16  Chapped Paws

You may recall that I mentioned how my wife has always admired Bingley’s smooth, pink paw-pads.

Last week we noticed for the first time since he’s come to live with us that the pads looked dry and cracked and uncomfortable.

Bingley was walking on the tile floor of the sun room, and when he set a paw down, his leg would shake just a little.

So we looked at the paws and saw how damaged they looked.  I asked him if his paws hurt.

“No,” he said.

“Are you telling me the truth?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

“What can we do to make your feet feel better?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he answered.  “I just keep cleaning them.”

He hasn’t shown evidence of allergies before, but I suppose if his feet feel dry and itchy, even more cleaning would just make them worse.

So we looked online for possible remedies.  We read about coconut oil and olive oil or aloe massages, about fish oil taken orally, about changes in diet or habits or environmental factors that may have caused the problem.  Nothing looked quite convincing.

At first opportunity I called the vet, who suggested fish oil and benadryl doses.  She said they tend to lick off anything one puts on their paws–and, yes, more licking can make them worse.  We confirmed that we hadn’t employed a new litter, nor had we got anything new for the house, though we had given the tile floors a good cleaning (with an environmentally friendly cleaning agent).  No, he hasn’t been outside, but there’s always the possibility that we unwittingly brought something in on our shoes or feet or clothes.

We started the fish oil at his next meal:  sometimes that gets inside, and sometimes it doesn’t.   We haven’t been able to make the benadryl work yet:  Bingley is notoriously difficult to pill.

If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Two evenings ago I was sitting on the couch reading and, once again, out of the corner of my eye, saw something moving through the air at a little more than waist high.  I’m still not sure what that was, but if it was Bingley, staying off the floor or ground is a sure way to keep pressure off one’s feet.  I’ll get back to you on that one.