View Full Version : Licking everywhere
01-03-2004, 04:01 PM
Please help! My Bishon is 11 years old and suddenly has started licking her leg. When I bandaged the leg she was licking she started on the other one. What is going on? I'm afraid she is going to start someplace else. Any suggestions?
01-04-2004, 03:22 PM
i'm not too sure why they start to do that .but when i was a kid we had a dober that used to do that .nothing really stopped him and it got very bad to the point that he was licking his legs raw and he starting to have a lot of trouble walking.we tried spraying something on them called bitter apple which tastes bad and was supposed to stop the licking.i didn't work for him but it's worth a shot.my best advice to yoou would be to go to see the vet.
btw-there's a vet floating around this board somewhere,try asking him.
hope you figure something out........goodluck :)
01-19-2004, 02:11 AM
I dont know if its an age thing or what my 15 yr old licks the floor what seems like all night.
01-19-2004, 09:54 AM
Any sudden change in behavior should signal something is wrong. Excessive licking could be a sign of parasites, stress related or simply boredom. Has anything in her life changed recently? Been somewhere that she could have picked up parasites? Brought home a new pet or have had a visiting pet? Have you been spending enough time with her lately?
If you can't isolate what is different, suggest that you get her to a vet. Treating with ointments or sprays without understanding the underlying problem is treating the symptoms and not the cause.
01-21-2004, 01:37 PM
Amy's right, you need to get her to the vet. Allergies is another thought. As dogs get older they can become allergic to different things and sometimes a change in food is all that's needed.
Love Bird B
01-21-2004, 02:25 PM
Please keep us posted on how the little one is doing. I hope you get her to a vet soon too.
01-21-2004, 03:10 PM
I'm responding to your bichon licking itself. As a pet stylist more than likely she is developing some type of allergy, because bichons are very well known to develope allergies (Allergies: No. 1 allergy is food, grass, lawn sprays, something new to the house)and it can develope at any age. If you take her to a groomer on a regular basis let your groomer know and ask for oatmeal baths or medicated baths quickly because the licking will go into chewing on herself. Look at her skin under the hair and see if you notice if her skin is turning a real irritated pink color and if you notice any types of rashes or bumps or flakes. Also with her being 11 her bones could becoming a little more fragile and she could be hurting inside her leg from possibly arthritis or could of jumped and landed on it wrong and could be sore and dogs licking is their way of healing. Also rub up and put a little pressure on her leg and see if she responds by licking more at that spot, pulling away, yelping or something that may alarm you that she's hurting.
01-21-2004, 05:16 PM
The vet that I take my bishon to thinks that her licking is from not wanting to be alone anymore. I work everyday so that is not an option to stay home with her. I give her bones when I leave to keep her busy, but that doesn't seem to help. Right now, I had both legs covered and just recently uncovered one and she seems to leave that one alone. I tried uncovering the other leg but she just start licking that again. I really appreciate your suggestion, but that was the first thing the vet looked at. I guess everything looked fine with her legs. I think my little "girl" has everyone stumped!
01-21-2004, 05:18 PM
I was going to say. Sounds like it is stress related. Like a person biting its nails the dog licks itself
01-21-2004, 05:37 PM
Yes, it can become a nasty obsession with them.
If all else is ok, it's stress or obsession.
Does she do it when you're there with her, or only alone?
Ideally you can get someone to stop in once or twice a day to play with her, hire a local kid to walk her (I did that as a kid, walked neighbor's dog every day to keep her occupied)find toys that she likes that keep her mind more occupied.
Hopefully you'll find a clue, if not, don't get too frustrated, it's not your fault.
01-21-2004, 06:52 PM
Thanks for all the replys about my licking bishon. To one of the questions no,she doesn't lick only when she is alone. We sometimes have to tell her to stop licking. I did try and get her different toys but all she likes is her stuffed animals. All she does with them is lay her head on them and carry them around. I try to pay as much attention as I can to her. She is such a sweet thing and is so very gentle. I would have another bishon is a minute!
01-21-2004, 09:40 PM
I agree with the allergy thing. Possibly changing the food would be a good idea. It depends on what your dog is allergic to. What food do you feed now?
01-22-2004, 02:34 PM
Thanks for the reply. She has been on Eukanuba since I got her from the breeder. I don't feed her much of anything else. She does get snacks which could be the problem. I guess I will have to start from the beginning on the snacks.
01-22-2004, 02:50 PM
Should it be allergies, yes, first start with monitoring snacks. Then look to the food.
There is no food above any dog being allergic to any one or more ingredients.
Some (like 2 of my 4) are horribly sensitive to corn, wheat and soy. Others may be allergic to beef, chicken, or even lamb.
It gets to be a touch and go situation when you are reading labels and trying something different.
When I changed my gang over it was not quite the recommended way. We had run out of what we had and I bought the brand I had been researching. It's more meat based with very little corn or grains. I fed numerous small meals per day until they became used to it.
They loved it! We, fortunately suffered no upset tummies, they did have looser stools for 3 days then by the 2nd week on this food they stopped itching, licking, SMELLING (it seems food and flea allergies can cause pretty strong odors), their coats became shinier and healthier.
The recommended way to change food is slowly, mixing more of new food each day with regular diet. It can take up to 6 weeks to see results either way
01-22-2004, 03:23 PM
I'm so glad I signed onto this site. You have all be so very helpful. I intend to try all of your suggestions. If anyone else has any more please let me know.
01-23-2004, 11:54 AM
It could also be airborn allergies - like pollen. I live in the Midwest and every summer and fall Matilda, my JRT, has problems and has to go on a short course of steroids (it gets pretty bad). I know when to call the vet to start her on the meds when she starts constantly licking her legs and feet.
The vet went through a process of elimination to make sure - different foods, skin scrapings, etc.
Now, I thought that since the irritation I could see only involved her lower legs and feet, that it was a reaction to some chemical used on the lawn at the parks we take the dogs to, the flowers we planted in our yard or even that she was allergic to grass! In other words, I thought it was a contact allergy. But the vet told me that the legs and feet are where the irritation shows up - even if the allergy is airborn.
With your dog being older, I'm not sure, but I think it's a possibility that she could develop these kinds of allergies. Matilda developed hers when she was 1 year old and our vet told us that every year is usually worse with it levelling off after about 3-4 years. Matilda will be 5 yrs. old in 6 days and this has certainly been the case - with this last allergy season being much better. We didn't have to keep her on steroids very long at all this round.
Also, one thing the vet told me is that they almost become obsessed with licking and will continue to lick even when the allergy symptoms (or even pain from an injury) are gone. This is because the licking action gave them relief so they keep repeating it and develop a habit.
Hope you and your vet figure this out soon! It's not an easy nut to crack.
01-23-2004, 09:23 PM
Hello Marcy, Welcome. Its nice to meet new people. I have a pitbull and he always licks his feet. He licks so much, I know this sounds bad but they smell like fretoes. Yuk. We had tried everything from bathing in oatmeal to spray to bandgage. None worked. The vet told us he found that to do when he was bored. So when he licks I tell him No more licking, and he stops when I tell him. When he is bored,he will start to look at his paws and see if I am looking and if I am, he will turn around and then lick. How funny our animals are. He is only 3 so its bordom. My Italian just started this habbit,he licks the bedspread. I thought he had a couple of accidents? I would wash it, and see that it was wet again. There he was licking it. So I just tell them no and they pretty much stop. I have already tried everything I think? They are okay as long as someone is with them. LOl, It is something what our animals can find to do!!!
01-24-2004, 11:45 AM
I am started to believe a lot of you are right about the boredom. Murphy does the same thing, licking when I am not watching. When I tell her no licking she stops but will go to another room where I can't see her. They sure are smart little stinkers. Thanks for all your replys. It helps to talk it over with over pet lovers.
01-24-2004, 03:18 PM
My big boy Sampson Pit Bull/Lab mix likes to come up to me and just lick like crazy he starts in on me and I tell him to stop and then he starts licking the blankets when he jumps up on the bed or the couch when he comes over to me at the couch. Its like he's really appreciative of me and showing his affection, but he doesn't lick his legs and feet like I've read that you guys have posted so I guess dogs have different reason for licking allot. Huh dogs their something else.
We adopted our dog when she was 3 or 4 and she has always licked her feet and legs. We did discover she has an allergy to, of all things, grass. This is controlled with allergy medications in the summer time. She also gets flakey dry skin that we control by way of diet, an oil suppliment in her food, and her food its self. Anyhow my point being she still licks simply because she got in the habit of doing so. We often have to tell her to stop and distract her with a bone or something. Hopefully you can nip the habit before it becomes a nasty obsession like my girl.