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CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 63982
Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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my westie constantly licks everything ... my legs, the furniture,

Resolved Question:

my westie constantly licks everything ... my legs, the furniture, bedcovers, the air ...

what's up? should we be concerned?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your post!

Most dogs do this for behavioral reasons - to get attention... Depending on the texture or material the taste at times can be salty and enticing for dogs.

The question remains - if there is a systemic reason for it, what could that be?
- Low red blood cell count - anemia. Dogs with a low red blood cell count may lick or eat abnormal things such as dirt, or bricks and concrete. This is because the dog feels like there is an iron deficiency from lower than normal red blood cells.

If you have any suspicion that there may be a low red blood cell count (pale gums, lethargic, fast heart rate, fast breathing, etc.) then I would recommend making an appointment to see your veterinarian.

A quick blood test can look at the red blood cell count, and potentially look for other diseases or problems such as electrolyte abnormalities which can cause the desire to lick or eat dirt..

But again - most often this is just behavioral and there is nothing to worry about!

I hope this information helps!
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The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
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