Good Morning, and thank you for your question! I hope I can help.
Has this been going on for a long time?
About the last 6 months. It happens mostly when she is sitting next to someone or relaxing but seems to go on too long...
Okay, a few more questions for you: Is she spayed? Is she also licking right under her tail (rectal area)? Are there any changes in her urination habits, such as increased frequency, squatting excessively outside, urine leakage where she has been laying down, etc.?
Yes, she was spayed at six months old. No she doesn't seem to be licking her rectal area as much. No changes in urination and rather than leakage there is a 'wet patch' but it is from her excessive licking when she sometimes ends up licking the mat she is lying on too.
Okay, that is very helpful! I am going to comment on a few possible causes, thank you for your patience....
Let me mention 3 possibilities.
The first one would be urinary incontinence which is very common in older spayed female dogs (it is often related to low estrogen levels). Some dogs leave actual urine puddles, but for some it can just be a light slow drip when they are laying down or relaxing, and then they are constantly grooming the area. This condition can be controlled by several different medications.
The second possibility would be urinary tract infection. Often these dogs can have very obvious signs, such as wanting to urinate very frequently, having accidents, or even bloody urine. However, sometimes the symptoms are very subtle and the dog may only experience a burning sensation, which will cause excessive licking.
The 3rd possibility I have seen as a cause of excess licking is an infection in the folds around the vulva area. There can be bacterial or yeast overgrowth in these folds, which can cause itching and redness and sometimes discharge.
The best way to sort out what might be going on would be a vet exam of course, and also checking a urine sample for any obvious abnormalities. If the urine looks normal, and there is no evidence of inflammation or infection around her private areas, for instance, it might be worthwhile to try some medication for incontinence to see if it helps. Of course the best course of treatment is up to your vet.
Is this helpful? What other questions or comments do you have?
Sorry the very last bit after vet exam and urine sample didn't come through...
Okay, what I said was:
I hope that came through this time....
Yes, thank you very much. We'll get a urine sample and bring it with us to the vet to lessen the trauma as she is incredibly stressed when visiting the vet!
Yes, that is a good idea! Thank you very much!