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Hello, Do any of your setters have a problem with itchy feet after a walk in the woods or long grass?

My Molly used to lick/bite her feet and now I notice Henry has started to lick his feet after our walks. Someone once told me there were mites in the grass that irritate them, I don't know how true that is, or is it something to do with the time of the year, as the new plants are starting to grow?

If you do have this problem and know anything I can do to stop the itching, I would be most greatful to hear of it.

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My very 1 st setter suffered badly from this as a puppy the very first time it happened he was howling so much I took him to the vets , they told me to give him a piriton pill and half a paracetamel . He eventually grew out of this . I never knew what irritated him and it happened at different times of the year and on various walks so I couldn't work out if it was plant or mites initiated.

My dogs do this sometimes too...I think at this time of the year it might be young stinging nettles that affect them most....best to wash their feet with water if they have been in an area with lots of them....

If it happens again in the Summer months then it might be harvest mites, then I would rince their paws with water again.....

Hope this helps you....I don't think you should worry too much about it......

I too Henry's mom think that it is something to do with the young stinging nettles...Fin does the same but only when we go somewhere that has stinging nettles on the walk...sometimes salt water can help....but the itching does seem to go away....only worry if the itching comes with blisters of cracking...
Hi there ! Legolas also suffers from itchy feet , apparently it's a type of atopic dermatitis or an allergy to the environment. It really only started in recent years, since I moved from an urban to rural area. He really only gets it bad during the spring and summer months, so it seems to be related to pollens and possibly mites in the grass. I've also noticed that his ears will wax up very quickly & have to be cleaned out every third day or so, I just use unscented or aloe-vera wipes...luckily he loves having this done. I have tried a a weak Dettol disinfectant bath for his feet, it seems to give him atleast, some sort of short term relief. His vet has suggested going on a course of injections but as he's already on alot of meds at the moment for his shoulder, I'd rather wait for that issue to be sorted. Some pet supply web sites often offer herbal rmedies etc but I haven't tried any of them so sorry...no recommendations. But thanks for this topic, I'll be watching it closely for tips :)
Hi my Irish setter went beserk one day when I got back from a walk and I rang a friend who said her Irish also had a problem when walking in this particular place and told me to give him a piriton tablet which I did and within half an hour he was fine. I still don't know what the problem was though.  He just kept running around the kitchen and wouldn't settle.

May I ask what piriton pills are for those of us in different country?  is it a pain type medication or like our benadryl here in USA? 

  I had one who was allergic to outside it seemed every July here...would suffer thru til first hard frost each year .  I washed feet and did a weekly moisturize shampoo bath ...using Aveeno as a diluted rinse to help subside the itchies.  Always felt so bad watching him but we could almost set a clock by him as to when it would start...in later years he just decided to be a couch potato about that time of year and only made short visits outside until the frost hit....like he figured out way to help himself.

ahh like our Benadryl...thanks Sue.
I think Piriton is called Chlorphenamine maleate in America.

I know this is an old discussion but wanted to add something in case anyone is still following it.  My English Setter, Saxon, was 9 years old in February and has had alot of allergy type problems including itchy feet, waxy ears, itchy bottom etc.  We did have the blood tests to find out what he is allergic too and unfortunately it includes several types of grass, many trees, dust mites, storage mites in dried dog food.  They made 2 different vaccines that we obtained from Holland and he has been having these since last October.  The vet gradually increases the dose for the first few weeks until as now; he is on a monthly dose.  He will continue to have the vaccines for a year.  He also has a pirition every day.  He is certainly not cured and still bites his feet, but not as much as before.  He also rubs his bottom but I have a spray for this, which is mildly steroid, but eases the itching for him.  I must say his ears have been alot better!  I do wash him feet after every walk to try and avoid anything he might has picked up.  I am not sure that he will be better at the end but it was worth a try.  The total cost is about £500 but his insurance have paid out.


Hi Folks,

Just to comment on this discussion my setter Guess got a bad irritation this week, I am certain the cause is the small leaf perennial nettle growing along the river.  I gave him half a pirithion which allieviated the symptoms as it was administered within 5 minutes of the incident and the severe irritation becoming aparant.  We also observed him and made sure he had sufficient water as these type of drugs cause dehydration and preferably administered under veterinary supervision or advice. 

At this time of year small leaf nettles in particular that grow in small clumps in uncultivated land and low to the ground are best avoided as they can be quite agrivating to both humans and dogs.

Hope this is of help.




Hi Colm,

My vet has confirmed that at 35kgs, it is safe to give Saxon 1 antihistamine every day.  He could have 1.5, but they are so small we decided to just give him one tablet.



Thank you all for your comments. This is a great help to me and I am sure to many other IS lovers.




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