Archived Message

Red Stained Paws

by Renee Biniek

My 5 year old maltese,Chewy has red stains on some of his paws. I learned from the Maltese Only Test that this problem is related to their ears. I'm very interested in more information. Our groomer has stated this condition comes from being allergic to grass. Our vet has not been concerned but we have had trouble with Chewy's ears.


I have a Maltese with red rear feet--it comes from licking them. I have never had any problem with Angel's ears, nor does she run on grass. It seems to be a nervous habit, like one chewing fingernails. She simply licks her feet, usually at night. The saliva stains the feet red. (Her mother had the same habit!) My solution was to spray her feet with bitter apple after making sure there were no sores on them. It stopped the licking so long as I kept it on--after a while she stopped and I stopped spraying the bitter apple on her. Give your Maltese toys, chew bones, etc. in hopes of distracting it.
-Linda (Snow Angel)

My Tiffany is going to be 4 month old, and she has red paws, too ( on her two front feet). I don't think the problem is related to the grass because my Tiffany has never gone out of my apartment ( the vet suggested so). I once asked the vet about the red paws, but he said they were dyed by something she slept on when she was born ( some wood, he said). It's been a while since she was born, and I have been bathing her, especially the red paws. Nothing has changed. She still got them. I am concerned about the ear problem you said. Is it true?
-Wenling Huang

Jr, one of my males, was constantly grooming his feet. They stayed red. I was told to put a dot of mentholatum on each foot. He stopped after only doing this for a week, and now he has white feet. He has never had ear problems. Sarah has ear problems, but white feet.
-MArsha A.

My vet said it is an allergic reaction to grass. Our eleven year old suffered from it in his later years. There's apparently not much that can be done about it.
-Jack Ryan

Very interesting! I noticed, on Harlee Dee's left front paw, that it was also turning redish in color; I just figured it was something she was holding while she ate it, but then I noticed that after she was groomed it was still there. I want to thank you ALL for saving me a Vet bill!!
-Karen Kalamaras

My Tikki is 16 mo old and he also licks his front paws and they are red with stain. I have wondered what I could do to get him to stop. I am going to the pet store to get some bitter apple. I love this group,I have learned so much. Thanks you guys!!!!

My Vet, who also owns a Maltese, has always linked my dog's red feet to an ear condition and nothing else. Please check with your Vet before you try any of the remedies associated with the red feet, put forward by others. Remember "Prevention is always better than cure"

I have only had my baby Maltese for a few weeks, but when I got Oliver, he had red stains under his eyes. The breeder I bought him from informed me that it was not tear stains, but the color of fur that grows in some places on some Malteses, such as under the eyes and on the tips of the feet. Oliver does not have this red on his feet, so I have not seen it, but I have found that the red under his eyes doesn't come off with Four Paws Crystal Eyes, which I have found to work on all of my other previous pets. Some of the red foot problems might just be the color of fur that grows there. I am not sure if this is true or not for the feet, but I have found that the part about the eyes probably is.
-Paige H.

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