What is Your Dog Trying to Tell You?
When a dog begins an obsessive pattern of constantly licking his paws, objects in the home, or people, the behavior can indicate a number of problems. Physical problems include sores, allergies, and adrenal gland disorders such as Cushing's disease. These conditions can irritate the skin and cause your dog to lick in an attempt to find relief. Nausea can also cause your dog to lick as a way to comfort himself. Treatment of these underlying problems will minimize irritation, and your veterinarian may also prescribe topical medications to soothe the affected area.
Neurological problems related to minor seizures and cognitive disorders in older dogs can also cause obsessive licking. See us for a checkup to determine whether there are any physical causes. Barring any condition that needs treatment, your dog may lick repetitively due to emotional stress such as pent-up energy, boredom, anxiety or needing attention. More exercise and increased attention from family members is the best prescription.
Family Animal Medicine