Why is my dog licking his paws?
Original Question: Hi Dr. Greenway, I have a 5 1/2-year-old Yellow Lab that licks his front legs and bites his paws continually. I was wondering if he has arthritis. My husband has played ball with him since he was a pup, and hits a ball about 200 ft. for him to retrieve. Lately he hasn't played ball with him, because he can hardly get up off his bed to walk after playing. We have been giving him Liquid Vet Joint on his food every morning, and 2 human glucosamine pills every night with his food. He has been getting this for about 3 weeks, but whenever we exercise him too much, he can hardly get up again. He weighs about 90-95 lbs., and is solid muscle. We have changed his diet to Grain Free back in early December, because he had a raw stomach and scratched himself until he made himself bleed. His skin has cleared up now and he doesn't scratch himself anymore.Thanks so much - Darlene
Paw licking in dogs usually means they either have allergies or a yeast infection on the paws themselves. You need to get your vet to do a thorough skin scraping and tape prep. It’s not an expensive test and it will determine between those two things.
Sounds like there may be some arthritis. I would strongly recommend reducing the tremendous amount of exercise. Throw the ball once or twice and then put him on the leash. I’m sure that will help. Next time, have your husband chase the ball as much as the dog does and see how he feels in the morning. At some point, we have to take it easy on our dogs. I encourage you to take a look at our video about the signs of arthritis in dogs for more information on this topic.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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