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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My beagle licks the sheets every night and leaves a metallic

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My beagle licks the sheets every night and leaves a metallic smell. It has gotten so bad, we have to pull towels out and cover the wet spots just so we can sleep comfortably. We have out ruled UTI and bladder issues. He is 5 years old and very healthy.
Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years.Thank you for allowing me to assist you today.

I am sorry to hear Tucker is having some trouble. I Just have a few questions so I can better assist you.

Does Tucker ever have any trouble with vomiting?

Any problems with chewing his food?

Did your vet do any blood work?

Is this licking an every night problem or is it intermittent?

How long has he been doing this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We have been to the vet, and he tends to think that maybe he isn't getting enough activity during the day. It still doesn't explain the smell. He does not have any problem chewing food, no vomiting. It's pretty much every night.


He recently sprained a paw and has been hopping for five weeks. It has been xrayed, and no breaks, but he acts a little depressed.


The licking started over 6 months ago and is worse on some nights. It usually starts on a leg or an arm (mine or my husbands) and then works its way to the sheets.

Thank you for the additional information.

If the licking has been going on this long and is happening almost every night then I suspect tis as now become an obsessive disorder for him much like OCD in humans.
This can happen due to boredom, not enough exercise or could have started during a time of stress and this became his way to self soothe.
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Obsessive licking can also be a sign of pain nausea,or even seizure activity.

The metallic smell can be due to several things the most common being
* Dental disease
* Licking the anal glands resulting in the saliva smelling the same way( It seems you have ruled this out so that is good)
* Diabetes
* Liver disease

I would suggest having your vet do a good oral exam looking for tarter build up on the teeth or gingivitis. Full blood work to look at the liver, kidneys and glucose levels would also be a good idea to be sure neither is the cause for the metallic smell.

To help stop the licking I would try to do more exercise before bed to wear him out and see if this helps. This is a breed that really needs to have a job and when they are not exercised enough they can develop obsessive and or destructive behaviors. Another thing you could try is giving a small meal before bed in case he is having some stomach upset and giving a chew toy such as a kong.

If the exercise does not help then you may want to ask your vet about trying prescription medication to reduce anxiety and modify behavior such as prozac and or xanax.

I hope this helps. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns and I will be happy to continue.
Candy and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Amy,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Tucker. How is everything going?