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Nibbling, Licking, Yawning


Gilly91
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Trev licks himself like a cat all the time. His legs, his hind quarters, feet, nether region and sometimes even the car seat.

 

He also bites and nibbles his hind quarters a lot to the point where his hair looks different to the rest of his body.

 

I wouldn't have thought there was anything wrong with this and that it was pretty standard behaviour and put it down to cleaning and itching.

 

I did a google search and it came back that he may have arthritis or it could be an allergy to something.

 

Question is - Does anyone else's grey do this? Do i need to do something about it? Or is it just standard behaviour?

 

He also yawns ALL the time (which google tells me is not good) but i think its just because he is lazy. He yawns on walks, when hes lying down, midway through eating, while hes getting strokes, when hes exited when i come home from work..... it could go on forever. He is never under stress, he lives in a quiet home. Again just want to clarify that its nothing to worry about?

 

Cheers

Edited by Gilly91

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Yawns are a stress signal. I've not seen dogs doing that when tired, maybe copying other dogs that yawn and humans too.

 

If there's panting then there is probably pain.

 

Yawn and look-away is a calming signal though.

 

So either there is stress energy from either the dog or someone else is feeling ill or changing in some way, or there's a physical issue with the dog. Like arthritis, anal glands, and itch skin.

 

I'd say have your vet check his health status.

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There is never any panting. He does pant at around 9:30pm every day for around 5minutes, then he stops (no idea what that is about) but other than that he doesn't pant.

 

I cant see why he would be under any stress - I live alone so its generally quiet in my house.

 

Would him being cold result in yawning? I've not had a working boiler for quite some time but its usually still warm as i put the fire and electric radiator on.

 

If im stroking him and he yawns, i stop stroking and he puts himself back onto my hand for more strokes, so i cant see it being because he wants to be away from me.

 

Im stumped


He has done this since i brought him home by the way. I got him at the end of October

 

I dont know if its worth mentioning that he makes a squeezy noise when yawning

Edited by Gilly91

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Can you video the yawning and post a link?

 

That amount of licking is not normal. How old is he/how long have you had him and has he always done it? Does it seem to happen more frequently at certain times of the year? What area on his himdquarters is he licking where the fur is different?

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Ill try and get a video tonight of him doing his yawns. He also licks his lips when im giving him a head massage which im also told is a stress signal! but if he was stressed why would he keep wanting me to do it when i pull away?

 

He is 3 and a half and ive had him since the end of October last year (so 3.5months roughly) and yes he has always done it which is why i didnt think it was a problem.

 

He is nibbling the top of his back legs.

 

He always seems happy and content. He is not in pain as far as i can tell. He loves getting scratched and massaged on the area he nibbles.

Edited by Gilly91

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Lola, also 3.5 years old, does the licking thing - tops of thighs, fore legs, belly, derriere. Turns out she has atopic dermatitis and has to take Apoquel daily. She also bows and shakes (like they do after a bath) and yawns quite often. She does not seem to be stressed or in pain. :dunno

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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That does seem like too much licking, and if the nibbling is anything like what our guy did when he first got home, you don't really want that to continue. Ours nibbled so much when he was at the kennel he got hair stuck in his teeth - which could cause issues if not removed.

My first thought is that he's licking/nibbling because he's itchy, and that could be an allergy, if so the first place I'd look at this time of year is at his food. But, it could also be dry air in the house (especially now) making him itchy, do you run a humidifier in the winter? (Assuming it's winter where you are)

 

Maybe see if you can distract him with training or a toy when he's obsessively licking? It'll take a while to figure out if it is an allergy, in the meantime that distraction would be good bonding as well.

 

As for the yawning/calming/stress signals - on the one hand, you haven't had him very long and he's still in what I would call the settling in period.

On the other, you should try to get away from the idea that your quiet lonely house couldn't be stressful for him. Being alone with no other dogs and one new human could be stressful. Being chilly (if your boiler isn't working) could be stressful. And it might seem quiet to you, but to him every little house noise that you tune out - the ice maker, the water heater, garage door, etc - is new and potentially scary. Over time he'll get used to those things, but it takes some time.

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Thanks for the reply's

 

I will take him to see a vet about the licking and see what they say. He currently eats 2 handfuls of kibble (which falls in the % of protein i was told he needs from the kennels) along with some raw tripe/chicken mince.

It is winter here at the moment and gets rather cold (im getting a new boiler fitted as i am writing this). but no i dont use a humidifier, it may be something to try.

 

As for the yawning - i understand its still early days but he seems to have settled extremely well rather quickly and seems very content and bonds well with me well, however i obviously dont have anything to compare too. Maybe he hasn't done as well as i think he has. So do you think over time, these yawns will die off?

Edited by Gilly91

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Licking is a form of self medicating. Endorphins are released thru this action. This is what my vet told me. As Felix started licking non-stop, but Felix has numerous heath issues. Recently it has subsided, but he is old, really on the decline and not doing too much of anything these days.

 

It never hurts to speak with your vet. Inexpensive are the DAP diffusers. I would also dry that while you wait to talk to a professional.

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Given his age, my best guess is he's itchy. Whether that's dry air, quality of food, alleries, who knows. I might just first try the humidifier as well as adding fish oil to his diet. If it doesn't subside, then explore the allergy issue.

 

As far as the yawning, my two cents - yawning is a stress signal a lot of the time, but my experience with greyhounds is they will often do it and then solicit more attention. Over time you may see him do it less. I think it's great that when he does it you stop and see what he does. By doing that, you are essentially asking him if he wants you to continue and he is clearly telling you he does. I would keep up with that and not worry too much.

 

My theory, fwiw is that these guys are often a little conflicted about petting especially when they're newer off the track. Which is why you see it even when the dog solicits more. But who really knows. You have to take the whole picture and not get hung up on one particular thing when reading body language.

 

If you haven't read it, you might be interested in Patricia McConnell's The Other End of the Leash.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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>> I cant see why he would be under any stress - I live alone so its generally quiet in my house.>>

 

Yawning in dogs can be a reaction to something that has changed from what they are used to. The human equivalent might be a sigh. (they use it like displacement activity).

 

>>Would him being cold result in yawning? I've not had a working boiler for quite some time but its usually still warm as i put the fire and electric radiator on.>>

 

When Peggy is too cold she gets restless, gets up and flaps her ears loudly to make the human come over and put the blanket back!

 

 

>>If im stroking him and he yawns, i stop stroking and he puts himself back onto my hand for more strokes, so i cant see it being because he wants to be away from me.>>

 

That's normal 'nice-dog' behaviour.

 

 

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He's handsome :wub:

 

I might call him to you for attention rather than approaching him on his bed and doing it then to be safe. Tough to say from that short clip.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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House humidity - before you invest in a humidifier try setting a big pot of water on your cooker or stove. Watch it to make sure it doesn't get dry and ruin your pot.

 

Yawning - sometimes yawns happen and they mean just what a yawn normally means. From your video, most dogs will open their mouths when you scratch or pet them on the side of the mouth, like a reflex. FWIW, my dogs yawn all the time. Dogs will also yawn in reaction to *seeing* another human or dog yawn, like people do.

 

Licking - some racing dogs can develop a licking habit - it can develop into an OCD sort of thing if done too often. Many greyhound owners complain their dogs lick the couch or chair or beds, and it's just that - a habit they develop in the kennels. BUT - if he's licking/biting enough to discolor his fur, he needs to be seen by a vet. There may be an underlying issue like a food allergy/intolerance, dry/itchy skin (you can try adding a high omega 3 oil like salmon oil gradually to his food to help that), a contact dermatitis, or something else that your vet can talk with you about.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9fABSA687JA

 

This is how he nibbles

 

That;s exactly was Lola does.

 

 

Lola does this, too, randomly, even down to the teeny whine after the yawn.

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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From those videos that handsome dog already loves you. That little yawn squeak is adorable.

 

Mine will nibble like that if there are flea allergies (house dust with flea droppings is enough to cause it.)

The sniffing after the nibbling might mean something?

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