How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Mia Carter Your Own Question

Mia Carter
Mia Carter, Animal Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 822
Experience:  Specializing in the training and care of ill pets and special needs animals! Mom of 22 pets!
5408404
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Mia Carter is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my 22 month old dog keeps licking the air all the

Customer Question

my 22 month old dog keeps licking the air all the time. could this be a sign of illness?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Mia Carter replied 7 years ago.
Hello there!

Licking the air can be the result of a couple of things.

I think it's very possible that your dog could be experiencing discomfort in her stomach, due to something minor like an upset stomach or due to something more serious like bloat.

Neurological damage or abnormalitites can also cause a dog to lick the air. It can result from an injury, or a birth defect, but unfortunately, neurological deficits are really something that have to be diagnosed at a vet - there's little you can do at home to diagnose or treat a problem such as that.

But, as I mentioned above, licking and biting at the air, the carpet, and the dog's own body is often a sign of stomach discomfort and this can be helped at home. It's related to the same instinct that makes dogs eat grass when their stomach feels sour. Unfortunately, some dogs will make their situation worse with all of this licking, because they'll end up swallowing air as they do this. Vomiting is often seen after the onset of these behaviors. Theoretically, if your dog has gastritis or another chronic condition that causes stomach upset, this behavior may be seen regularly, as you describe.

You're going to want to examine your dog before you do anything. Look at your dog's gums - if they're pale or white, get to the vet asap. Her temperature should be between 101 and 102 degrees. Other signs to look for are related to distress - it can include excessive drooling, weakness, pacing, refusing to sit in certain positions, shallow breaths. (See a list of even more symptoms in the bloat article link below). If she does not appear to be in distress - just uncomfortable, you can proceed with helping her at home. If she does appear distressed, get her to the vet asap.

To help your dog with stomach discomfort at home, you can begin by applying a warm compress, or a heating pad on low, to her stomach. This will relax the muscles of the stomach and your dog. After 20-30 minutes of the warm compress, you can rub your dog's stomach - I know it sounds silly, but it really works wonders. (If your dog is too antsy to apply a warm compress, you can begin with this step instead) Rub in a circular motion from the area just below her rib cage to the area just above her genitals. You can do this for 15 minutes - or a bit longer if she's calming, but not entirely calmed.

You can also try giving a little bit of pepto bismol. With the liquid, you'll give 1 teaspoon (10 ml total) for each ten pounds of body weight twice daily. In the beginning, you can half that dose and give it four times instead. For more in treating your dog with pepto, visit: http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/bismuth-subsalicylate-pepto-bismol-kaopectate/page1.aspx

If treating her for a stomach upset seems to help, you may want to try keeping her on a bland food for a couple of days. Cottage cheese, plain white rice with plain boiled hamburger meat or chicken are good foods for an upset stomach. This should be fed in several small meals throughout the day, rather than in one or two large meals.

Here's an article on bloat and what to look for - even if it's not the situation with your dog, it's good information to have committed to memory.
http://www.dailydrool.com/bloat.html

Also, one additional possibility to consider: Is it possible your dog has been exposed to a toxin? Or to a substance that she's not ever been exposed to before (such as a new air freshener or household chemical)? An allergic reaction could cause nausea (which would cause licking of the air and carpet) and licking of the dog's own body. Other symptoms that could suggest an allergy include facial and body swelling, hives, itchy skin, biting at the dog's own feet, and difficulty breathing.

If you suspect a toxin, neurological damage, or if treating him for an upset stomach doesn't help, you may want to bring her to the vet for an exam.

I hope our dog is feeling better soon! Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.
****Please ACCEPT if my answer was helpful!****

-Mia Carter

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Dog Specialist
Mia Carter
Mia Carter
749 Satisfied Customers
Specializing in the training and care of ill pets and special needs animals! Mom of 22 pets!