Laddie’s licking himself raw again.

There has to be a way to persuade him to stop this.


I really thought we were past it, it hasn’t happened in months. He arrived with a bloody sore on the same paw from obsessive licking: After a few weeks he let it heal, then promptly licked a second one right next to the first. That one healed, and all seemed well. I figured it was a stress thing, and that it tapered off because he had accepted his new home. He’s a nervous, serious little dog but he doesn’t seem at all unhappy. Then just now he took it up again. Always the same paw, but I don’t get the impression there’s anything wrong with the paw. He doesn’t favor it at all, he just gets into this obsessive licking mode and that’s where he always goes. Don’t know what to do about it.

The sky cleared after a few cloudy days, and all the moisture froze out of the atmosphere overnight…

Should have anticipated it and parked the Jeep where early sun would thaw it out. Now I doubt I could even get the door open, but that’s okay. It’s not as cold as the frost makes it look, and lately I’ve been back to walking to morning chores and not even using the Jeep very much. I should leave the hood open to discourage rats nesting on the engine. In fact I should get into that habit, I think: A neighbor does it and it seems to have solved her problem.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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16 Responses to Laddie’s licking himself raw again.

  1. Malatrope says:

    I believe one method to stop the licking is to smear the wound with something that is harmless but tastes terrible. I don’t have any ideas, but that might be a starting point.

  2. Mark Matis says:

    Or our local vet suggested changing dog food since some brands or varieties may contain things that cause itching, and the dog licks the itchy area until it breaks open. That’s how we ended up with the lamb meal and rice that I sent.

  3. Zelda says:

    Or he has a microscopic mite infestation in the hair follicles, and smearing something on the area might smother the mites and keep him away from it. Or as Mark said he’s having the doggie version of hives as an allergic reaction to something he’s eating. Or maybe he’s just bored. Too much nervous energy for his current lifestyle.

  4. DT says:

    Hot spot. One of my labs had several a while back. Vet shaved the area, cleaned it really well and we got some Gentacin spray. Suspected allergic reaction to something on the property. Lots of folks swear by colloidal silver spray for hot spots. Mark is right about food too. Our two service dogs were raised on chicken and rice in the pacnw but we had to get them off the grain down here in Texas. But regardless, need to deal with it quick. Laddie will keep worrying it worse.

  5. Ruth says:

    One of my cats will lick her stomach bare naked every time she gets even a little stressed about something. Drives me nuts.

    If you’re reasonably confident that there’s no medical cause then maybe something like the Pawz rubber booties on that one foot, to keep him from working at it. These: https://www.chewy.com/pawz-waterproof-dog-boots-12-count/dp/56696 though you might be able to come up with something (balloons? Just keep an eye on him at first to make sure he’s not going to pull it off and eat it).

  6. Joel says:

    I have changed his food since he got here. If that had an effect it was temporary.

  7. Dianne Feray says:

    from a vet, he’s probably got allergies. apoquel will fix him up if some soul can get you some. benadryl works too.

  8. Mike says:

    Joel, this looks like a case of dry skin. A variety of factors, including winter weather and fatty acid deficiencies, can cause dry skin in dogs and given that you are in a desert…

    You could try adding a tablespoon of olive oil to his food 3 times a week. TB will probably see this as a treat. A word of caution, if you add more than this per week there is the risk of diarrhea. Another thing you can try is to rub the wound with olive oil to relieve the itch. If this fails then it’s time to talk to a vet about the issue. The vet may prescribe antibiotics to clear this up.

  9. Winston Smith says:

    Please don’t poison your dog with a heavy metal colloid. Please. Absolutely no good can come of that with ANY heavy metal. Anyone wanting to argue ( I wont ) just look up heavy metal poisoning or Rosemary + silver poisoning. Science First, please.

    Smearing with something distasteful that may smother a problem is a good first step. Benadryl is an option IF you believe its an allergen. (that’s my bet fwiw)

    You may have to physically deny him the area temporarily while you teach him not to do that (he is obviously smart enough to learn if you stay on it religiously). A cheap way to do it is to put sticky side to sticky side duct tape, wrap that around the area, then tape it secure. then WATCH him and correct him if he goes after it. You can do this with other products like 3M Vetwrap or whatever, but ii bet you have some duct tape on hand. Periodically make sure the area is aired out, even if you have to make a new barrier. I did this to a male I had (allergy related) about 15 years ago and it worked great. I had completely forgotten I had done that back then and my vet reminded me the other day about it- she apparently tells other clients about it now.

  10. Gramma says:

    a)
    From your portrait, this appears to be a spider bite. Brown Recluse.

    Our Red Heeler showed a similar wound, and it took six weeks to heal.

    1995, I was bit by a Brown Recluse on my foot. Venom killed the flesh into a crater. A couple months to heal, six months to re-grow / fill flush.

    I volunteer with the Mission in Eugene Oregon, and we see these bites on bums constantly. Unless your wound shows an allergic reaction, a healthy animal should recover quickly.

    b)
    Seconded on food without pesticides and chemicals. Fresh local seasonal organic. The alternative is too expensive in terms of health and worry and shortened life.

  11. tibbs says:

    We have wee dogs that lick. We use Benadryl tablets for the itch check for dosage for your dogs weight and sour apple ant-lick spray on the bald spot. Works for us.

  12. Jack says:

    Zelda’s final suggestion may in fact be on the money. My first Corgi, a male, had the same problem. A trip to the vet found no apparent cause from spider bites, fleas etc. A sharp veterinary assistant, also a Corgi owner, suggested he was simply bored. I was away 10 hours a day, 6 and sometimes 7 days a week at work while James was left in the house and/or garage. He had toys to play with and my personal property to destroy and got walkies on leash both before I left and after I returned but apparently needed more stimuli for his obsessive and damned smart canine brain. I fixed him up with access to the outside deck so he could threaten and insult the chipmunks and birds at the feeder and the problem went away permanently.

  13. spiritherd says:

    Joel, you might try organic apple cider vinegar. you can get bragg’s organic for about $5.00 at Smiths grocery store or any grocery store. get some cheap cotton balls, soak it with the vinegar and apply to the wound. apply it 3 or 4 times a day. my hound dog had a similar problem on her belly, and after about 2 weeks, the hair grew back. I think a combination of the healing ability of the vinegar and the bitter taste should keep him from licking on it.

  14. Waepnedmann says:

    Gramma in Eugene regarding spider bites on bums:
    Probably not.
    99% sure you are looking at an MRSA (staph infection).
    I saw a lot of what were reported as spider bites, but was ALWAYS staph.
    VERY contagious and painful. Treatment is a stiff course of anti-biotic and daily packing of the
    wound crater. It takes quite awhile to heal.
    Check out some pictures online and I think you will see the same giant pimplewith an inflamed red area around it. The pus in the pimple is a bio-hazard you want avoid. After the pimple erupts you have a crater into which you can pack an amazing amount of gauze.

    Raising hand, changing topic:
    I miss Oregon, Gramma in Eugene.
    I can recommend the Kung Pao Shrimp at the Ocean Sky Restaurant (I think on 4th St.) if it is still in business.
    If you get over to Newport for storm watching the deserts at the Canyon Way Bookstore Restaurant are so good that people call ahead and reserve their favorites before they get sold out.
    Oh, and you can get oysters at the oyster farm up the Yaquina River and albacore right off the boat at the docks. And the blackberries! Oh my. Cobblers and jelly. Mushrooms! Boletes and Morels. White truffles.
    Sigh.

    Back to OP.:
    i hope this problem with TB gets solved quickly. For his sake as well as yours.
    I detect a hint of stress in your narrative.

  15. Joel says:

    Sorry, a couple of you guys seem to be responding to my lousy photography rather than any wound on Laddie. He’s capable of licking a spot bloody but hasn’t done so here. There’s no wound at present, only a bald spot.

  16. M says:

    Interesting. Same location, no odor, no pustule, no entry wound, small amount of “crust” indicative of dry skin vs infection. Thinking lice they’d be more than one place with more than one bald patch. If it was there all the time, I’d think repetitive motion issue (buckle on collar as he always lays his leg @ that contact point?). Dry skin – +1 on the oil (olive or otherwise). Fungal? Tea Tree diluted if you have it. What were you/he doing @ the point he came? Low activity level where he’s a little bored and just gets the OCD’s? He’s trying to relieve something or he wouldn’t do that, maybe distract him like a kid? Give him something else to lick/chew on like a pig ear? Dunno’ but wish you luck I’ve used this on the LGDs, especially the older ones who had ringworm or hot spots of unknown origin. 6 tbsp Corn Starch or Arrowroot Powder , 3 tbsp Baking Soda, 5-10 drops Tea Tree Oil,
    5 -10 drops Eucalyptus Oil, 10-15 drops Peppermint Oi

To the stake with the heretic!