Ear Scratching and Paw Biting

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


2 kool 4- obedience skool!
Barked: Mon Jan 23, '06 7:40am PST 
My westie continuously bites his front and hind paws. He also shakes his head, rubs his ears on the carpet and loves to have is ears scratched. I got drops for his ears one time from the vet. Is this a common thing with all this paw biting and ear rubbing? The vet told me to place the drops on his ears and on is paws. Is there something he is picking up that is causing all this ear problems?

We live in a cold climate...could it be the salt on the roads? Or is this a westie thing?
Lisa- (1992-2009)

I brought sexy- back!
Barked: Mon Jan 23, '06 7:57am PST 
Hey, did the vet give you the otomax drops? Lisa had the same problem with her ears. When the vet let me look in her ears, I saw all of this black stuff in it. He cleaned out her ears and gave me otomax to drop in her ears twice a day for ten days. Her ears cleared up a little but I'm going to take her to the vet to make sure. I noticed that she bites her paws to but the vet didn't tell me to put drops on them. Last question, is your dog having trouble hearing?

Food is meant to- be shared with- me.
Barked: Mon Jan 23, '06 9:30am PST 
All of those signs point to some sort of food allergy. When a dog bites their feet and their ears are bothering them I would take a look at what you feeding them and see if there is anything in it that could be bothering them. When I got Dusty, he had the exact same thing and upon switching his food to an allergy type food, he has complety stopped and I don't have to clean his ears anymore.

Many common allergy causing ingredients are corn, wheat, soy, by products, and even sometimes sunflower oil. Also you need to look at the protein source, some dogs can't handle chicken, others can't handle beef. A great website about dog foods and their ingredients is here:

Here is also a true story told to me by one of the customers that visits the pet food store that I work at. He has a yellow lab and the dog for the longest time would scratch and shake his head. The dog had really bad ear infections and they were constantly taking the dog to the vet for drops and powders. The vet couldn't fix it with these and said the only other option was surgery for them. Well this guy wanted to get a second opinion, and took the dog to see a different vet. The new vet said to see if the dog first improved on a different food, so they tried out wellness fish and potato. Sure enough in three weeks, the ears started to clear up and are now sparkling clean. The guy had spent thousands of dollars on this dog to find the cause of the infections, when all he had to do was just change the food. Also there is a food that you could try and see if it works out for you that is in your area. This food is based in Canada, and the lamb base food might work out really well for you. Here is there website and you look for the closests store to you.

Also here are some sites about pet allergies.


http://w ww.onlynaturalpet.com/Articles.asp?ID=136

Isis, She is- dearly- missed....

Just call me- Isis...where's- my chewie??
Barked: Tue Jan 24, '06 12:03am PST 
Ozzy--how often are you bathed?? I am a westie too...and I used to bite my paws and scratch my ears. Once my parents cut back on the bathing...my scratching stopped...

Hope this helps!

Squeaky toys- BEWARE
Barked: Wed Jan 25, '06 9:48pm PST 
Ear scratching and paw biting are common for Westies as they tend to be more susceptible to food allergies. As other mentioned, try changing the food. Jackson eats a special kibble from the vet.- Science Maint ZD. I also clean his ears on an as needed basis with OtiCalm ear solution and use prescription drops of a medicine called Tresaderm. The paw biting seems to go in streaks. Would love to hear from others if they have any recommendations on the paw biting and licking.

The matriarch
Barked: Thu Jan 26, '06 12:07pm PST 
Lucy is continually biting her paws. It is the result of allergies but even treating her allergies she has gotten into the habit of biting. At time she bites so much it causes welts.
Putting things on her paws to stop her biting doesn't do anything.