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Main > Please help - dog itchy and inflammed feet - treatments failing (19 replies)

by kmaot on 14 January 2009 - 16:01

Posts: 317
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 05:28 pm

Hello gang.  I am in desperate need of help.  This problem is not resolving itself.

I have a dog with recurring inflammation between the paw pads.  It goes from one paw to another and sometimes affects all 4.  There is bright red inflammation with licking.  No lameness .  The vet feels it is from repeated exposure to dampness and wet without ample drying.  

But it is now concurrent to an incredible bad that the vet thought it could be mange. We had treated 2 x with Revolution and we are not sure we are really seeing a difference . We also tried 10 days of antibiotics with no success.

The feet and itching then got so bad that we had to use Venactyl P (I think) which is a steroid - that of course has improved the feet by 85% and stopped all itching. Within 2 days of being off the steroid the itching started.

The coat is in excellent, shiny condition. Food allergy tests are negative.  Dog is eating Taste of the Wild now.  Dog has eaten raw and only human grade food in its history...nothing seems to affect the paw issue.

There are no bald spots or lesions that I can see. There was NO fur loss until the itching got so bad that he sorta damaged his own skin around his neck area. But all fur is totally back and shiny. A coat blow happened concurrent with itching etc.

I am using boots and Gold Bond on the feet now. Trying to get it under control. But the itching is just starting again after weaning off the 10 day steriod combo.
The itching is not isolated to any one place but rather a generalized itchiness all over.

No skin scrapings have been done as the vet thought if were mange may not show up anyway.

What is going on?  Why can't I get this under control? 


by Oskar1 on 14 January 2009 - 16:01

Posts: 797
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 11:26 am


you have pretty much done what one can do, only thing I could suggest is to feed raw. And horse meat at that. Dont ask me why horse meat, I would have to do a lot of research, but it seems to work. A Puppy customer had the same thing going, after switching to horse meat, the problem was entirely gone.

Sorry I can not provide more info. Regards Ulli

by karen c on 14 January 2009 - 16:01

Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 07:09 pm

Hi Kmaot

 I had a dog with the same problem not a shepherd but a staffy, he suffered with this problem for years. the only thing that has cured him is thornit powder.

i put it in a bag then put the dogs pad in the bag and shake it on the pad. i only had to use this for about 4 days and up to now he has never had the problem again.

here is a link to a site that sells it


by AnjaBlue on 14 January 2009 - 16:01

Posts: 407
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 04:59 pm

I've never heard of thornit powder, but it sounds like it's worth a try! (And if it works, you need go no further...) But if not, here is another link which may be helpful - 

Steroids are suppressive - they don't cure the problem, they mask the symptoms. The dog may feel better for a while, but when you stop the treatment, the original symptoms often recur, sometimes worse than before. I would still do a skin scraping as this article suggests, to eliminate the possible presence of yeast or fungus.





by Skippy on 14 January 2009 - 16:01

Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2004 07:12 pm


Thornit I can vouch for it has been a remedy for ears and feet for years.

As Ulli says change over onto raw feeding,chicken wings,chicken carcases,fresh vegetables and fruit suitably made into a mush to break down the cellulose,whatever is in season, any raw meats except pork, offal ie. liver heart kidney,also once a week a large marrow bone,you will see an improvement in 10 days.



by Joyce on 14 January 2009 - 16:01

Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2003 06:16 pm

I can also vouch for Thornit,   It is something we always try to keep in our dog cuboard. it is also good for cold sores in humans,

by Pam Powers on 14 January 2009 - 17:01

Posts: 49
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 10:26 pm

YEAST INFECTION! Start treating your dog for that, and also treat for ringworm. This sounds like classic case of yeast infection. Gets WORSE with steroids and especially antibiotics. Go to your vet for medicine, or, just go buy some Tinactin and Monistat, one for ringworm, another for yeast. I would be willing to bet that that is the problem. Ive treated many dogs for this myself. Von Leistung

by SitasMom on 14 January 2009 - 17:01

Posts: 7873
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 01:33 am

Is your dog alergic to something he stepping on - grass, firtelizer, kitchen floor detergent, disinfectants? Some of these are "sensatizers" in that you can be in contact with them for weeks and years and then one day have an alergic reaction. Some of these can cause "de-fatting of the skin with prolonged contact" which leads to red, dry, itchy conditions.

If he steps on such items in a wet condition it will end up in between his toes and cause irritation.

Is you dog walking on fine sand or sandy loam soil? If it of the type that has tiny sharp edges it can cause microscopic scratches, especially in the cracks and folds of the skin.

Is he alergic to fleas?

After all this "cleaning" and  "drying" is his skin now chapped and itchy?

Keep trying - and hope you find the cause soon.


by kmaot on 14 January 2009 - 17:01

Posts: 317
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 05:28 pm

Pam -I too am wondering if it could be yeast.    I would think however that the dog would need an internal med to knock it all out.... :(

Re allergies - we have snow everywhere and nothing has changed in the house.  We are actually just using water on our floors and have been fora while now.  I can't think of ANYTHING that has changed.    And no fine sand or loam etc.

The drying of the paws etc has just started with vigor.  It was too sporadic before.

But are the paws and the itchiness all over connected? 

by SitasMom on 14 January 2009 - 18:01

Posts: 7873
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 01:33 am

Is he being walked or does he have access to roads that have been "salted"?

Things don't have to change for an animal to have a reaction, they just have to be around something long enough to become sensitized. Do you have carpets, have they been cleaned lately? (almost killed one of my cats)

athaletes foot is a yeast infection, try one of those remidies. (red, dry and itchy)

ring worm which is a fungus. (itchy, red and eventually hair loss)

Mites little buggs under the skin -skin purplish color and they tend to loose hair.


by Deejays_Owner on 14 January 2009 - 18:01

Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 07:40 pm


Sounds like you have covered the allergic things , any ear gunk (that would go along with the yeast infection)?

How much exercise (physical & mental) is the dog getting?

Could be a sign of boredom too!!

by kmaot on 14 January 2009 - 18:01

Posts: 317
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 05:28 pm

Well there had been some satled road walks but very few.  And the problem hasn't gone away with washing etc.

No carpets in the home really....hardwood.

Yes, there WAS yeast in one ear requiring treatment.  That was 2 mos ago.

by Pharaoh on 14 January 2009 - 18:01

Posts: 1862
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 01:35 am

Here is something that is easy and won't interfere with whatever else you do.

Put a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in his water everytime you clean it and refill.

Get Pyoben shampoo and wash his feet.  Sulphur soap is also good to wash with.  Rinse them off with cool water. Have a stack of cotton "dog" towels.  to dry his feet with.  Then, a rinse of 50/50 Apple Cider vinegar/water.

Braggs is a good vinegar and you can get it cheap bottled with Trader Joe's label.

I am so sorry your dog is suffering and I wish you all the luck in the world in figuring this out.

Michele and Pharaoh


PS.  A strictly RMB (raw meaty bones) diet will kill off/starve yeast which needs sugars/staches/carbs to live.  Add to that good quality salmon oil.

by kmaot on 14 January 2009 - 18:01

Posts: 317
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 05:28 pm

As a FYI I am adding about 8 caps of salmon oil daily and several tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to his food and have been for weeks far no luck :(

by MomofBeckett on 14 January 2009 - 19:01

Posts: 140
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 04:09 pm

If the issue is just on the feet, there must be some allergy your dog is stepping on.  I've had dogs in the past that have bouts of itchy skin, ear infections, ringworm, etc. and it was usually throughout the body rather than so localized.  Vets are notorious for scraping, then giving a pill and throwing up their hands if it doesn't work.  I went through all the creams, ointments, powders, dips, pills, etc. and nothing ended up really working for my one shepherd.

A product I have lately had success with, however, is Septiderm Shampoo and Septiderm Lotion.  I've found that if there is redness or itching to an area, shampooing, drying, then applying the lotion does calm the skin and make the dog less itchy.  It also heals up the area nicely.  Here's the link for those products:

I've also used a product called Zn 7 Derm for the skin and Zn Otic for the ears.  This also helps clear up irritation and soothes the skin.   You can also get it at

Usually allergy or itchy skin means changing diet, but if you dog has a shiny coat and no itchy skin, then it must be localized in nature.  Hope it clears up.  Finding the right combo can be like finding a needle in a haystack, but I'd really try to find more holistic forms of treatment, because antibiotics do just suppress systems and you don't want your dog ingesting anything the vet wants to try as a shot in the dark which they are sometimes known to do.

Simply Shepherds


by Tondawg on 14 January 2009 - 22:01

Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 05:54 pm
Sounds like a yeast infection for sure to me. I have a dog that suffered for years with this. Go to this wesite and read the information and order the yeast removal kit. Its the only think that works. Forget tha antibiotics and the steroids. They will only make it worse. It is very frustrating. Believe me the web site will solve your problem.

by Domenic on 15 January 2009 - 00:01

Posts: 742
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 09:09 am
kmaot,I feel bad for this situation.If you have also had the yeasty ears ,I would think that you may be dealing with an allergy.Not all dogs get the same symptoms,some scratch and bite and some will experiance it as your dog is.Im not sure what you are feeding but If it were my dog I would certainly try to give something very simple,something perhaps he never ate before just to see if there is any releif.It could also be inhalent type allergy.The diet is probably the easiest to simplify.Good luck ,I hope you get this resolved.I also am dealing with an allergy with one of my boys.

by Pharaoh on 15 January 2009 - 00:01

Posts: 1862
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 01:35 am
Yeast lives on simple sugars, starches and carbohydrates.

Yeast, fungus, allergies, demodex mange can all run around in a vicious circle and you may never know what really started it all.  It is a chicken and egg quandry.

Michele and Pharaoh

by SitasMom on 15 January 2009 - 05:01

Posts: 7873
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 01:33 am
Shortly after bringing my (sickly 12 week rescue) Aussie home, the base of her nose became purple and lost its fur. My vet, Larry White, gave me a shampoo and instructed me to bathe her every day for 2 worked. I went through 4 other vets that didn't have a clue.

I remember or conversation of 10 year ago, he said that many of the issues like mange, yeast infections, ring worm, etc. are "oppertunistic' and will invade when a dog or cat is weak.....

That being said, please make a day to day diary after a month,  go to a different vet. Make sure to notate exactly what your dog eats, where it goes, the weather contitions, how his feet are, what you have done, VERY specific......

Go to as many vets as it takes inorder to find one that will take you, and your diary seriously, when you find that vet, he will cure your dog....

by Pharaoh on 15 January 2009 - 05:01

Posts: 1862
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 01:35 am
Yeast, fungus, allergies, demodex mange can all run around in a vicious circle

I forgot to include bacteria that gets going on the damaged skin.

Sita's mom gave some good advice.


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