One Sick Pup

I just saw this article about the reporter’s own dog entitled “One Sick Pup.” It has some really good information in it that, if you are anything like me, you’ve never thought about before.

Fortunately, I don’t have this problem at this time. I do know that yeast infections in dogs can become a very serious problem and many times we as dog parents don’t see the signs. Here is that very helpful article for your review.

My dog peered up at me through his swollen eyes this morning as if to say, “Are you really leaving me? Can’t you see how sick I am?”

And he is.

I came home from the vet’s office yesterday feeling good about being on the right track to get him healthy again, but there was no denying I had one sick pup to take care of.

He’s got four prescriptions — an antihistamine, a steriod and two other pills to help his body combat the secondary infections he created through his persistent itching and licking. Plus, I picked up an anti-itch leave-in conditioner. Sensi needs to be bathed twice a week until his skin is healthy again and this time of the year, that’d dry him out for sure. With the conditioner to use, it will make sure his baths are the most beneficial they can be for him.

Well, let’s try to learn a thing or two from Sensi’s state. Here’s what you need to know about a dog who is licking excessively.

Stop that!

All dogs scratch and lick themselves periodically, just as we humans often scratch an itch. When the scratching and licking is not excessive, don’t worry about it.

However, an excessive licker or scratcher needs to be examined by a veterinarian.Dogs who lick their paws for hours on end, day in and day out, can easily contract yeast infections. On the front of the paws, dogs have spaces in between each of their toes. On the back of the paw, there is another space between the large pad and the individual toe pads.

These spaces are havens for yeast infections. They are semi-closed environments lined with skin and fur that keep the spaces warm.

Add in the moisture from excessive licking and these spots become the perfect storm for nasty yeast infections. How can you tell if a yeast infection has developed? If the skin in these spaces is abnormally red and moist, there’s a good chance you have a problem. Dogs have a more difficult time licking their rear paws, so comparing the spaces in the front paws to the same spaces on the rear paws can often be a good indicator of what healthy vs. nonhealthy looks like.

If you find the rear paws to have white, dry skin but the front paws have moist, blaring red skin, you have a problem. If both sets of paws have blaring red skin, definitely make a vet appointment or at least call your vet to get some professional advice.

Most dog owners have combated yeast infections in a dog’s ear, but the paws are a whole different beast. Once yeast infections have taken root in the paws, a vicious cycle is created where the inflammation from the yeast infection intensifies the dog’s desire to lick.

Yeast infections can also spread easily and, worst of all, with the dog’s immune system working hard to stave off the yeast infection, the immune system becomes strained and leaves the dog open to contracting even worse infections.

There are medicated shampoos that can help a chronic paw licker, but these need to be ordered through your veterinarian.

It is important to have your veterinarian examine your paw licker because the licking is often just a symptom of an underlying problem, like food allergies, and oftentimes, prescription pills are needed to get rid of the yeast infection.

One last note: If you examine your dog’s paws this time of the year, remember to wait until he’s been inside for several hours. A dog coming in from the cold, wet snow will have red paws until they warm up and dry out!

Karen Workman is a reporter covering communities located in northern Oakland County. She and her husband, Brent, are the proud owners of 5-year-old Sensibull, a pit bull and Labrador mix. An animal lover who has studied dogs with particular interest during her life, Karen will share a variety of information, including training tips, behavior, breed and health information, as well as heart-warming and comedic stories about her own dog and others. Join her for a look into life with Sensibull.

Since my business is dog crates, pet carriers and strollers I would like to tell you that a dog crate or some product I have would solve this problem. So far I haven’t been able to come up with a sincere application except that when your dog gets back from the vet he or she can relax in their own den or crate to recoup if necessary.

Let me leave you with this which will bring into focus my feeling about our responsibility toward our pets.

“She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.”  ~~Unknown

About The Author

Bill Beavers, brings you pet products that provide improved Quality of Life for You, Your Family and Your Pets.

You can connect with Bill on Twitter or Facebook and follow his latest projects. For Fun, Facts and Love for our pets follow this blog for informational and entertaining posts and cool tips.

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