Dog chewing paws raw and vet prescribed food making it worse

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Dog chewing paws raw and vet prescribed food making it worse

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #116643 Report Abuse

    Hello, I have an 8 year old Lhasa/Shih Tzu mix (our best guess since he was a stray) named Bailey that we adopted him from the humane society 6 years ago. Bailey has licked his paws and everything else (the floor, the couch, us) since the day I adopted him and I have gone to many vets over the years, tried all different kinds of foods, etc. He has been on grain free food since a few weeks after I adopted him. We tried many brands over the years, but Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream was what we fed him for years because he would actually eat it (he’s very picky) and didn’t seem to bother him. He started to like it less and less and I had to coax him to eat. So at the beginning of August last year, I went to the pet store and asked if they would recommend a food that Bailey would eat and one that had very good nutrition to help my other dog shed a few pounds (she has no licking issues, she was just a little overweight that exercise wasn’t helping). He recommended Acana Singles lamb and apple. I transitioned him over and things went well at first, Bailey loved the food and I hadn’t seen him excited for meal time like that before. Then, at the end of August/beginning of September, things changed. One day, pretty much overnight, he went from licking his paws to biting them to the point they bled. He attacked all 4 paws and his “armpits” to the point they lost all fur and were a mess. We put an e-collar on him to prevent further damage and went to our vet. He was given medication for a staph infection, along with ketoconazole pills. His wounds healed, slowly, but he still attacked his paws every time we took the e-collar off. He would also contort and get to his back paw every now and then even with the e-collar. The vet pushed for hypoallergenic food and Apoquel. I told her I was going to switch him back to Taste of the Wild instead and she prescribed him a course of Temaril P to help with the itching, which did not help one single bit. I tried a lot of shampoos, olive oil in his food, Sulfodene ointment, seasonal allergy chews, basically anything I could find over the counter to help him so we could finally take the e-collar off. Nothing worked. I bathed him in Zymox shampoo one day and he broke out in red bumps down his back and extending to his belly and legs. They looked like hives and formed greenish/tan crusts. So I went to a different vet that was recommended by my mother in law. That vet recommended a Cytopoint shot so we had it done and it did absolutely nothing for Bailey’s itching. They also gave powder to put in between his toes to stop the itching and a shampoo to help his skin. Nothing helped and he was still having to live in the e-collar. So they thought it might be sarcoptic mange and gave him a Frontline injection, which did not help. Then they recommended Apoquel. I had a lot of concerns about that medication, but desperate for some relief for Bailey, I gave it to him. It helped a tiny bit, but not enough to take him off the e-collar and not enough to make me want to continue. Also, a small mass he had on his gums where he had lost a tooth swelled up to the point that I was very concerned so we stopped the Apoquel. Thankfully, the mass shrank back down to the size it was before the Apoquel and today it is gone completely. Then they recommended allergy testing and that was very far out of my budget given the pretty hefty bill I had already accumulated at that point.

    So, frustrated and desperate to find answers, I did a lot of research online to see if anyone else had experienced the issues Bailey was facing and learned about systemic yeast infection and correlation to food…which I have also recently (in the past 2 days) read many feel are unrelated. But anyways, in April this year, I put him a home cooked diet of ground beef (73/27), hard boiled eggs including the shell, Nupro Gold supplement, and an omega 3/omega 6 oil blend made by Ark Naturals. The changes he went through while on that diet were interesting to say the least. After about a week in, his white/cream fur turned dark pink in many places-down his legs, around his face, on his rear. This happened pretty much overnight and I was excited, thinking this was the yeast coming out (as I had previously researched). The fur color went back to normal about a week later. Then, his fur started falling out on its own (we had him in an e-collar still). It happened in patches. He didn’t get any ear infections since I started the diet though. In fact, his ears were cleaner than they had ever been since I adopted him, so that was a positive sign I held on to despite the loss of fur being a shock. Then, about 4 weeks in, he started getting a thick, green discharge from his eyes and some of the fur around his eyes fell out (but not all of it) and the skin was red. And all of the fur on his chest and neck fell out and the skin was red, hot and inflamed. He smelled terribly of Fritos and my house smelled terrible. All of this was very, very concerning but I told myself this was still the yeast and bathed him regularly with a holistic anti bacterial neem/tea tree shampoo and tried to keep him comfortable. A week later, he was still experiencing the fur loss/red skin and he also got a bad ear infection and his ear was swollen worse than I had ever seen it. The fur on the underside of his ear came off easily in chunks when I tried to clean his ears and put drops in. Then, the following day a benign cyst he had on his tail from the day I adopted him burst. I expressed as much of the black gunk as I could but was concerned about the bleeding and risk of infection (and everything else that was going on) so I took him to the vet again the next day. I told them about my systemic yeast theory, everything I was doing with his diet and everything he had experienced. They were concerned that he was possibly allergic to the eggs or beef I was feeding him and told me those were highly allergic foods. I was shocked and didn’t want to give up after being on the diet for less than 6 weeks, but I was very concerned about the state he was in. They gave him a steroid shot, more medication for his ear infection, a new chlorhexadine based shampoo and mousse, and a prescription for Purina Pro Plan Hydrolyzed food. They also sent me home with prednisone pills to use if the steroid shot didn’t help. I transitioned him to the new food. His ear infection cleared up with the meds. The steroid shot gave him some relief from itching for about 2 weeks, but it progressed back to him being very itchy. I called the vet and started him on the prednisone pills, but they didn’t help at all. Now, 5 weeks after I started him on the prescription food, he is absolutely miserable. He is still in an e-collar. He has been able to get it off a few times and he has chewed his paws bloody in a matter of seconds. I know he has not been on the food the recommended amount of time to truly evaluate it, but he is so itchy, rubs himself on anything he can, licks his e-collar constantly and will try to chew his paws the second he is done eating.

    I can find a lot of information on yeast online, but very little on the symptoms dogs face during yeast die-off, only that it will usually get worse before it gets better. I know every dog is different, but I can’t find any personal accounts/experiences which is confusing. Then, I also recently read that many people say diet can’t create or eliminate yeast issues and that was a myth perpetuated by a vet on the internet. I’m so confused with information overload and saddened that my dog has had to live almost a year in an e-collar and is so miserable. Does anyone have feedback on the symptoms I described to determine if it was an effect of yeast die-off, or an allergic reaction to beef or eggs like the vet thought? I have been doing research on the internet this week trying to decide what move to make next in regards to getting my dog some relief from his itchiness and I’m trying to decide between keeping him on the hydrolyzed food, switching him to another food, going back to homemade, or doing something else. Thank you and I’m sorry this is so long!

    #116645 Report Abuse

    I’m not sure how to edit a post, but my date was incorrect in my post. I started the homemade diet at the beginning of March and I started transitioning to the hydrolyzed vet prescribed food on April 30th.

    #116646 Report Abuse
    James A

    I have Beagles and one has locked paws raw and chewed fur. Five years. We tried several foods and meds like you have. Nothing helped. I think he gets worse if he eats chicken or wheat. I have been using a new food for two months now and seems to do it less. Cut back on treats as most have wheat in them. Walmart and Chewy dot Com sell I and Love and You Nude Food Red Meat Medley Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, 23-lb bag. I tried the chicken but not good. The Nude has pork and fish. He licks much less. I hope this helps.

    #116647 Report Abuse

    Dear BaileysMom-
    Please keep your pup on the prescription food. That poor thing. How stressful for all of you! There should not be anything in that food that would cause a reaction. It’s typically used for an elimination diet. Was that mentioned to you at all? Make sure he does not get anything else. No treats of any type. I know that can’t be easy. I’m not sure how long you have to wait before adding any other food.

    If your dog keeps up with all the itching, it probably is environmental allergies. Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with allergies. But, I have read and heard a lot about them on this site. Please stick to the hydrolyzed diet to finally help figure out what his intolerances are. Good luck!

    #116649 Report Abuse

    Hi Baileys Mom,
    Join this face book group, link below, 2 Dermatologist frequent this group + 1 of the Admins dog suffers with Yeast, her dog is allergic to her own yeast, it’s rare but it happens…
    As they age their allergies get worse… Are you seeing a Dermatologist?

    My boy also gets yeasty paws, red around mouth & yeasty smelly skin but only when he eats certain ingredients he is sensitive too & when he walks on grass & wet grass..
    He suffers with Food Sensitivities, Seasonal Environment Allergies & IBD, this last Summer has been his WORST Summer he has ever had in the 5 yrs I’ve owned him.
    I live Australia & we did not have a Autunm this year, it went from hot Summer straight to cold Winter, my vet also said she is seeing heaps more dogs suffering with Environment Allergies last Summer 2017-2018….. Cause of climate change & our Summers are getting hotter & hotter, animals, plants etc are all suffering…

    Make sure when you cook or do a raw diet it’s balanced properly & is high in Omega 3 oils, as Omega 3 is Neutral anti-inflammatory. Here’s “Balance It” site,

    *also have you tried “Rayne Canada” vet diets?
    Ranye has Kangaroo, Crocodile & Rabbit formula’s, ingredients in Rayne formula’s seem a bit better
    ….also did you try the TOTW Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb that’s what Patch ended up doing really good on for 2 yrs then he became very unwell last Novemeber after I moved he stopped eating his TOTW… listen to your dog if he doesnt want to eat something, dont feed it, return the food & get a refund….We have just had a heap of dogs die & get Megaesophagus in Australia from the Advance Dermocare formula.. Test that were done found very high in toxins, everyone is still waiting for test results…the poor Police dogs are feed the Advance Dermocare or Advance dog foods..
    Patch never did well on the Australian prescription vet diets for his skin, they would clear up his skin problem but not his red paws & then he’d start reacting with his IBD cause the fat was too high.. One good thing the Skin Vet Diets are very high in Omega oils, but this upset Patches stomach, he gets bad acid reflux, I wonder if that’s why Bailey is feeling yuk & miserable..being a Shih Tzu mix, they can suffer from Pancreatitis, so be careful with high fat diets, we don’t realise cause we just want them to stop their itching & scratching it drives me nuts so imagine the poor dog feeling so itchy 24/7..

    I use “Sudocrem” on Patches paws & around his mouth & anywhereon his skin that’s red, Sudocem is a anti-fungal, anti-bacterial healing cream for Dermatitis, Eczema, Nappy Rash, Pressure Sores, I apply every night before bed so he has a good sleep & in morning on his paws before he goes outside for his walk, the Sudocrem is a thick cream & also protects their skin & paws from allergens.

    Also “Canine Skin Solutions” on FaceBook is Dr Karen Helton Rhodes, DVM, DACVD & Dr Terri Bonenberger, DVM, DACVD both are Veterinary Dermatologists. Good site with true information..

    * Here’s their “Facts & Myths about Yeast Dematitis in dog”s..

    There’s alot of bad information on the internet about why dogs get yeasty, smelly, itchy skin, ears, paws etc potaoes, high carb starchy foods, high sugar diets are suppose to cause yeasty smelly dogs….Not true… its only when your dog is sensitive to certain ingredients they will get yeasty itchy smelly skin, ears, paws…. Patch can’t eat rice, oats, barley, tapioca causes red itchy paws & smelly yeasty skin, bad farts sloppy poos & carrots cause very itchy ears & he shakes & shakes his head/ears..

    The only way 100% to find out what foods Bailey is sensitive too is to start a food elimination diet BUT cause he probably has environment allergies as well it’s hard cause you might feed him say rice & then he starts scratching 20mins after he has eaten the rice or new ingredient your testing but he might be re acting to tree or flower pollen from outside in garden?, so I always recommend you do your food elimination diet is the cooler months, Winter when allergens aren’t as high, as they are in Spring & Summer months…
    Patch is at his worst every March just when Summer has finished also keep a diary & you will work out what months seem to be the worst for Bailey. Patches vet said she sees Patch every March when his IBD flares up really bad cause his immune system goes into over drive & Patches IBD flare up really bad also high potency Vitamin C is good, also probiotic to strengthen the immune system… Prednisone is a bandaid as soon as you stop giving the Prednisone the itchy skin all comes back…. have you tried Cytopoint injections yet? this is why it’s best to join the “Dog Allergies, Issues & other information support group” right up the top is their link…

    #116655 Report Abuse

    For best results go to a board certified veterinary dermatologist. Food allergies are rare. Food sensitivities fluctuate.
    More often than not environmental allergies are the culprit.
    The only accurate test for that is intradermal skin testing. The most natural treatment for environmental allergies is allergen specific immunotherapy otherwise known as allergy shots or desensitization.
    See my posts, example /forums/topic/hes-got-good-and-environmental-allergies/#post-113364


    #117057 Report Abuse

    Thank you James I was looking at that food as well as a possible option in the future and appreciate your feedback on your experience with it

    #117058 Report Abuse

    Hi Susan, yes I am seeing a dermatologist. The Cytopoint didn’t help Bailey at all unfortunately 🙁 Apoquel, Atopica, and several different steroid pills didn’t help either. A steroid shot helped but only for a few weeks. I’m going to stay on the prescription food while I introduce him to different proteins, carbs, etc one by one to see if anything makes him flare up. I’m just surprised he is so itchy on the prescription food. Even if he has environmental allergies, the itching has increased since being on this food and I think it’s the high carb content since there’s alot of cornstarch. I’m going to try a lower carb food after the trial is over and I’m hoping that will help.

    #117062 Report Abuse

    Hi Baileysmom,

    Yes Patch was the same, his skin & paws got worse while on a Vet diet that had Corn Starch, he started to get smelly yeasty skin & paws..
    Look for a new kibble that has 1 novel protein & 1-2 carbs, has limited ingredients & see how he does….. Patches yeasty smelly skin went away when he started a raw diet, 3 days after eating just raw Kangaroo & green blended vegetables, Patches yeasty itchy skin went away, I bathed him in “Malaseb Medicated Shampoo & his smelly yeasty skin didn’t return..
    There’s no point doing a elimination food trial with the vet diet he’s eating made his itch increase since being on this vet diet food….
    If itchy skin paws, or ears become worse, you need to stop the vet diet & try another formula, when you start a elimination diet using a vet diet you only continue feeding the diet if skin is stable & skin paws have improved then after 6weeks just eating teh vet elimination diet, then you start your elimination diet by adding 1 new ingredient every 6 weeks & see if skin starts to itch & get worse again, then if skin paws ears itch go red etc you stop that new ingredient, continue just feeding the vet diet wait for paws, skin are stable again, then when skin isnt itchy or smells yeasty before adding another new ingredient…..Best to start a elimination food diet in the cooler, colder months when environment allergens aren’t high…
    Are you bathing twice a week or weekly…….Baths wash off any allergens on skin & paws, using a medicated shampoo is best, it puts moisture back into skin, reduces itch & redness & kills any bacteria & yeast that might be on skin & paws..

    Have you tried “Royal Canine” Select protein PR – Potato & Rabbit formula? there’s the wet can & dry kibble formula’s, Vet diets for skin problems are higher in omega 3, what is needed when dogs has skin problems..

    I’d take back the vet diet that has made skin worse & ask can you try another vet diet, look at the “Royal Canine Select Protein” formula’s & see how he does..
    or get a refund & try something else..

    * Hills have their D/D range

    * “Natural Balance” LTD Sweet Potato & Bison or Potato & Duck or Sweet Potato & Fish NB formula’s.

    * “Wellness Simple” Turkey & Potato or Salmon & Potato formula’s

    #117063 Report Abuse

    I have tried the Wellness Simple a long time ago when Bailey just licked and didn’t bite or make himself bleed. I’ll look at the other links you gave thank you. He did well in regards to reduced itching on the homecooked diet I did with beef, eggs, supplements and omega 3/6 oil blend, despite the weird physical symptoms.. there was a point where he finished his food and then didn’t go to chew his paws at all, he walked around the house looking at me confused because I was following his every move lol. That was a few weeks in–after his fur turned pink then back to white–but before the fur loss on his chest, the eye discharge, and the bad ear infection. Even when he had all of those symptoms hit, he was less itchy than he is now.

    I usually bathe him once a week, but sometimes go 2 weeks because I break out in hives when I bathe him. I never used to react that way to him. I use the medicated mousse from the vet when I can’t bathe him every week. I also do paw soaks in a shallow Tupperware. I have tried to search for Malaseb in the past but Amazon didn’t have it in stock and I couldn’t find it elsewhere online but I’ll give it another Google too 🙂 Thank you for the recommendations!

    Another food I was looking at is Epigen Venison. It looked like a good food but recent reviews were not favorable due to a formula change.

    #117119 Report Abuse

    Hi BaileysMom-

    It seems like each time you notice his symptoms come back you attempt to resolve them by throwing a lot at him all at once. Sometimes this is counterproductive because you can’t be sure what is working and what isn’t. I made the same mistake with the dog in my avatar who has allergies and yeast.

    What we did that worked for us was an elimination diet. We used Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein, fed that food and only that food for 3 months during winter time. We noticed that his symptoms went away. Now elimination diets are tricky because they can not have any treats, any flavored meds, any dental treats, table scrapes, nothing, but that prescription diet. If your dog gets ahold of anything other than that food you must restart the trial.

    Now as far as his seasonal allergies go, we’ve been trying to manage them with medicated baths either with or if is out of stock of Malaseb. I try to bath him once a week and soak his feet frequently (though I admit I slack on it). We also just the other day got him the Cytopoint shot as well. It works…unless he goes outside and comes back in. Then he still licks. The problem with Cytopoint is that it is not guarenteed to work for every dog. It also isn’t guarenteed to last for a specific amount of time. Also just as a note, Apoquel is not a steroid, though it can have some long term side effects. IMO it would be worth trying even for a few months to see if it helps at all. I think that is the next step for us with our allergy dog.

    For us, we’ve come to find out that as long as we do not feed Bentley a grain free food, he doesn’t have any of his food allergy symptoms. The peas are what we’ve seen to be the issue for him. We fed Purina Pro Plan for over 2 years and that went very well, but we recently switched to Victor because it was a little cheaper than Pro Plan for a larger bag size. So far, so good.

    A low carb food will not help at all. Carbs do not feed yeast on the skin. The only thing that will cause a secondary yeast infection from food is if the dog is sensitive to an ingredient in the food. Not to mention dogs can only react to protein, not starch, fat, vitamins, minerals, carbs.

    #120216 Report Abuse
    Sydney N

    My lab had extreme allergies a lot
    Like your poor puppy. Turns out even with the pricy vet diets she was allergic to the meat protein in the food. I changed her to natural balance vegetarian and not one issue since. And I have spent thousands at the vet. I’ve also heard many other stories like my dogs about this food curing their dog of itching and ear infections. Would never switch her food again I love it! You should definitely give it a try. She would keep me up at night itching so much and even get blisters on any other food!

    #120960 Report Abuse
    Stephanie S

    For anyone who has their dog on (or is considering putting their dog on) Taste of the Wild dog food, beware! There is an active Diamond Taste of the Wild Class Action Lawsuit!

    Due to food allergies, my two dogs have (had) been on TOTW Pacific Stream for years. In June, 2018, my dogs became extremely ill (vomiting, bloody diarrhea) following two feedings from a newly opened bag. Three months and over $4,000 in vet bills later, my dogs are still trying to recover after eating TOTW’s poison. And, it is poison! You may already be aware, but on August 28, 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed against Diamond Taste of the Wild dog food ( TOTW’s Pacific Stream, Roasted Bison & Venison and the Puppy formulas have tested positive for arsenic, bpa, cadmum, mercury, lead, total pesticide and acrylamide. Many people have been posting complaints on,, reporting symptoms similar to what my dogs are experiencing. Others are posting complaints regarding their dogs suddenly developing itching problems. A couple of people have even posted about their dogs dying after they began vomiting and having bloody diarrhea.

    Stay away from TOTW dog food!!

    #128826 Report Abuse
    Joseph G

    Hello. Your messages a few months old, but I figured I’d still reply to it. My dog has severe allergies as well and is very difficult. My dog is on Apoquel because her allergies are that bad
    And the benefits far outweigh any risk for her. She honestly hasn’t had any problems with the medication says she’s been on it, which has been a few years now. It doesn’t completely help with her allergies, but it definitely helps considerably. Even if I miss one dose, you can tell that she starts itching more. There is also a new medication called Cytopoint That is an injection that your vet gives your dog approximately every 4-6 weeks. After the initial evaluation of your dog, usually one of the techs can give your dog the injection and you don’t need to see your vet every time you go and pay an examination fee. You just pay for the injection. The injections aren’t super cheap, but it’s comparable or maybe less expensive than Apoquel. I haven’t tried it yet on my dog as she is doing okay on the Apoquel. Some people will say these injections are bad because they modulate the immune system, but they are safer than steroids and when your dog has severe allergies with horrible symptoms, sometimes you don’t have a choice. Trust me, I tried all the other stuff. Probiotics and other supplements might help, but you also have to be leery or ingredients in them your dog can be allergic to. The eggs in the food you were making can definitely cause allergies in dogs. Basically any protein is capable of producing an allergic response. In addition to Apoquel, I feed my dog Rayne Nutrition kangaroo manintenance dry food and canned food as a topper. It is a prescription food that you’ll need to have your vet approve when you order it online, but it is worth it. It is a whole-food dog food and has very high-quality ingredients in it. It is not like other prescription dog foods. This stuff is top-notch. The dog food and the Apoquel have helped my dog as much as possibly can be. I’m sure my dog is allergic to grass and other outdoor stuff, as well as some foods. Allergies to dog foods usually manifest as digestive issues. My personal feeling is that the Rayne dog food and Apoquel or Cytopoint would really help your dog. I would speak to your vet about it. Good luck!

    #129637 Report Abuse
    April T

    I was starting to feel like my dog which is a pekingese he was the one going through this horrible ordeal same thing hot flaming skin, ear infections chewing at his paw until they bbleed, everything you mentioned my dog has endured I went to many vets tried many foods, shampoos, powders you name it I done it then i found a vet that reccomended me to put him on a fresh (cooked) I boiled it since its healthier for him. I know it can be quiet expensive but it it absolutely works and ita worth taking that misery away from your baby, it usually takes it about 2 weeks to start seeing a difference but you will be truly amazed.

    #129648 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Dogs can have an allergic reaction to many things. It may not be the protein or carbs in the dry food, but it could be other ingredients. Example: certain preservatives, added coloring and flavoring, minerals, and such. Also, not to mention hidden chemicals in the food. So it is complicated.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by joanne l.
Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • The forum ‘Diet and Health’ is closed to new topics and replies.