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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23827
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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13 Y.O. Cavalier King Charles, recently diagnosed with Kidney

Customer Question

13 Y.O. Cavalier King Charles, recently diagnosed with Kidney Failure, started on an ACE Inhibitor and renal diet. New symptom, obsessively licks the floor. He is otherwise happy and remarkably healthy for his age. The licking started about the time he was diagnosed. He seems to be unable to stop, Ive tried distraction, treats, toys, and the only thing that works for sure is to put his lead on and make him sit next to me, if he goes to lick, I pull his head up. eventually he stops.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: I have an appointment with the Vet tomorrow. Duncan is 13 or 14, he is a rescue, so not positive.
JA: Anything else I can tell the Veterinarian before I connect you two?
Customer: I think that is it
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
There are quite a few possible etiologies for Duncan's behavior. Gastrointestinal disorders, dental and oral disease, central nervous system disturbances such as brain tumors or hydrocephalus, electrolyte imbalances, metabolic diseases, and toxins such as lead can induce licking, sucking, chewing, and picas (ingestion of inanimate objects), licking of owners, and air licking. Picas may also be caused by excessive restriction of calories (i.e. weight loss diets) and any medical condition that could cause polyphagia (increased hunger). Similarly, numerous medical conditions from Cushing's disease to diabetes insipidus might induce polydipsia (increased thirst). Licking, chewing, polyphagia, polydipsia, and picas can also be a side effect of drug therapy. In geriatric pets, repetitive behaviors including licking, chewing, and picas might be associated with brain aging and cognitive dysfunction. Gastrointestinal irritation secondary to excessive uremic toxins in Duncan's bloodstream should be an important differential for his licking. Please note, too, that the adverse effect profile of the ACE inhibitors is principally GI distress and so we need to consider that he's experiencing an adverse drug reaction as well. I would see how an over the counter antacid such as famotidine (Pepcid) dosed at 0.25 mg/lb and repeated in 12 hour intervals affects Duncan. The antacid must might provide enough comfort to stop his excessive licking behavior.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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