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Spock Will Not Stop Licking Wound


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Hi All,

 

I own Mr. Spock, an almost 6 year old male greyhound. Almost three months ago I had his teeth cleaned. The vet had to sedate him, so she had to shave part of his front arm to give him intravenous. She did a great job and now Spock has nice white teeth, however where they shaved.......he will not leave it alone. It used to be a pin prick, but eventually turned into a wound licked down to the muscle. He only goes at it when he's home alone and I'm at work. When I first adopted him in November 2013 he had some separation issues, not destroying anything, just pacing around, whining, etc. He got over it and now for the past eight months or so has been doing fine at home alone while I'm at work.....until now.

I've tried:
Sock over it: tore that apart

Sock over it with no chew tape: tore that apart

Bandage w/ no chew tape and Bitter Apple sprayed on: tore that off

Leg Protectors or "Leggings": w/i 15 minutes he had sleeve rolled up and was licking wound

Have not tried a cone: I've heard that doesn't work well with greyhounds and honestly I would like to avoid that if at all possible.

 

The only thing that works is muzzling him with a muzzle guard during the day and leggings at night, no muzzle. I've been doing that for the past few weeks and it's been healing very well. Spock does well with the muzzle, thank God. It's been healing so well, a few days ago I thought I'd test him, left him alone for 2 hours or so with nothing on the area, came home and his leg was wet where he had been licking it. Today I went to the grocery store, left him in the car (yes, windows down slightly for fresh air). I was in the store for about 15 minutes, came out and found he'd been licking his leg again and it started to scar again.

 

Help. I'm sure others have had this problem. Spock is such a smart well balanced dog. Before the teeth cleaning he's proven that he can be home alone with his beds, soft music, water, Kongs and be comfortable.....now this. As always positive feedback is appreciated. I have no time for negative responses. I've always had such good luck and gotten great advice from the Greytalk community.

I could really use your help and advise. I don't want to have to keep muzzling Mr. Spock. I just don't know when this will ever end.

 

Thanks,

Mr. Spock's Daddy

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Oh geez. This is rough. I've had experiences quite like this where a grey will obsess over something. They lick at an injury, then they develop a licking "habit" even when the wound is healing.

 

I hate head-cones. I do everything to avoid them, so I appreciate that you've tried every trick in the book, and I still won't suggest that you use one. I also don't love muzzles - but I'm afraid I have to suggest constant muzzle with guard at all times unsupervised until the wound heals completely. Once it's totally healed, he still might lick the sight - it's become a habit. Hopefully, restricting access might make him forget the habit.

 

I'd also suggest lots of interaction and exercise right now. Maybe teach a new trick. Side-track that brain. Give it something NEW to think about. Some greys are quite OCD - when the find a new "thing" they obsess over it. Sidetrack, redirect, restrict. Good luck.

 

Of course - take my advice from a tainted source. My Diana licks in her sleep, and to go to sleep. It's a comfort thing, but if we don't watch her, she'll lick the hair of her legs.

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If the muzzle is working, keep using it. Once he's healed you can worry about not using it any longer. I muzzle my dogs whenever I'm not home or I'm leaving them in the car and they have no problem with it. You may need to continue the muzzle even after he's healed because it sounds like an OCD issue or even anxiety at this point. Maybe try talking to your vet.

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I have one too. Totally obsessed! He turned a tiny case of happy tail into chronic infected and eventually necrotic tissue. It required a partial tail amputation. Muzzle with a stool guard 24/7. We also put him on Valium for a few weeks to keep him calm and somewhat sedated. It sounds extreme, but he would've done much more damage on his own.

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Brady is one too. He can become obsessed with a small scratch and lick until it becomes something big and horrendous. I have tried many things like you to get him to stop licking and the only thing that worked 100% when I was out was a muzzle with a poop guard.

 

Debbie

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The handsome boy Brady, mid-morning nap. The sun, the sun feels so, so, so good.

I can't keep my eyes open ... ... Retirement agrees ...

... and the Diva Ms India, 2001 - 10/16/2009 ....

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Hopefully someone will pipe in here with the name of an eye drop that can be used on the dressing (and maybe the wound too?) to deter licking. It's taste is much worse than Bitter Apple, which had no effect here.

 

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

whats wrong with muzzling when you arent home? There is nothing wrong with muzzling when you are not around to supervise. Its called being a responsible owner protecting your hound when you aren't home.

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Once he is in that pattern of licking, hard to stop them. The cause now could be a skin infection from him licking, biting. We just went through this with my 2 hounds, started with a flea bite, they were off Frontline for 2 months( 1 sensitive to it and the other Senior and sensitive to anything topical) but...my cat brought them in here, sleeping in their beds, now I dosed cat and Max and Flower. They needed 2 weeks of Cephalexin to treat skin infection and then she also prescribed Apoquel, a new drug that works wonders for skin issues, hard to get it, $2 a pill but it worked wonders for my 2, they stopped licking within 24 hours, no side effects either. Maybe Vet needs to see Mr. Spock him to check that skin out?

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Hopefully someone will pipe in here with the name of an eye drop that can be used on the dressing (and maybe the wound too?) to deter licking. It's taste is much worse than Bitter Apple, which had no effect here.

I think the eye drop is Atropine - believe it's toxic (no idea in what quantity) but purportedly tastes so bad no one wants any part of it. Something to bear in mind though.

 

There is another spray, DermaCare, that might work for you as an alternative to Bitter Apple - I have to get it from a vet here.

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Hi All,

 

Thanks so much for your suggestions. Most of the Greytalk community has been a great help to me and my greyhounds. As an update, wound is still healing. Muzzling Mr. Spock daily w/ poop guard (while I'm not home) and keeping a close eye on him (no muzzle) when I am home. At night he's sleeping with no muzzle and no licking as far as I far tell. His bed is right next to mine and my ears are pretty tuned into that licking sound at this point. I also check his leg occasionally during the night to see if it's wet, which it's not. Good boy :) Mr. Spock is an awesome doggie. We'll get through this. Thanks again all. I'll keep you up to date.

 

Sincerely,

Mr. Spock's Daddy

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Guest Lygracilux

Im glad your pup is feeling better and not licking anymore!

This is happening to my boy too. He has a gnarly gash on his leg that he will NOT stop licking.

We've tried everything except the muzzle with a stool guard. But when we arent home its for about 7 hours..I wouldnt want to leave him that long without being able to drink water.

Any ideas?

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Im glad your pup is feeling better and not licking anymore!

This is happening to my boy too. He has a gnarly gash on his leg that he will NOT stop licking.

We've tried everything except the muzzle with a stool guard. But when we arent home its for about 7 hours..I wouldnt want to leave him that long without being able to drink water.

Any ideas?

Mr. Spock is still licking, just healing well. Once his leg is completely healed then I'll start working on him w/ no muzzle, fingers (and paws) crossed.

 

Muzzle w/ poop guard is the only thing that worked for me. You can try "Leg Protectors" from In the Company of Dogs. That's where I got them. Just look them up on Google and once on their website type "leg protectors" into their search. The large are $40 though. The only problem Spock has is he licked bottom up so that the legging rolled up and he could get at his would. I decided to keep it, because it worked for him at night.

 

Best of luck.

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I have used vet wrap and blue painters tape on Brady before. I would wrap loosely, cause air getting to the wound helps it heal and the painters tape did not pull his fur when I took it off.

 

I have also used the blue tape when he has had to wear socks.

 

debbie

groupwindia-greytalk2.jpg

The handsome boy Brady, mid-morning nap. The sun, the sun feels so, so, so good.

I can't keep my eyes open ... ... Retirement agrees ...

... and the Diva Ms India, 2001 - 10/16/2009 ....

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Im glad your pup is feeling better and not licking anymore!

This is happening to my boy too. He has a gnarly gash on his leg that he will NOT stop licking.

We've tried everything except the muzzle with a stool guard. But when we arent home its for about 7 hours..I wouldnt want to leave him that long without being able to drink water.

Any ideas?

They can still drink with the stool guard on. They just need a large enough bowl that's fairly full. They have to be able to dip the muzzle in.

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Glad things are healing up. I just had the exact same problem with my grey after his dental. He kept licking the shaved area on his leg until it was raw. I just ended up getting a large (human) Band-Aid, and stuck it over top. I did it very loose so that the middle part that was over the wound was open to let air through. I left it on for about 2 weeks until everything was healed, and he never chewed it. My guy hates wraps around anything, but he ignores band-aids.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest 18tjettagrl

Mine had a huge wound from we don't have a clue. She wouldn't stop licking it so it was making it worse. We tried a cone and she freaked out, tried the folded up towel and she figured out how to get out of it. Muzzel, same as cone, total meltdown.Finally I found a brand (farnam)of doggie neosporin (tri-care) and to stop the bleeding once that wore off and she would start to lick again, a dust (wonder dust) to out in it to clot the bleeding. If I put that on her, she stopped. Took weeks to heal only because it did wear off after her laying in her crate and some rubbing off, but it has a very minimal scar. Best thing I've found so far.

However she still milks it. Lol

Edited by 18tjettagrl
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Our vet's office uses wonderful bandaging products that deter licking for toe amputations, etc. Perhaps your vet could take a peek to ensure there is no underlying infection or pain, and provide some better bandage wrap.

(At home we use PetFlex - No Chew, and "Bitter Yuck" spray. Tastes worse than Bitter Apple. Not sure if you've already tried that type of no chew wrap.)

 

If he's not in leg pain, I second the suggestion to increase his daily morning walk time (and/or increase pace) to tire him out during your work day, so he's less inclined to lick obsessively. If he enjoys playing with toys, Tuffie's Toys are very thick and more durable than most. (If Kongs are empty, they're not touched around here.)

 

Side caution: I'd be careful to watch him for any signs of upset tummy as long as he's wearing a stool guard. Dogs can choke to death if they vomit into a stool guard.

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