If your French bulldog licking paws all the time, you should not ignore this symptom, as this may be a manifestation of many diseases or the presence of parasites in the pet. There is such a thing as psychogenic fur licking, which is explained by strong feelings in the animal. This condition is often observed after moving, accidents, serious injuries, operations, or when changing owners. Even though there is no pathological cause for this symptom, there is a risk that the dog may lick its paws until it bleeds. And open wounds are known to be the gateway to most bacterial infections.
When shouldn’t you worry?
In cases where there is no damage. There is a possibility that the problem is related to the experience. In such cases, it will be enough to calm the pet and give it more attention. There is no cause for concern if the dog licks its paws no more than once a day. This is a common ritual that many animals perform after a walk.
When is there cause for concern?
Dogs lick their paws, paw pads, and between toes for several reasons. If your dog is picky and loves to groom itself, then most likely he licks his paws when entering the house, after walking outside, eating, or sometimes before sleeping. Even dogs that are not self-grooming sometimes clean their paws. If your dog regularly licks its paws, but the pads and surrounding areas, including between the toes, look normal, then most likely there is nothing to worry about.
But it’s not normal for your dog to lick his paws all the time. This is usually a sign of a health or behavioral problem.
If you think that the French Bulldog is constantly licking its paws, start by taking a good look at them. Examine the top and bottom of your feet, as well as the spaces between your toes, and around your pads.
• Foreign objects
•Anything else that looks abnormal.
Provide first aid if needed. Note that excessive licking can cause saliva stains on the coat. They are often rusty in color and are especially noticeable where the hair is light. It is worth worrying if the dog licks its paws to wounds, limps, or whimpers when walking.
In such cases, the following reasons should be excluded:
1. Insect bite.
In the summertime, animals most often suffer from wasp stings. Less commonly, a pet may suffer from ants’ venom. And even less often from a snakebite. Redness and swelling may appear at the site of the bite. Itching is present in every second case. It is he who forces the dog to lick the lesion. Special attention should be paid to tick bites, for which the paws are a favorite place of suction. It is especially true for bulldogs, who have short but powerful legs. Very often, animals try to gnaw out a tick on their own if they can reach the place of its penetration. Therefore, after walking in the forest or tall grass, it is recommended to examine your pet from the tip of the tail to the nose. Remember, ticks are carriers of piroplasmosis, which can be fatal.
The paw is the most commonplace for cuts and other injuries in dogs. You can get injured while walking in the forest, quarreling, or playing with other animals. In the city, the danger lies in broken bottles, glasses, and syringes. If the reason lies in a splinter (a piece of wood or a needle from coniferous trees), then the pet will try to remove it on its own by licking or gnawing. Dogs try to lick cuts or bites. The danger lies in deep cuts and foreign bodies that cause suppuration. In both cases, it is better to seek the help of a surgeon, as it may be necessary to suture a wound or open an abscess and remove a splinter.
3. Demodectic mange.
It can also cause the dog to pay extra attention to its paws. It manifests itself in the form of small bald patches, in place of which black rashes are formed. Itching is usually absent, but animals often gnaw the lesions until they bleed. Hormonal disorders, prolonged use of antibiotics, or oncology can provoke demodicosis. You can find a tick using scrapings and microscopic examination.
It can be benign or malignant. In the first case, lipomas are often found on the paws, which reach enormous sizes. Malignant tumors are characterized by an aggressive course with ulceration of blood and pus. The color of the formations is usually pink-red. Size could be from a pea to a chicken egg. In most cases, the dog licks its paw in this place until it bleeds, trying to get rid of the formation. To determine the type of tumor, a biopsy and cytological examination are performed. With sarcomas at an early stage, the prognosis is favorable, with squamous cell carcinoma and lymphomas, it is cautious. In the absence of metastases and contraindications to anesthesia, the formation is removed with the capture of healthy tissues. In difficult cases, limb amputation may be necessary. Most often, cancers occur in individuals after the age of 10 years.
There is a genetic predisposition. It can be single or multiple. On the paws, they can be localized at the folds and closer to the pads. It can reach the size of a large pea. When injured, they bleed and become crusty. There is a risk of degeneration into a malignant tumor. Therefore, it is recommended to remove papillomas that are actively growing and are constantly injured. This can be done using coagulation or cryodestruction.
The most common reason a dog may lick their paws all the time. It can be food (reaction to sweets or food) or contact (after contact with a potential allergen). Redness and slight swelling may appear on the paws. In some cases, a rash in the form of small bumps is present. Each type of allergy is treated individually after determining the cause.
If your dog licks its paws after every walk in winter, there is a chance of cracks in the pads, which can form due to contact with chemicals used to dust the streets during icy conditions.
How to stop a bulldog from licking its paws?
If licking continues, think about how to stop your dog from licking its paws? To do this, you can resort to methods of controlling and changing the behavior of the dog to help her.
Tips to help wean your dog from licking their paws (but you should resort to them only after eliminating health problems):
• Behavior modification to stop paw licking takes time, patience, and consistent action.
• Try a topical, pet-safe, bitter-tasting product to discourage licking.
• If additional behavioral assistance is needed, consider working with a handler or veterinarian to manage animal behavior.