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PONlady
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Location: Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Joined: Mar 2006
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23-02-2008, 09:55 PM

How do I stop my dog licking himself?

Can anyone give me advice?

Esau was diagnosed with an allergic condition about 18months ago when he kept getting hot spots on his legs and round his mouth. He has cod-liver oil in his food every day now and this seems to have sorted it out.

The problem is he has got into a 'habit' of licking at his 'wrist' joint (just above his front paws) where the hotspots originally were. If I distract him or tick him off, he goes and lays elsewhere to do it. It's got so bad he licks himself raw - I've had to put him in a lampshade-collar to stop him (he will rip off any bandaging and ignores the usual 'chew-stop' preparations). I take it off for walks (he gets 3 a day) and for games in the garden, grooming or cuddles (I am at home all day - he gets loads of attention), but the instant he gets the chance, he's back at the 'lick-lick-lick' again, always the same spots on his front legs.

The vet says this is purely a habit, like a child thumb-sucking - he got relief from it once, and now he just likes to settle down by doing it.

Any ideas? I can't keep him in a lamp-shade collar for ever! But if I take it off him he licks himself raw. I've ordered some Bitter Apple spray to try but other than that, I'm completely out of ideas . . help!!!
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elmac13
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23-02-2008, 10:03 PM
I was going to suggest something which tastes unpleasant but you mention that at the end. Hope that works for you.
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Colin
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23-02-2008, 10:06 PM
When I first got Max he use to constantly lick one of his back legs.

The way I got him to stop was by putting mustard around the area . Believe me it didn't take him long to realise how bad it tasted and he has never done it since.
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PONlady
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23-02-2008, 10:15 PM
Originally Posted by Colin View Post
When I first got Max he use to constantly lick one of his back legs.

The way I got him to stop was by putting mustard around the area . Believe me it didn't take him long to realise how bad it tasted and he has never done it since.
Thanks for that idea - I had thought about mustard but wasn't sure if it was safe for dogs. And the other problem is he's long-haired!! Euyyuch!!
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ClaireandDaisy
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24-02-2008, 09:54 AM
My Hound licks his joints when his arthritis flares up. Are you sure it`s just a habit?. You could give your dog an alternative item to chew, or put a sock on him? if I have to bandage my dogs I cover it with sticky tape as they don`t like the taste.
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PONlady
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25-02-2008, 01:03 PM
Originally Posted by ClaireandDaisy View Post
My Hound licks his joints when his arthritis flares up. Are you sure it`s just a habit?. You could give your dog an alternative item to chew, or put a sock on him? if I have to bandage my dogs I cover it with sticky tape as they don`t like the taste.
Well, he's been seen by more than one vet, who all say there's no reason for him to keep doing it other than habit. He's a bit young for arthritis (just under 3 years). They have suggested distracting him, but he likes to do it to 'settle down', and I can't distract him 24/7! I've tried socks - he just pulls them off, and the tape thing, too! In fact putting anything over the area just seems to encourage him even more . . definitely a puzzler!

Thanks for replying, tho!
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