Getting old + other woes

I think we’re winning with the “booties”, finally!

The red striped socks, while cute, were too long and kept falling down.

Then I tried my ankle running socks. Much better. But still too big. Here they are this morning. Were great to start, but then also slipped down. And they filled with sand.


This afternoon we drove up the coast (20 minutes) to a bigger town (still small!) with proper shops. Of course there’s a pet shop—everyone brings their dogs here on holiday. The lady working there was so sweet and helpful and found images on the internet for ideas for using socks. And she suggested I go to PEP Stores just a short walk away. It’s sooooo cheap and sells everything including socks. The pet shop didn’t have booties.

I bought a variety of children’s socks and babies’ booties. Plus baby tights to cut a hole in the crotch for his head and hopefully they’d stay up better that way. Booties for the win! They’re thick so hardly any sand got through. And they’re short and fit snugly. The tights were a big fail. Too tight over the neck. Wasted a perfectly good pair of tights by cutting them.

We also bought painter’s tape. Like masking tape. Easier to use than micropore to tape the booties on.

So many people stopped to ask about the booties. One even asked if it’s the same dog who has been wearing the orange ones. They are rather luminous and noticeable!! And many oohs and ahs from children, very sweet!!


I also bought antifungal cream. He’s got terrible hotspots in his armpits going down his inner legs plus the sore on his back paw. The vet did give us antifungal shampoo a while ago, to use on his paws, but she said limit the shampooing to twice a week otherwise too much for the skin (not sure what she meant by “too much”, didn’t think to ask then). Anyway I think the cream will be easier to use. I’ve been using apple cider vinegar these past 2 days and it seems he’s chewing and scratching the area less.
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Alberta, Canada
So sorry to hear of Snowie’s troubles. Allergies can be so hard to pin down and deal with. I hope you are able to find some treatments. Sounds like he’s on good hands, though :hug:
The hotspots are getting worse. 🥲 Thank goodness for the Fullers Earth. Aside from the drying effect, the whiteness fills in the gaps and he doesn’t look so frighteningly moth eaten! He chewed his thigh so badly the skin was bloody and raw.

Yesterday we went back to the bigger town with proper shops and I went back to the pharmacy for more Fullers Earth. An assistant suggested Wound Spray, said she uses it on her Bulldog and on any scratches on her arms when he jumps on her. Looks like what you call Leucillin in the UK. I haven’t seen Luecellin here, but the ingredients look the same—basically a chlorine-type spray. It seems soothing and good for a raw wound. But I am at my wits end. Snowie has not been himself. Usually on holiday he’s one happy chappy. But this time he’s hardly wagged his tail. And has no enthusiasm outside of his walks. He only perks up when he meets other dogs, but he tires easily on the walks, so we’ve kept them short in distance, although he takes ages with sniffing and very slow walking.

We decided to stop the Apoquel yesterday. He’s been on it but getting worse. He has a terrible decaying smell. I can’t help but think the immunosuppressant nature of it stops his body from fighting off the yeast and fungal infections. I’m now treating topically only. Antifungal ointment for the hotspots. Apple cider vinegar wipe down. Fullers Earth for drying out areas.

Amazingly his front paws are doing well. We powder them with baby powder (nice and slippery, I think more comfortable than the Fullers Earth for between his pads) and try to keep them as dry as possible. Booties are working well. I bought 10 more pairs yesterday in pink, beige, and gray! Blue ones were sold out.

After the public holidays, I’ll try to get him back to the vet sooner than our scheduled appointment.

Last night we gave him paracetamol. Difficult to know if he’s in pain cos he’s not showing back stiffness and hardly limping now that he wears the booties. But because of his general moroseness we felt we had to try the pain meds. Not sure if it was the paracetamol or not giving the Apoquel last night, but this morning he was the happiest we’ve seen him all holiday! Despite chewing his thigh in the night. Woke up wagging his tail. Eager to get up and have breakfast. Eager for his walk. Walked so nicely, and we managed a longer walk than any we’ve done this holiday. Now just to keep him from chewing his skin off… He’s sleeping now so I am relieved from guard duty!

Here he is refusing to come in after a walk. He’ll only come for “a consideration”! My husband left his hat on Snowie while he went inside for the treats.


He loves the lagoon. Yesterday he even seemed to enjoy retrieving a stick, but only a couple of times.


This morning we decided to do a “dry” walk, no sea swim. Trying to keep his fur dry. It was a very cool morning. But before we realised it, he’d taken himself down the embankment into the lagoon (we usually approach it on the beach; this was a new route).


Desperately wanting to chew his back leg.


Looking moth eaten. The Fullers Earth disguises the bare skin and acts as a barrier as well as dries it out.

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Mama Red HOT Pepper
Oh, poor baby - that all sounds so uncomfortable and it’s terrible to see them not acting like themselves . :hug:

I wonder if he’s absconding into the salt water because it feels good ? Carbón’s für and skin are both so much nicer and healthier- looking when we’re in Cornwall and he can have a swim nearly every day, where he can get kind of yeasty-smelling when he’s deprived of his surfing sessions.
I wonder if he’s absconding into the salt water because it feels good ?
Yes, I agree. He definitely is refreshed and happier after a dip. But it was so cool this morning that I thought he wouldn’t want one.

We’ve discovered that his front paws stay almost dry while wearing the booties! Even after wading through the waves at the shoreline. This is a great discovery!
it’s a horrible situation where you are searching for ways to relieve and get on top of his problems
Yes! Snowie has a shoebox full of lotions and potions. I’m willing to try anything!

Thankfully the booties have made walking bearable, so we can do that frequently enough now that he’s too tired when we get back to stay awake and chew and scratch himself. He’s already had a morning and lunchtime walk today, and will have another later.

My mom came to visit (she’s spending the summer holidays up the coast with my brother’s in-laws at another small seaside town), and Snowie managed a decent number of wags when she came in (while remaining lying on his side!). So he is feeling better today. We are savouring all the small moments of happiness!
We’ve been back home since Tuesday. It wasn’t a great holiday like our previous ones in this small seaside town. Usually Snowie is in his element. Previously, on arrival, he’s always done the zoomies. No zoomies at all this time. Mostly morose.

But he has made a dramatic improvement since coming home. His back toe has healed where I thought he had a grass seed. I applied the antifungal cream there. His lymph node has gone down. I think he must’ve been feeling terribly grotty with an infection. Now he’s full of the joys of life again. I am so relieved.

He’s also not smelling of decay. The antifungal cream has worked wonders on his armpits and forearms and under his chest.

We also gave him an antifungal shampooing on all the bad bits. Just being clean and fresh made a difference for us!! Of course for him, too.

We weren’t able to get him to the vet yet. We’re on the cancellation list. Obviously we can get him into the emergency vet, but he’s not an emergency. He’s just itchy.

The big thing we did is put him back on the Apoquel. I was reluctant, but he was chewing his thighs raw and bloody. He can have up to 2 tablets a day. He had been on 1/4 tablet prior to Spring and doing well. Then upped to 1/2 of late. We gave him 1 tablet on Thursday morning, another that evening, and the chewing and scratching stopped. Still need to keep an eye on his licking the wounds, also new ones—a back toe, front toe, and front upper paw. Now 1 tablet in the evenings.

Amazingly under his paws is doing so well, even bits of fur growing back. We powder religiously and he wears booties when on rough or sandy surfaces, but not for normal pavement walking. No limping at all!!!

Ears aren’t looking great, but I’ve been cleaning and treating with meds vet gave us previously.

It’s exhausting. All I do all day is apply lotions and potions and powders. He came to us itchy as a puppy, scratched his armpits raw then. I didn’t know about such allergies in dogs then. I made sure his parents had good hip and elbow scores and eyes were tested. Snowie has great hips and elbows, easily jumps into the car at almost 12 years old. But I didn’t know to ask about allergies, and later learned his mother was being treated for allergies. She died of foot cancer at age 12, about 2 years ago (hence why I get so panicky about his feet, although the vet was reassuring). Snowie has her wonderful personality and all her allergies.


Staff member
I'm so glad to read that Snowie has improved a lot since you got home. But I can only imagine how the stress, worry and constant need to apply lotions etc must take its toll on you :hug: