPONSE: You know, actually I think it can even have a couple more causes…some dogs get into a habit of “foot-licking” like an OCD behavior. The foot may not even itch any more, but they are so used to sucking their foot…they keep doing it! It can even be a form of “self-soothing’, like some of us who overeat to soothe our emotions.

It can also be a way in which they cool themselves. Have you ever seen the Discovery Channel shows where foxes, etc. lick their feet to keep cool. The evaporative action cools them.

It can also be fungal, like an athlete’s foot, but in dogs. Or even bacterial. In either of those cases, antibiotics and steroids would have no effect on the licking. Maybe your vet could do a scraping and see if it is bacterial or fungal. If so, there are many excellent medicines available to help that.

All of these are somewhat unconventional ideas, but I have seen it and know it to be so. I wish you the very best of luck and hope this helps…

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