Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on September 26, 2004

Question

I have two problems with my Jack Russell terrier. The first is a very dry nose that cracks on the outside edge; one nostril will swell up because of the dryness. I treat it with Vaseline or cream, but if I miss a day it gets worse again. I have another dog of a different breed whose nose is normal.The second problem is excessive licking of her front paws, and also the couch, throw pillow, etc. She is 6 years old and started this about a year ago.I have asked two local vets about this and they couldn''t give me a reason or treatment for either problem. What do you suggest?.

L.M., Brandsville, Mo Sep 26, 2004

Answer

The nose and paw problems may or may not be related. Obsessive licking of the paws can be linked to boredom, fungal or bacterial infection, or some irritation elsewhere in the body (possibly the nose, in your dog''s case).As for the nose, your veterinarian should consider vitamin A and zinc supplements in your dog''s diet. Two over-the-counter products in health stores -- Bag Balm and Bee Balm -- may help her nose to heal.

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