Dog Excessive Paw Licking: Stop It With Natural Recipe
How to Deal with Excessive Licking in Older Dogs
Excessive licking among older dogs could be a result of a number of different conditions. For example, your dog may be suffering from a variety of different medical conditions, or they are developing a new form of anxiety that has manifested through compulsive behavior. If your dog begins to lick excessively, you should take them to the vet in order to consider all possible medical explanations. If the licking is not associated with a medication condition, then you can try to manage the compulsive behavior by creating a relaxing environment, and stimulating your dog on a daily basis.
Looking into Medical Causes of Excessive Licking
Take your dog to the vet.If your dog begins excessive licking in old age, or at any time, you should take your dog to the vet. Excessive licking is a possible symptom for a number of different treatable medical conditions. Take your dog to the vet and explain when the licking first began, and what area of the body, or objects the dog is licking. Possible causes for licking include:
- Dry Skin.
- Hormonal imbalance.
Consider allergies.Some excessive licking among dogs is caused by allergies. For example, your dog may have an allergic reaction to their food or something they ate. They could also experience an allergic reaction to environmental triggers, such as pollen or mold in the air. Allergies in dogs typically result in a skin irritation, rather than sneezing or a runny nose, so licking can be a common indicator of an allergic response.
- For example, your dog may begin licking their paws because they have been exposed to an allergen.
- Visit your vet in order to diagnose the problem and treat with antibiotics, steroids, anti-itch products, or by changing their food.
Ask about nausea.Excessive licking, typically of the air, can also be a symptom of nausea, which can be associated with more serious illnesses in older dogs. Nausea can trigger the production of excess saliva, which will cause the dog to lick in an attempt to remove the buildup.
- For example, diseases that cause gastrointestinal discomfort and nausea include: liver disease, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, inflamed bowels, and intestinal problems.
- Take your dog to the vet and have them run tests to determine if the licking is associated with nausea. Tests may include x-rays, abdominal ultrasounds, blood tests, skin allergy testing, or even endoscopy, if necessary.
Determine if it is a neurological condition.Excessive licking, primarily among older dogs, can be associated with neurological disorders. For instance, the licking could be associated with a brain tumor, epilepsy, or hydrocephalus. These conditions are more common in older dogs and can often be connected to the progressive nature of the condition. The licking may be a result of a neurological disorder if:
- It is extremely difficult to interrupt the compulsive licking.
- If the dog seems disoriented while licking.
- Other symptoms such as seizures or circling are observed in context with the licking
Create a treatment plan.Once your vet has identified the medical issue that has caused the excessive licking by your older dog, you should come up with a treatment plan. Ask your doctor how best to treat the condition. You will likely need to provide your dog with some form of medical treatment, which may include surgery, medicine, or a dietary change. Read and follow the instructions that are provided with all medications and talk with your doctor about post-surgery care.
- Talk with your doctor about how to care for your dog now that the condition has been identified.
- Ask the following questions: "How much exercise should my dog get?" "Can they eat their regular food?" "Is there anything I can do to make them comfortable?"
Check for cognitive dysfunction.Problems including senility and dementia can also cause excess licking behaviors in dogs. Other indicators of cognitive dysfunction may include disorientation, irritability, decreased desire to play, inability to learn new tasks, decreased self-grooming, incontinence, and loss of appetite.
- Diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction should be made by a vet. They will go through the dog's history an current symptoms with you to see if this may be the cause of your dog's licking.
- While there is no cure for cognitive dysfunction, therapy, medication, and support can help your dog maintain a close-to-normal life and may help reduce some symptoms.
Treating Compulsive Behavioral Licking
Determine the trigger.Excessive licking among older dogs can also be associated with compulsive behavioral disorders that are triggered by anxiety or conflict. As your dog ages, they may become more disoriented and anxious. Excessive licking may develop as a compulsive behavior associated with stress. Try and determine what is causing this behavior.
- For example, does your dog lick while you are out of the house? Perhaps this is a result of separation anxiety.
- Maybe they stop and lick themselves when you say “come” because they are unsure if they will be scolded or praised.
- Try and determine the pattern associated with the compulsive behavior and treat accordingly.
Create a comforting environment.If you find your dog’s licking is associated with separation, try to create a comforting environment for them when you leave. There are a number of things you can do to reduce your dog’s stress and anxiety while they are left alone. Try these tips:
- Give them a treat to occupy their attention when you leave the house.
- Provide music and lighting to stimulate them while they are alone.
- Give them their favourite toy or an article of clothing that smells like you to comfort them.
Play with them daily.Some older dogs may begin a compulsive behavior, such as licking, out of boredom. Many pet owners will stop playing with and exercising their dog as they get older. They believe that the animal is unable to exert energy and needs to rest. In reality you should continue to stimulate your dog daily. This can help prevent neurological disorders.
- Take your dog for a short walk every day.
- Engage in gentle play with your dog for at least 10 minutes twice daily.
Remain calm while your dog is sick.If your dog is suffering from anxiety, it is important that you remain patient and calm. Dogs can feel the energy of their human companions. Try to remain calm and be a comforting source for your dog. Here are a few things that you can do to help relax your dog:
- Take deep breaths when you are anxious.
- Talk in a soft and gentle tone around your dog.
- Make deliberate and predictable movements around your aging dog.
Video: Dog Kisses! Preventing Excessive Licking from Your Dog with Dr Rolan Tripp
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