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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19595
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Why does my dog constantly lick her lips

Customer Question

She has recently started licking her upper lip. A small spot has formed where it looks as if the skin of her lip is wearing away...leaving a raw spot
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 years ago.

Excessive licking can indicate mouth pain, nausea or even a seizure. Check your dog’s mouth for tartar on the teeth, possibly red gums, darkened teeth, broken teeth or something caught between the teeth or gums. If you find something stuck, try and remove it. If it is bad teeth, you can give him Buffered aspirin can be given to a dog with a dosage of up to 5 mg per pound every 12 hours. Keep in mind that a dog's body does not metabolize aspirin in the same way as a human and thus should not be given more than a day or two without contacting your Vet.

If you suspect it may be due to nausea you can try some Pepto-Bismol which can be given to a dog at 1 tsp per 5 pounds every 6 hours for upset stomach, gas, or diarrhea. Also add some unflavored yogurt to your dog's food to add some good bacteria to the stomach.

If your dog becomes uncomfortable, you should take him into the vet.

If it is possible that your dog ate something toxic such as chocolate, cocoa mulch, antifreeze, medications they will need to see a vet immediately.

You can put some vasoline on the spot which may help protect it from the licking and allow it a chance to heal.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Jane, my bulldog has not been acting sick or out of sorts. She has been acting her playfull self, and shows no signs of illness. It has been over one week since this raw spot showed up on her lip, and is obviously a direct result of her contant licking. I just wonder what it is that causes her to have the urge to lick over and over. When I apply vasoline, she licks it off. Shes a stubborn bulldog. Is there an oral medication u would reccomend? Is this something like an infection/irratation that wont go away or will it take care of its self in time? Id like to try and avoid a costly vet visit if this is something I can treat. Im guessing its not an emergency its been over a week since it was first noticed.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 years ago.

If you can keep her from licking for a few minutes, you can put neosporin on the area, but it does need a few minutes on the area to have any effect. Perhaps distracting her from the licking with a new chew item perhaps a kong toy with peanut butter or some other treat inside that she has to lick out would keep her tongue busy and allow the spot to heal.

The problem is it is impossible to keep her from licking her own lips. I don't think any oral medication would do any good for the sore since it is from the licking. If you checked her mouth over good and didn't find any mouth decay, then it may have been she had nausea which started the licking and then the sore area formed and now she's licking it because it is sore. Benadryl does sometimes cause drowsiness, so you may try that to get her to sleep a bit more and give the spot time to heal. The dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours.

It's possible the licking has caused a yeast dermatitis, so you may want to try a miconazole cream on the spot. Try that along with benadryl and a distracting treat and see if that doesn't help the problem.