Our Maltese keeps chewing his feet until they bleed.

He has been to the vet 5 times, he has a cone around his neck so he can't reach his body, we put booties on his feet to go out. He has had 2 rounds of antibiotics and has had 60 days of an anti-itch med. He is still scratching and pawing. He has scratched all the hair off his ear flaps also. He is over a yeast inf. We don't know what to do next. I think the vet is not getting something right. He is driving me nuts and I think he is even going nuts!! I do feel so sorry for him. He is 5 and hasn't had any problems until 2 mos. ago. Any ideas?

Asked by Member 809190 on Feb 26th 2009 Tagged maltese, chewing, feet in Skin Problems
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Not an expert here, only an experienced owner. but sounds like allergies to me. Jess had chronic horrible ear infections (yeast +) for years. Vets coudnt get on top of it...and we tried four different ones..... until finally one suggested changing her diet. We did and now she is blessedly infection free for about 3 years. It has made a HUGE difference to her quality of life.

JessAnneMarieLouise answered on 2/26/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Sounds like allergies!
I had a high needs dog
He always had ear infections, the vet never asked what food I was feeding
Once I got rid of the corn, he stopped chewing his feet, and didn't get ear infections
And, I didn't know at the time, that dogs some times develop allergies when they get older, just like people do!
Try something like Nutro---they don't have corn or any artificial perservatives or colors.
It's all human grade food

Member 809196 answered on 2/26/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I would get a 2nd opinion...You know your dog better than anyone & always go with your gut!
I am sure it is allergies.
Has ANYTHING changed in his life (cleaning products, plants, where you take him, food, etc.) in the past 2 months?

Member 73926 answered on 2/26/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Sounds like your vet isn't taking the time to really look at all possibilities. I'd definately take your dog to another vet. Get recommendations from friends of yours.
Sounds a lot like your dog has food allergies. I have a friend whose dog would chew on his front paws until they bled and my friend had to look at the ingredients that were in the food that she was feeding him. She switched it up, ended up feeding him a buffalo based food and no more chewing. His allergies were as severe as it seems your dog has.
Even if you've been feeding him the same food since he was a pup, the allergic reaction could have just surfaced and his body can no longer take whatever it is that's in the food.
Humans get allergies the older we get, so why not dogs? Get another vet and see if they can do food allergy tests.
Good luck

Member 768404 answered on 2/26/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I think its allergies as well. The maltese is one breed that tends to be more sensitive to certain foods then others. I would make sure to feed a food with no corn or wheat glueten for starters. Grain free would be even better. Then find what protein is bothering your pooch. Id try either Orijen6 fresh fish, or fromm surf and turf. If you dont have alot to spend on food then look at California naturals, lamb and rice is a good one. Natural Balance limited ingredients, or wellness simple solutions. Or another one Natures Variety lamb and oatmeal and they have others to. I hope you get to the bottom of the itchyness it must be very uncomfortable to be so itchy all the time. :(

Dino answered on 2/26/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Miss Priss

Sure - sounds like your kid needs a new diet and some supplements
- go here to this site Maltese experts...
MANY Q and A for Maltese owners
Good Luck

Miss Priss answered on 2/27/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My maltese has a similar problem. Just this week, I started her on a tsp of olive oil a day. Within 3 days, her skin stopped looking inflamed and she is scratching a lot less. I am still monitoring her situation. Meanwhile, I am brushing her daily(avoiding sore areas!)and giving her lots of hugs. Sometimes, it is because of boredom that a dog starts chewing itself.

Member 1059366 answered on 9/26/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer