Location: Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Joined: Mar 2006
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!!!