• If your dog is limping or chewing and licking his foot, he could have an infection. Several things could cause a foot infection, including an allergy. Determining the proper course of treatment could depend on identifying the underlying cause. While some infections can be cleared by simply treating the symptoms, others require a bit of investigation and unless the primary problem is resolved, the infection can reoccur.


    Dogs with allergies will commonly lick their feet. This can eventually cause an infected sore. In turn, the sore will cause the dog to want to lick even more, creating a cycle. In order to effectively treat this foot problem, the allergy problem needs to be resolved. If not, your dog will continue to lick his feet and cause the cycle to begin again. Infected feet need to be cleaned. You can use an anti-bacterial soap to disinfect the area. Completely rinse the soap off, as it can irritate the dog's paw if any is left on. You can then apply a medicated ointment or spray to the infected area. If the sore is severely irritated or infected, it may warrant the use of steroids or oral antibiotics. One of the hardest factors in resolving foot infections is preventing your canine from licking or chewing at the wound. Your pooch may need to wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent him from further aggravating his infection. To resolve the allergies, your dog may need to be placed on antihistamines or allergy injections. Furthermore, the problem may be caused by a food allergy. If so, switching your dog to a hypoallergenic food may resolve the problem.


    Foot infections can also be caused by fungus that affects the nails. In some areas, fungal organisms are present in the soil and can cause an infection when your dog walks on them. This is often a difficult problem to resolve. Typically, dogs with these types of nail fungal infections are placed on medication for about six months. Most veterinarians will prescribe the drug traconazole. If treatment fails to resolve the problem, surgical removal of the nail is usually the best option.


    Pyoderma is a bacterial infection that can occur superficially on the skin, or deep into the tissue. Typically, superficial pyoderma is characterized by small red pustules that will occur on the skin. This type of infection can be treated with antibiotics and medication shampoos. Deep pyoderma is usually present because of another problem, including wounds, self-inflicted trauma and acral lick granulomas. Pyoderma can be helped by clipping and cleaning the area and using antibiotics. Steroids are not recommended for the treatment of pyoderma, but it is imperative to prevent the dog from licking or chewing the affected areas.


    Pet Place: Pododermatitis

    Doctors Foster and Smith

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