|He's chewed the lining off the cone.|
|No more cone?|
|Back to chewing...back to the cone.|
We took the cone off tonight and he started back up with the paw licking and chewing. I have no idea what's going on. His paw doesn't seem to hurt or bother him normally, but every once in a while, he'll start licking at it, or he'll latch onto it and roll around and growl. We've already taken him to the vet and put him on antibiotics, and I've given him a bath and rinsed off his paw every once in a while in the meantime, and none of that seems to have helped. This is pretty puzzling. We also trimmed most of the fur in between his paw pads, thinking that maybe it was long and it was bothering him, but his fur is just as long on his other paws and he doesn't seem to notice that so I don't think that's the cause either.
I tried to do some reading about what could be going on. Like so many things, it's hard to pinpoint a cause for the symptoms. Since he only seems to be bothered by one paw, I don't think it's likely to be because of contact or food allergies. We switched his food, but that was back in May - that seems like a long time for allergies to show up. Apparently dogs can exhibit some obsessive compulsive behaviours, paw licking being one of them. If they only seem to be licking or chewing at one paw, it's more likely to be related to obsessive compulsive causes than allergies.
One suggested solution I read about is to reduce the dog's boredom and stress. We have been pretty busy over the last few weekends working on our deck. Remember the post where I said we wanted to get the deck sanded and hopefully stained that weekend? Well, not so much. It's four weekends later and we're only hoping to get it stained this weekend. Because of our deck work, we haven't been walking him or taking him to the dog park as much as we were before. Maybe his paw licking really is related to boredom. We're planning on getting him groomed this weekend if we can, in the hopes that they'll clean up his paws and if the licking has anything to do with mats or long hair, it might help. We're also planning on taking him to the dog park this long weekend to let him get more exercise.
I hope this resolves itself soon, because it's making me worry. Oscar chewing on our walls and dishtowels is something I can stop. Chewing on his own paw is odd and harder to deal with. I'm not sure what else I should be doing. Have any of you dealt with this before?