Excessive licking

One of my babies has taken to licking her paws. She licks them mostly at night when we get into bed. She has a nervous disposition, but I am not sure if it is nerves or something else. The vet told me that nervous dogs tend to only lick their front paws. She is licking all four and has developed hot spots on all. She’s on antibiotics now and has to wear the dreaded plastic collar. I was wondering if you have experienced this and if the doc’s advice rings true for you?

According to my home vet book, this could be caused by boredom and inactivity. It could also be the start of demodectic mange, a bacterial or fungal infection, or underlying joint disease that causes pain or itching that the dog tries to relieve by licking.

These precipitating events focus the dog’s attention on the area and get her inot the habit of licking, which is perpetuated by boredom or other psychological events.

You need to have a think about what may have started it, then treat that.

Your vet may use steroids to treat the sores, though radiation therapy, surgical removal, cryotherapy and acupuncture have also been used, though this condition is one of the most difficult to treat sucessfully.

The book suggests a change in the dog’s routine or lifestyle as part of the treatment. Behaviour-modifying drugs may also help.

Hope that helps!


Stray dog, i think you might be on to something, once again. check out her feet. [url]http://depthwish.com/public/judy/dogs/IMG_0579.JPG

Oh crap…this posting pics thing… sorry How do i do that?

Stray Dog, you are quite the resource. You actually saw her once and commented on her feet. Everyone does. Her feet look deformed. The vet remarked tonight that we must always watch her weight because of it. You can see a wee bit here. She’s bow legged and her paws point out to the sides. So I think the joint pain might be something to think about.



She’s just hitting 2 years now. Does anything happen with their pyschological development at this age? She gets lots of walks. Lots of affection. She gets along pretty well with her sisters. Nothing has changed significantly in her life as of late.

Then it might just be the joint pain for now. She needs something to alleviate that. And keeping the weight down makes a lot of sense.

The Elizabethan collar will help, because it will break her out of the habit (hopefully).

As for her age, they do tend to ‘grow up’ at about the age of two, and there are some marked changes in behaviour at that point, though I doubt this would be one of them.

And I just bought two great veterinary handbooks, which is why I’m now quite the resource. :smiley: Ask me anything!