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Sarah, Professional Pet Care Provider
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 36
Experience:  Owner – Professional Pet Care Company, 20 yrs exp w/ Horses, Dogs, Cats, Equine Vet Tech
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why does my dog persistently lick her genitals

Customer Question

She licks herself all day long, and is reluctant to stop when asked.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.
Hi Rsmit,

There could be several causes for this. A female will often do this is she is in heat as a way of cleaning away the bloody discharge. She will also do this with vaginitis and skin fold dermatitis or a urinary tract infection.

. You can read about vaginitis here:

If this is a skin fold dermatitis, You will want to keep the area clean and dry. Benzoyl Peroxide wipes are also effective for cleaning the folds as well and to keep bacteria in the area down. You should apply miconazole cream to help clear the dermatitis if it is a yeast type dermatitis. You may also want to have your vet prescribe an antibiotic to help clear this infection up. Once the infection itself is cleared, keeping the area dry and free of bacteria with the wipes should help keep it cleared. You can read about skin fold dermatitis here:

If your girl is overweight, getting your dog's weight down will also help as being overweight does contribute to the amount of skin folds in the area.

Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are frequent urination, dribbling urine, blood in the urine, squatting frequently to urinate, strong odor to the urine, inappropriate urination and straining to urinate as well as an increase in fluid intake. A dog with a UTI does not always show all the symptoms and typically displays 2 or 3.

If your dog is not in heat, I believe you need to have your Vet check your dog out so it can get medication for the problem. I hope this information is helpful to you.
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18799
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I do accept your answer, but would like some more detail if you provide it. She had been spayed and is of a healthy weight. She is a ten year old daschund who has only recently become persistent in this matter. She does not appear to have any skin infections that might have affected the area, and my next move was going to be to take her to the vet. Does this information provide any clarity?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Given that there is no sign of a skin infection then it is likely to be vaginitis or a urinary tract infection which is often seen with vaginitis. You will need to have her seen by your vet so a urinalyses can be done to check for infection and get medication started before she irritates the area to the point of sores forming.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Relist: I prefer a second opinion.
I did accept the first opinion, but am always interested in another. Female in question is a 10 y/o daschund, healthy weight, and spayed. She licks her genitals persistently, and is reluctant to stop when asked. She does not appear to have any kind of skin infection, but her skin is naturally dark.
Expert:  Sarah replied 9 years ago.


I will try to add to my colleges answer with more possibilities that may help.

There are many reasons for chronic licking by dogs. First I would say an allergic reaction following exposure to antibiotics applied to the skin; metals (nickel?); materials such as rubber, wool, and plastic; or chemicals (dyes and carpet deodorizers) or inflammation caused by irritating substances such as poison ivy.

If none of these sound like a possibility self-licking in dogs results in self-trauma; possible causes include anxiety, boredom, stress (e.g., new member in household); licking can develop into an obsessive behavior. Treating this would mean relieving the underlying cause, restrict licking by using an Elizabethan collar with use of behavior modifying medication.

Another option since it is a dashund would be Acanthosis Nigricans. This is a genetic condition found in Dashunds and is noticed by itchy dark areas. Since you said your Daschund is dark skinned, it may be tough to see? I have offered a link to a site to explain it better than me paraphrasing.

Hope this adds to Jane's offerings and together we have assisted you.

Sarah, Professional Pet Care Provider
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 36
Experience: Owner – Professional Pet Care Company, 20 yrs exp w/ Horses, Dogs, Cats, Equine Vet Tech
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