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Tranced-Out Licking


Guest Fluffy
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Guest Fluffy

I just caught a sleepy Badger curled up on the beanbag and repeatedly licking one hock. I hadn't been paying attention to him, and when in the back of my mind I realized that the licking noise had been going on for an awfully long time, I turned around to check him and found he had licked his hock raw! This isn't the first time he's done this, always on a leg but in different legs and different spots. It only seems to happen around bedtime, and he doesn't seem to be doing it out of any need to sooth his skin or scratch an itch so much as...trance? Comfort? It's like he's in the licking zone, mindlessly doing it, and not realizing that he's doing any damage. When I notice and stop him, he's always willing to be redirected, and once I snap him out of it he seems to forget that he was licking the area at all. The areas he licked open have never been too serious, and always healed without incident after a few days.

 

My first thought is that this doesn't seem like allergies. I've seen him itch, and it usually involves teeth and furious licking, not this calm, trance-y half-hour repetitive motion. He's also on Taste of the Wild, which is grain free, for what that's worth in ruling out food allergies. But heck, he's my first dog and I don't know ** is going on half the time, so all opinions are welcome. Does this seem likely to be allergy licking? Just a self-soothing habit he's taking a bit too far? Or something else entirely?

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Ooh! So glad you asked this! I've been noticing Bella starting to do the same thing - not to the point of licking an area raw, but if I interrupt her, she'll kind of roll her eyes up at me, tongue still hanging out with sort of a "what, mom?" look? Gotta get a picture of that one day!

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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It could be allergies that make the licking start, but it will feel more soothing the longer it goes on. (As I type this, Sam is licking away.) Check the pollen count in your area, because he might be picking up enough pollen to make his feet itch.

 

I try to listen for excessive licking. Sometimes the dog is half asleep and is licking the bedding instead of him-/herself. (Nothing like moving your foot into a cold, soggy spot on your mattress. Yuck.) If I interrupt the licking it usually stops.

 

(And I've done nothing to interrupt Sam, and he's already stopped.)

Edited by KF_in_Georgia

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
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Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I have one who does that; not to the point of licking herself raw, but she does lick in one spot and half closes her eyes and looks like she's in a trance. When I googled it, I read that licking causes the brain to release endorphins which make them feel good. I'm sure it could also be caused by an underlying skin disease in some cases, but I think in others it's just a relaxing activity.

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Guest IrskasMom

He did that just last Night ....endless. I said No Morty and he was done.My little Oddball :huh:huh:huh:)

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Google some information on Dr. Dodman. He does a lot of work on OCD and licking. Interesting stuff...

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Guest Spencers_Greyt

Spencer does that tranced-out licking thing too. He likes to tuck his nose under his leg and lick his chest. He keeps his eyes closed and does it for a long time until I call his name then he stops. It definitely not allergies. I think it's a comfort thing like sucking on a pacifier.

 

ETA: I do want to mention that Spencer doesn't make lick sores and the area is not raw. He just does this a couple times a week.

Edited by Spencers_Greyt
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Guest Fluffy

Hmm. If it's a comfort/endorphins thing, I'll just have to try to be more vigilant about catching him before he does himself damage. Gotta remember to check out the leg he did last night when I get home from work today...

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Guest BlueCrab

Trixie does this too. Sort of a boredom, la-la-land thing. Sometimes it'll be idly licking away on a limb, just as often it will be the surface where she's laying, whether it's the sofa or her "Trixie Chair" (a portable papasan chair). It doesn't seem to have any sort of impact on allergies or a particular spot that she's after...and it most often happens as she's falling asleep or while she's asleep. Often happens in the middle of the night. But the noise makes me nuts so a quick verbal correction gets the roll of the eyes and she stops.

 

She definitley does it way more than any other breed of dog we've had, so perhaps it's another of those quirky greyhound things.

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Cody has done this forever, never to the point of licking himself raw. He'll lick his legs, his chest, his toes, his bed, pillows, the couch, the carpet...

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Guest kelli123

My boy would lick and lick until his licker would get tired and couldn't lick any more and would finally stop.

He would lick his bed the carpet his self, me the couch any thing his tongue would touch . It was non stop licking slobbing clucking slopping slurping annoying sound for ever it seemed like. Every thing he licked was soaking with this wonderful Slobber, It was great. :P He is no longer with us and i Wish i could here that awful slobbing noise :lol I have no idea why he would do this i think it relaxed him in some sorta way .

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Glad to hear this is common. Sterling does trance out licking the rug next to my bed and he does it to the couch :lol .

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Mimi- mom to Burdette (KB's Burdette), Sophie (LL's Stupid Is) and bridge babies Kelsey (Kelso's Logo), Sterling (Cold B Tiger), Fritz, Tasha, Chloe and Molly

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Guest ChasesMum

My boy would lick and lick until his licker would get tired and couldn't lick any more and would finally stop.

He would lick his bed the carpet his self, me the couch any thing his tongue would touch . It was non stop licking slobbing clucking slopping slurping annoying sound for ever it seemed like. Every thing he licked was soaking with this wonderful Slobber, It was great. :P He is no longer with us and i Wish i could here that awful slobbing noise :lol I have no idea why he would do this i think it relaxed him in some sorta way .

 

I kinda miss it too, I'd take the bad if only I could have her back..... but the noise drove me NUTS!

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Guest TBSFlame

All of mine do this from time to time. Sometimes its the sofa or their bed. I will let it continue for a time then I will call their name and snap them out of it. A greyhound thing.

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Cody has done this forever, never to the point of licking himself raw. He'll lick his legs, his chest, his toes, his bed, pillows, the couch, the carpet...

 

 

Same here

 

 

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Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

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I guess I have one that is a member of the 'Licker Club'. My guy will lick his front leg, sometimes his back leg, and sometimes one of his paws. I hate to say it, but I think the paw tasting has to do with something he possibly stepped in - but I don't want to go there. The front leg thing seems like a comfort. He very slowly licks with his eyes half closed and a slurping sound comes forth. When I call his name, he stops. Like, "Ooops - I zoned out there for a bit."

 

Both of mine are on TOTW, but they have been on other dog food and my guy has always done this. He also holds his chew (Greenie) between his front legs when he eats it, so I can almost guess he is reliving the tasty morsels. :lol

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Guest RocketDog

Cass is a licker, to the point where she's licked varnish/paint off furniture... and whenever anyone has a wound we have to keep HER away from it. She gets so fixated on licking, and she'll just keep going and going unless we tell her to quit it.

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