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D2008-30

Dear Daisy Dog

Bailey, our golden retriever, licks one of her paws almost constantly. We don’t see a sore or anything else that might explain her licking. If this is a heat-related behavior, can you suggest a home remedy?

Daisy Responds

Heat doesn’t usually cause us dogs to lick our paws – especially just one paw. More often, other things are going on.

Like many dogs with allergies, I used to lick both front paws. Now that Mom gives me omega-3 fatty acid capsules, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties, I no longer lick.

One of my golden retriever brothers licked his feet because his severe allergies triggered a skin infection that hid in the webbing between his toes.

If Bailey has a similar problem, her veterinarian can prescribe an antibiotic, an antihistamine and perhaps an anti-inflammatory.

Or, her veterinarian may find that Bailey stepped on a thorn or a piece of glass and suggest soaking her paw in Epsom salts.

If no physical cause is found, it may be that Bailey licks her paw because she’s anxious.

Whether the cause is allergies, a tiny wound, anxiety or something else, Bailey’s first stop should be her veterinarian.

While a home remedy is unlikely to be effective in Bailey’s case, medication and/or acupuncture may offer her some relief.

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