Frenchie Licking Paws Problem – What To Do?

Hello. My name is Kevin Shaw and I have a wonderful 9yr old Frenchie named Piper. She is super healthy, in great shape, and very happy.

The only issue is the constant licking of her paws. I have tried everything under the sun and nothing seems to be working.

Can you please help guide me through this issue that Piper has? I have her on Apoquel for environmental allergies but I am trying to find a solution to not have to give her medication Thank you 🙏🏽

Fr. bulldog licking paw

1 Answers
Dr. Roy Kraemer Staff answered 1 month ago

Answer for French Bulldog Unresolved Paw Licking

Dear Kevin and “Piper”, 🐾
I loved the photos—you can see why everyone adores her!🐶

MEDICATION AND TREATMENT USED

Please send me a list of all the treatments you’ve tried so far.

APOQUEL ITCH CONTROL

Apoquel is a relatively safe itch-control medication that requires every 12-hour administration.

It is also not limited to “environmental itching allergies.”. If it is truly atopic dermatitis (environmental, as you assumed), I recommend switching to the Zoetis Cytopoint injection. It’s very effective, safer, and lasts for many weeks.

French bulldog itch stained paws

FR. BULLDOG ITCHING PAWS DIAGNOSIS:

Additionally, I suggest your vet perform

  1. CYTOLOGY: taken from Piper’s toes to assess for secondary infections such as yeast and bacteria.
  2. SKIN SCRAPE: will help rule out mites (Demodex and Sarcoptic) is also advisable; it’s inexpensive and easy to do.
  3. CULTURE: You might also consider cultures for
    1. dermatophytes (ringworm)
    2. bacteria (as with MRSP).

itchy paw and digits french bulldog

PAW-LICKING BULLDOG PREVENT & TREAT

If any tests yield positive results for secondary infections, they should be treated accordingly.

PAW-LICKING BULLY THERAPEUTICS

Regardless of the specific cause, all these conditions benefit from non-prescription bully therapeutics. 

These should include daily antiseptic topicals and supplements.

BULLY THERAPEUTICS TOPICALS FOR ITCHY INFECTED SKIN

You can use one or a combination of any of those listed topicals

  • medicated shampoos
    • antiseptic shampoo
    • itch-relief shampoo
    • hypoallergenic shampoo
  • medicated waterless antiseptic gel
  • antiseptic wipes
  • antiseptic spray
  • antiseptic rinse that you can use with Epson salt for soaking

We also offer low-cost bundles

Yeast and Ringworm Bully Ultimate Therapeutic Bundle

BULLY THERAPEUTIC SKIN & ITCH SUPPLEMENTS

I usually combine supplements with topicals; good examples are

  • Bully Itch & Allergies Formula
  • Bully Skin & Coat DermaCare
  • Bully Fish Oil EFA

We also offer economical bundles that combine the topicals with the supplements

ANXITY LEADING TO FR. BULLDOG PAW LICKING

There are additional potential causes for Piper’s unresolved licking, such as behavioral issues. It could be a nervous or habitual vice similar to nail-biting.

It might be worth trying anti-anxiety medication to see if it helps.

Options include Benadryl (OTC), amitriptyline, or tramadol, though I am skeptical about their effectiveness.

You can start with our bully non-prescription recommendations.

Fr. Bulldog V4B StressLess Formula Handout

ANTI-ANXIETY DRUGS FOR PAW LICKING

There are three common drugs I’ve used many times on bulldogs; they are safe and can be “life-saving,”  stopping the licking for good. Since every bulldog is different, I suggest trying each one before ruling out anxiety:

  1. Benzodiazepines: The most well-known is Xanax (Alprazolam). I would start with this as it works immediately, so you will know if it’s helping after a week’s trial.
  2. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors): The most known is Prozac (Fluoxetine). It takes about 30 days to work fully.
  3. Tricyclics: Clomicalm is labeled for dogs, and it also takes about 30 days to have a full impact.

Needless to say, sufficient playtime, walks, and a a stress-free environment are called for. 

eparation Anxiety and Stress in bulldogs

BULLDOG TEAR AND SALIVA STAINS

Lastly, I noted the brown stains, which are most likely due to her saliva. This is purely cosmetic, we have wipes and supplements that could help with it.

bulldog Tear Stain Bundle - Basic

Keep me posted, and best of luck with “Piper”!
Best regards,

Dr. Kraemer Vet4Bulldog

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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