ASK DR CLAIRE
My dog licks everything & anything especially his paws…how do we stop him from licking…is it part of a Staffys makeup?
Licking is really just a symptom and can be the result of many underlying causes.
In this case, we really need to find the cause of the licking so that we can properly treat your dog’s problem. This will help us reach the best treatment plan too.
Some of the underlying causes of licking (everything) might be:
- Sores in the mouth
- Gut problems and nausea (i.e inflammatory bowel disease)
- Metabolic issue
- Neurologic issue
- Behavioural issue i.e attention seeking, controlling behaviour
- Infections as a cause (usually bacteria, yeast or mites)
- Allergic dermatitis (usually pollens, also food and fleas): Allergic dogs have a reduced skin barrier problem making them more susceptible to allergens. Allergies are particularly common in Staffys. In the case of food allergyeliminating the problem part of the diet causing an issue may be all that’s needed, whilst changing to an appropriately balanced home-cooked food or a hypoallergenic commercial one.
A hands-on examination from your local vet would be a great place to start. Medical issues need to be ruled out and treated before behavioural issues are assumed. Some basic tests need to be done to check for infection and parasites, such as skin scrapes and sticky tape impressions to look for mites, and infection under the microscope.
If you’d like to chat in person, you can get a vet on a live video call or start a chat to discuss in more detail now.
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