Thank you to everyone who has rung and written in with suggestions of help for the Rottweiler with sore, itchy feet as outlined in the column of April 13.
Jackie Waltham of the Aspie Pugs in Oxfordshire rang to say that she has an English Setter, who has always suffered from very bad nettle rash on his feet, tearing at them and digging up the carpet. This is especially bad in the spring when the nettles are just starting to grow. Her Pugs, especially as puppies, can also suffer from this, with their owner saying that it is horrible to see them as they become very stressed with the irritation and stinging sensation.
She used to try different remedies such as teabags, vinegar and a variety of baths but, as soon as their effects wear off, whenever the feet next warm up, the maddening effects begin again.
However, Jackie says that she has found the answer for her dogs in the homeopathic Urtica Urens 30c which, she describes as a godsend. She now always carries a phial of this on walks as a safeguard as it works to calm the rash, often within just ten minutes.
A beautifully written letter comes from Ros Liddle in Manchester on the same subject. While emphasising that she is not a veterinary surgeon or similarly qualified, she hopes her own experience might be of help.
She describes how she owned a Rottweiler some years ago who suffered similarly from itchy feet, this often occurring after particularly muddy walks when it seemed as if the grit between his toes acted as an irritant. Sometimes the combination of mud and dampness seemed to cause interdigital cysts, from which Ros’s dog used to suffer greatly. This was until she bathed all his feet in warm water mixed with a good handful of Epsom salts or table salt.
Her precise recipe for this is to fill a saucepan with warm water, not too hot for the dog to bear, add a generous handful of either of the above types of salt and let this dissolve before letting the dog stand, one foot at a time in the solution. Lift each foot, working the salty water in and around the toes at the same time as checking for any ‘foreign bodies’ such as small thorns, gravel, grass seeds etc, then return the foot to the solution.
Ros recommends bathing each foot ideally for around 20 minutes each although the longer the better. She used to do this while watching the television, giving each foot half an hour but stresses that the amount of time given to each foot would obviously depend upon individual circumstances.
It is then important to pat each foot dry of excess water, not between the toes as this is where the salt needs to remain. Wait until all feet are completely dry before applying tea tree, calendula cream or Camrose ointment between all the toes.
Ros ends by saying that, as far as she knows, no cause of itchy feet has definitely been established and it could well be caused by impacted anal glands, an allergic reaction to contact surfaces inside or out, even a new carpet or little red harvest mites picked up on walks. Even a change of diet, strong disinfectant or other liquid used to clean kitchen floors. It is impossible to know or, often, even guess!
Camrosa ointment and shampoo also comes highly recommended in a letter from Jane Hobbs in Greenford having used these successfully on her dogs both past and present, the latter being two Japanese Spitz and a young Shetland Sheepdog.
This was from the time, several years ago when she had a homebred Jap Spitz, Polo by name, who, when he was five years old, began scratching to the point that his hair started to fall out. The vet diagnosed grass nits, gave him an injection and recommended bathing in salt water. None of which did any good so Jane clipped him all over then bathed what was left in Camrosa shampoo and, when dry, applied their ointment all over him. This she did for several days and, within a week, Polo was back to normal and back to his normal happy self once more.
Jane kept on the regular bathing and applying the ointment for another week and gradually less often until it all cleared up. Polo’s hair soon grew back to its normal length and that, says his owner, was that.
She was so impressed with Camrosa’s products that she now always uses their shampoo and keeps a tub of ointment handy, which is especially good for paws.
Jane similarly endorses my recommendations for Thornit powder for ears and to prevent mites migrating to the feet, as well as Petzlife, the simple and painless way to keep teeth, gums and breath fresh, clean and healthy.
If you would like the contact numbers of any of the products mentioned, give me a call at the number at the head of the column.