Posted by: Sarah | 2004/01/08

Puppy biting and licking her paws

Hi, CyberVet!

I have a 7 month old female Jack Russell. About a month ago, she started biting and licking the tops and bottoms of her paws. It became so bad, that she was actually pulling the hair out. I took her to the vet and he check for any viral or fungal infections, but he couldn't find anything. He prescribed Valuim, Microcidal and something to relieve any itching. For a while everything went well, but now that the medicine is almost finished, she has started biting in all earnest again.

My in-laws came to visit us and they have a Maltese poodle. I don't know if my Jack Russell is maybe frustrated, because she doesn't get all the attetion anymore. She has lots of chewy toys and I also give her raw hide and hoofs to chew on.

Do you have any advice for me?

Kind regards,


Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Sarah
This type of foot licking is quite common in Jack Russells as they seem to be very fussy about their feet. However if it is excessive as you describe it can cause infections and septic sores, which may even have to be amputated. This is often, as you suggest, stress-related so I suggest that you work out what is stressing her out and sort that out. Make sure she is getting daily walks, socialising with other dogs and preferably playing with them, enough tasty food, toys (as you mentioned), a view out of her property and is allowed indoors as much as possible. She could also be getting too much attention, (which is why she would resent the other dog getting attention), so you may need a behaviourist to help change the type of attention you give her. Spend time each day brushing or massaging her all over her body. You can try rubbing her feet with something bitter like a solution of aloe powder (obtainable at the chemist) or diluted tea tree and lavender oil. Give her lots of chewy toys to distract her from the chewing - perhaps put some peanut butter inside a hoof. There are drugs on the market for obsessive behaviour, but these should be used as a last resort. Please re-post this if you would like the vet to reply as well, especially regarding the drug treatment.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Blos | 2006/04/04

My JR is always scratching at his stocmach, and its rather pink. I think this may be allergies, but while I work out what he is allergic to (food wise), how can I relieve is irritation?

Reply to Blos
Posted by: Suki | 2004/01/08

maybe the problem has got to do with a skin disorder. (like eczema)Try a grapeseed carrier oil and to it add one or 2 drops of lavender, then massage it into the affected area.Lavender is safe to use in very small doses-its a powerful oil so don't use too much or it will cause irritation.
Good luck.

Reply to Suki

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.