View Full Version : Licking problem

03-22-2007, 11:43 PM
My dog has started licking his inner front leg again, after almost 2 years of not licking it. He'll do it until he licks the hair off and gets the skin kind of pinkish. We put one of those 'cone' things around his neck but he can't wear it forever.

He gets plenty of exercise daily - we don't keep him leashed where we live - he has plenty of things to chew on.

Any clues as to why he's doing this again? He is not limping and is otherwise fine.


03-23-2007, 04:43 AM
you live in an area where they salt the roads? Could be a salt irritation. Or possibly fleas, or even a parasite, a type of mange is caused by a type of bug that burrows under the skin and lays their eggs under it, causing irritation during the burrowing, and when the egg hatches, but other then those two times the dog appears to be fine. There are a ton of reasons I would start illimnating the possiblities with the ones you can check yourself, the salt and fleas, if you come up with nothing I would head for your local vet.

03-23-2007, 10:50 PM
Thank you, I'll certainly look into these possibilities & mention them to the vet. I don't see fleas on him - would this type of mange be in such a small area on his leg and no where else?

He's got a vet appointment next week; hopefully the vet will know what it is.


03-24-2007, 05:40 AM
With mange a dog will lick where it can, and where it itches, sometimes, that starts on the legs and moves to other areas as the dog becomes more infested. Could also possibly be a soothering technique, like you said for stress, maybe try getting one of the nylon bones out there and anytime you see him chewing his legs, redirect him to the bone, something better to chew then his legs. My rottie licks to sooth herself, if shes created she licks the create sides, if shes on the couch, she'll lick the couch or her legs, so we gave her a special stuffed puppy just for her, and she knows despite all the toys in the house with two kids, that that one stuffed toy is hers and no others. And she also has a Gallaio bone due to her size, that she can chew. But check the medical things first.

03-24-2007, 11:02 PM
I have tried redirecting his attention to bones or other chewy things. He still seems to prefer his leg. He has only licked the small area on his leg and doesn't seem to be itchy anywhere else. The idea of his own stuffed toy was something I have been thinking about, but I'm not sure how to keep Miss Alpha Dog, Emma, from taking it and chewing it to pieces. She is 10 and pretty spoiled. I agree - he does need something that is only his. At the moment, it seems to be the plastic cone on his head!! I think he's getting negative reinforcement, because he actually likes us to put the cone on! Most dogs I've had will resist the thing :? but he's so passive and submissive that he doesn't fight anything, including Emma. He has been abused in the past by previous owner and by other dogs, so he has a lot of trouble asserting himself. I don't know what exactly started up his licking again; he's been fine for over a year and a half.

Did I mention where I got him? He came from an Indian Reserve in northern British Columbia. I took him because if he had stayed, he would have been shot like the other dogs. Apparently shooting dogs is the way to deal with 'the dog problem' on a lot of Reserves. He was living in subzero weather, starving and hiding out when we got him. He's like a shell shocked soldier. We're trying to improve his self-esteem......wish we could get the Dog Whisperer here! I just don't understand how people can be so mean to animals :evil: it makes me so mad/sad to see fear in his eyes.........he's such a gentle soul.

I'll let you know what we find out at the vet's, if you want. Thanks for your great suggestions! Appreciate it very much.


03-25-2007, 02:43 PM
I have heard of something called "bitter apple". If I remember correctly, it can be used to discourage licking or chewing, but I don't know if it can be used on skin that has other issues going on.

The vet may be able to say if it is appropriate for your dog. Good luck.

03-26-2007, 12:36 PM
Have you tried an agility class or something to redirect him, build his esteem and just tire him out?