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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18941
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I cannot get my dog to stop licking s legs. We have tried

Customer Question

I cannot get my dog to stop licking his legs. We have tried everything. We have changed foods to Blue Buffalo, taken him several times to a dog dermatologist. I think it is a behavorial issue. It started after our other little dog died 11 months ago. Shortly after his death we brought another dog into our home. I think this dog is really upset with both of those events.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

What breed is your dog?

How old is he?

Is there any hair loss?

What did the dermatologist do and diagnose it as?

Have skin scrappings been done?

What a thyroid panel done?

Does he have any hair loss?

If you brush his hair the wrong way does he shed some hair?

Or does he have excessive shedding?

Does he have any aggression issues at all?

What sex, age, etc is the new dog?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Napoleon is a twelve year old Bichon Frise. There is only hair loss where he licks. He has had skin scrappings and he does have cushings but it is under control. He does not shed hair at all. He gets aggressive with the other dog at times, but never with my wife or me. The new dog is female 1.5 years old. She is a minpin/poodle mix.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. There are several reasons why dogs lick their paws and legs. One is allergies which since you have been seeing a dermatologist, I'm assuming hasn't cleared the problem up. Just in case, medications would include prednisone to help reduce inflammation and help with the itchiness. If not on an antihistimine, benadryl might also help with symptoms.. I would expect a shampoo would have been prescribed and possibly an antibiotic in case a staph dermatitis is present. Miconazole cream might help if a staph dermatitis is present.

Another possibility is that a thyroid imbalance is causing the issue. Frequently dogs with a thyroid issue will chew and gnaw the paws and legs. So I would have another thyroid panel done and any medications adjusted if it is needed or at least ask your vet to consider the thyroid as a possible underlying cause of the licking issue.

And there is Acral lick dermatitis or lick granuloma. You can read about this here:

http://www.lbah.com/word/canine/lick-granuloma/

You can read about some treatment methods on this site:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/treatment-of-lick-granuloma/page1.aspx

You may also want to try an Elizabethan collar (cone shaped collar) that is designed to keep a dog from licking themselves until you get his legs somewhat cleared up. You can also try soaking the legs in epson salt and warm water, cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and using triple antibiotic ointment or Neosporin to help aid healing as well. If you don't use a collar, baby socks or larger socks on the legs taped at the top may prevent the licking and allow the paws time to heal.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer so I am compensated for my time.

If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well.

Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/

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