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Compulsive Licking


Guest AnnesMenagerie
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Guest AnnesMenagerie

Molly, my timid little girl, picked up a new behaviour about 6-9 months ago. I've had her over 6 years and this is totally new. She licks - her legs (various spots - not to the point of redness), her bed, the floor - or if she's sitting up, she just licks the air. She does this almost whenever she lays down and will go on and on and on. Sometimes I can distract her from doing it, sometimes if I put a hand towel over the spot, she'll stop - other times, she just changes spots.

 

She does have really bad teeth and has had a bunch removed (~18) - so, at first, I thought that maybe her tongue was getting dry (not a lot of ETS, but a little). But, it really seems to be more of a compulsive thing. It doesn't get worse or better around her dental appointments.

 

Her food hasn't changed, we've been through several seasons - so, I'm not thinking this is an allergy.

 

She is a really nervous, timid hound - so I'm kind of thinking this is just some emotional thing.

 

I've asked the vet about it - he didn't really have any ideas.

 

I'm thinking that a mild medication (prozac? valium?) might help (even though I'm not crazy about the idea of medicating).

 

Anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? Any ideas??

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Guest krystolla

Lip-licking is a appeasement signal but it sounds like she's doing a lot more than just appeasement. It might still be allergies -- dust allergies are year round, and sometimes allergies to food develop over time.

 

Prozac might help if it's a compulsive thing but I'd think you might want to test for allergies first. Actually, a general checkup might be a good idea. I found out one of my cats had high blood pressure because he was over grooming -- he just felt sick and the grooming was calming for him.

 

Can you redirect her to something like playing with a toy or chewing on a bone? That might be a better "solution" to her tension, whatever the cause, then the licking.

 

Good luck.

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Tasha is a confident, outgoing dog who has been a compulsive licker of pillows, dog beds, blankets for years leaving large wet spots where she was sleeping (she does a lot of this in her sleep). Recently she started on her front left leg which became inflamed. Our vet treated it with medication, then when it healed, she had me apply a tiny bit of Bitter Apple on a gauze and lightly rub it over the leg. Since then she's gone back to licking pillows but I have to keep ahead of her every day with the Bitter Apple to protect her leg.

 

Tasha and Molly seem to be totally different personality types but they are both compulsive lickers. I would check for allergies first as suggested, then consider Proazac for a time if she is nervous and does this for comfort. Our vet had considered this for Tasha but she seems to only do this at certain times of the day, possibly out of boredom.

 

Keep us posted on how Molly is doing.

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Hobbes - April 2, 1994 to April 9, 2008-----Tasha - May 23, 2000 to March 31, 2013

Fiona - Aug 29, 2001 to May 5, 2014-----Bailey - March 22, 2001 to Jan 20, 2015

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Guest AnnesMenagerie

Molly does seem to do it mostly as she's falling asleep - so maybe it is boredom. We're checking for allergies but so far it doesn't seem to be the issue.

 

I've tried distracting her with toys and bones - but the only time she's really interested in that kind of stuff is when she can steal them from Jack - she doesn't play with them herself.

 

 

if only the sound wasn't so annoying . . . . .

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest AnnesMenagerie

WOO HOO confetti.gif - we may have this figured out - after changing foods . . . and changing foods . . . . and changing foods - I think it may be a food allergy after all. I switched Molly to Natural Balance Sweet Potato/Bison about 2 weeks ago and the licking is 90% gone!!!! I'm thrilled (with the result if not the cost of the food).

 

 

Here's hoping hope.gif that it really works and that she'll continue to eat it (she's very picky about what she'll eat)

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Great news! Hope she continues to do well on it. :)

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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Guest widowcali

Widow has done this since the day I brought her home. Changing foods hasn't helped, and the vet says her teeth are pretty good, so I'm hoping it's just one of those comforting actions. If I tap her on the nose and say "stop" she will stop for a while.

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Guest iconsmum

Molly, my timid little girl, picked up a new behaviour about 6-9 months ago. I've had her over 6 years and this is totally new. She licks - her legs (various spots - not to the point of redness), her bed, the floor - or if she's sitting up, she just licks the air. She does this almost whenever she lays down and will go on and on and on. Sometimes I can distract her from doing it, sometimes if I put a hand towel over the spot, she'll stop - other times, she just changes spots.

 

She does have really bad teeth and has had a bunch removed (~18) - so, at first, I thought that maybe her tongue was getting dry (not a lot of ETS, but a little). But, it really seems to be more of a compulsive thing. It doesn't get worse or better around her dental appointments.

 

Her food hasn't changed, we've been through several seasons - so, I'm not thinking this is an allergy.

 

She is a really nervous, timid hound - so I'm kind of thinking this is just some emotional thing.

 

I've asked the vet about it - he didn't really have any ideas.

 

I'm thinking that a mild medication (prozac? valium?) might help (even though I'm not crazy about the idea of medicating).

 

Anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? Any ideas??

 

 

 

how much do you walk her? I maintain an hour and a half a day is almost a cure for weird behaviour that may have to do with lack of physical exercise - I'm a trainer here in Toronto and am constantly amazed at the number of dogs who are just not active enough to keep them mentally fit, so try that first, maybe.

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