Yeast organisms (fungi) are also normally found on your dog’s paws, but an underlying condition can cause them to multiply and cause problems.
Licking excessively is common with many types of infections that need treatment from a vet, along with red nail beds—a reaction to salivary enzymes, says Dr. Brett Levitzke, medical director of the Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group (VERG) in Brooklyn, New York.
Yeast infections are often secondary to allergies, with the most likely culprit being atopic dermatitis. However, environmental or food allergies could also be to blame.
Your vet can test the area to determine if yeast is the culprit and treat the infection with topical products, antifungal wipes and shampoos. If these treatments don’t do the trick, the underlying allergy may need to be addressed with oral antibiotics, antifungals and/or anti-itch medications, Dr. Levitzke says.
If a food allergy is suspected, elimination diets—where ingredients are taken out and then added back in—can help identify the trigger.