Has anyone had this problem and how did you solve it? I went on vacation for a week and left Gracie with friends and their basset hound. When she came home I noticed she was biting at her back foot and it was a little red. After a couple of days she had gnawed a half inch patch raw and I took her to the vet. We got antibiotics and the cone of shame and that was nearly a month ago. It started to heal and I would forget and go out for an hour without putting the cone on her head (and after 3 weeks I felt terrible for doing it) and she would gnaw it or lick it pink and sore looking again. I've bandaged it, put polysporin on it, benadryll anti-itch, but nothing deters her from licking it when I'm not watching. I'm running out of ideas and I hate putting the cone on her head when I leave for work in the morning but she'll chew off a bandage. It's on the top of her foot and it's the foot she sticks out backwards when she lies down, so it's touching the floor, dirt, whatever. Any ideas on why she's doing this or how to get her to stop? Thanks, Carolyn

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I had a mutt many years ago who would do that to his front paws.....looked like he had stigmata.  What I figured out that it was separation anxiety.  I was home for the first 2 years we had him and then I went back to work and that's when it started.  I did the whole 9 yards with bandages and socks and everything I could think of to try and get him to stop.  I was never able to...he eventually stopped on his own.

Could be separation anxiety. It could also be some sort of food allergy.

I would get her this alternative to the cone. It will prevent her from chewing on her paws while being so much more comfortable for her and hopefully you'll feel less bad about putting it on her. 


Like Andrea said, it could be separation anxiety. When Rocky was about 4, 5 months old, one of my best friends was in a serious car accident so I ended up being at the hospital a lot to sit with her. After a couple of weeks, I noticed that he had a bare patch on his front paw and the vet at first thought it might've been a hot spot. But after running all tests possible, she felt it might be separation anxiety due to the little time I had been spending at home. After wearing the cone of shame until the bald patch had healed over, I took the cone off but he was licking at it again so the cone went right back on. After we had returned to regular schedule, he was fine.

She may have been stressed due to being in strange surroundings and especially being with another dog.  They get nervous just like people and this is her way of coping.  Like the others said, getting back into your regular routine should get her back to normal.  For any behavior that I wish to change, I substitute a favorite toy or nylabone   that he can do what he wants with it.

Aso, if it's stress and anxiety you can get these tight fitting vests that help it. My mother in law uses one on her oldest basenji.

Thank you all very much for your replies and suggestions. She could be anxious and I'm trying to make her feel secure. We just moved 2 months ago and on Easter weekend she was attacked by a pitbull while we were sitting outside a Starbucks. Geez, when I write this it's not a wonder my poor girl's nervous.

We have the same problem with Blaze. It has been going on for a few years now...He actually made a calous  type sore on it and had to have it removed by surgery. I think the vet called it a lickograndoloma or something like that..anyway, he had to have the cone on for a month or so after the surgery and eventually we took it off and he stopped..then he started again and had to have surgery again last month. Now we take the cone off and find him licking it again nonstop.
I feel bad for him and it is driving us crazy. That sound will drive you nuts after awhile.

Blaze has weird allergies and we have switched his food a lot and found one that works, but he still licks. He does it right in front of me, so it is not separation anxiety in his case...I am not sure what to do either, we have to cone him up when we leave so he doesn't harm himself, breaks my heart.

Sorry I don't have much to add, but we are in the same boat here. I'll post if I find any answers.

Hang in there,


I'm so sorry Suzanne, that's awful and I can imagine how it drives you nuts.  You just want them to be healthy and happy.  I think my Gracie has stopped licking her foot.  We're back to our regular routine and I think when I gave up trying to bandage it, she gave up licking it.  If that makes any sense.  I check it out daily and although there's still a bald spot, the color is not red and raw looking any longer.  Hopefully it will heal completely.  I feel so badly for you with your Blaze and I hope you come up with something. 

That's great news Carolyn. I'm happy to hear that things have settled down for Gracie and for you. Hope it will continue to improve. =)

This happens pretty much every summer with our girl, Boo. She has allergies and until we get a blood test and find specifically what is affecting her we have to use the cone of shame and antibiotics. So far this summer she has not started licking yet and I almost thought that we might not have the same problems as the last two years. But it seems like this month she has been extra itchy and it could be due to the allergens in the air since we are outside and a lot more active than in the winter/rainy months.

I'd recommend talking with your vet and seeing if an allergy test is something that they might recommend. We also make it a point to use corn-free dog food, because a lot of dogs can have allergies to corn. Hope you find something that works!


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