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Question
Posted by: Yvonne McCabe | 2012/04/04

Dog licking leg until it bleed

Boerboel licking his legs until it bleeds.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi there Yvonne, this is called an Acral Lick Granuloma. There seem to be multiple causes of this ranging from:-
a. Boredom and frustration – not enough walks and mental stimulation and the licking helps to pass the time.
b. Stress – could be due to changes in home environment – we do not always realize how much this impacts on our dogs – even a new addition, or illness in family can start this off. What is hard to understand is that this behaviour, serves to actually calm the dog down as well, making it more difficult to stop. Plus, if we shout at dog while doing it, this can actually reinformce the behaviour. Attention to a dog is attention, whether negative or positive.
c. Dogs that already have a degree of separation anxiety often revert to this behaviour.
d. Could be allergy related.
e. A foreign body, such as a spinter of wood, thorn etc, could be embedded under the skin.
f. Could also be an indication of a sore bone or joint under the area being licked. The licking also helps to comfort the dog.
g. From a medical point of view, Hypothryoidism can play a part.
What I would honestly suggest is taking the dog to the vet for a full check up and also see if any of the above points apply and then take action accordingly. When one looks at a behaviour a dog is exhibiting, you always need to find the ‘root’ cause for the behaviour and then address thi.
Very often vets will resort to the dog wearing an Elizabethan collar to give the wound a time to heal. Some vets isolate the area by bandaging it, but unless the root cause of the behaviour is discovered and attended too, this often results in the dog starting to lick on the other leg instead! Thanks Scotty

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Marienne | 2012/04/11

I was shocked by the post in which an owner, Frans van Erk), advised " putting down"  dogs because of unwanted behaviour. A dog has to be TRAINED to behave as his owner wants him to be. Illnesses whick can be treated, should be seen to medically.His reasoning is very upsetting.
For skin disorders I advise Neem Oil from India - here available at Spiceemporium.co.za. My white Alsation has regular skin problems which are successfully healed with oil (mixed with a carrier oil - I use olive or canola. Please read more about neem and dogs'' skin on the Internet. If it is not available ask your vet or chemist for a cortosine ointment.

Reply to Marienne
Posted by: scotty | 2012/04/11

Hi again Yvonne, thought of this only after I had replied yesterday. In humans, when changes suddenly occur such as hair going grey over a few days for example, it is often an indication of a problem in the immune system. I really dont know if this applies to dogs as well. do check it out. thks S

Reply to scotty
Posted by: scotty | 2012/04/11

Hi again Yvonne, thought of this only after I had replied yesterday. In humans, when changes suddenly occur such as hair going grey over a few days for example, it is often an indication of a problem in the immune system. I really dont know if this applies to dogs as well. do check it out. thks S

Reply to scotty
Posted by: scottys | 2012/04/09

Hi, firstly, I will reply to the comments above. Although dogs such as BBoels can be dangerous due to the size and verocity of a bit is it does occur, and due to this are really not my own personal choice for a family dog, if they are well socialized, basic House Rules are adhered too, the dogs know owner is in charge (this applicable to ALL breeds), there is absolutely no reason, in my eyes, why these dogs do not make good family pets. My own son has 2 BBoels, he has adhered to the basics and 8/9 years later respectively, you could not ask for nicer, better behaved dogs. Unfortunately it is ''bad'' breeding and ''bad'' ownership which have given these dogs such a bad name.

With regard to the colour changes, would check with your vet as to what could be causing this. I have seen, very often in dogs that I have worked on that have had injuries that either the coat will change in colour, or that the hair over the area that was injured, will not lie flat.

Again, check with your vet, but there could be the possibility that this condition is due to a food intolerance/allergy. if this is the case, the vet may suggest putting the dog on a food that caters to this condition. There are many excellent one''s on the market, but my own personal favourite is the Maxhealth brand. The main protein is Fish, from the West Coast of SA, and this seems to help dogs with allergies/food ontolerances. It is often not an overnight change but can take several weeks. If you do go this route, don''t change food immediately - make the change over about a week, daily adding more of the new food in. An additional factor where Maxhealth is concerned, is that it is affordable. Thks Scotty

Reply to scottys
Posted by: Frans Van Erk | 2012/04/07

Morning Yvonne,
I had twice a males boerboel.
Good and alert guard dogs although also unreliable to your family if someone acts against their wishes. But will warn you before biting.
Enormously greedy and eat without chewing what can lead to indigestion. If you will look after their well-being, they are very profitable towards your vet.
My advise, put them down. there are much better breads to put your bet and your safety on.

Reply to Frans Van Erk
Posted by: marie hattingh | 2012/04/05

Cushion under the paw swollen and red. been to the vet cortesone and antiinflammetary for7weeks, problem eases off and flares up again. Constantly licking now the nose on the one side changing colour from black to white markings. Is this related to paw?

Reply to marie hattingh
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2012/04/04

Hi there Yvonne, this is called an Acral Lick Granuloma. There seem to be multiple causes of this ranging from:-
a. Boredom and frustration – not enough walks and mental stimulation and the licking helps to pass the time.
b. Stress – could be due to changes in home environment – we do not always realize how much this impacts on our dogs – even a new addition, or illness in family can start this off. What is hard to understand is that this behaviour, serves to actually calm the dog down as well, making it more difficult to stop. Plus, if we shout at dog while doing it, this can actually reinformce the behaviour. Attention to a dog is attention, whether negative or positive.
c. Dogs that already have a degree of separation anxiety often revert to this behaviour.
d. Could be allergy related.
e. A foreign body, such as a spinter of wood, thorn etc, could be embedded under the skin.
f. Could also be an indication of a sore bone or joint under the area being licked. The licking also helps to comfort the dog.
g. From a medical point of view, Hypothryoidism can play a part.
What I would honestly suggest is taking the dog to the vet for a full check up and also see if any of the above points apply and then take action accordingly. When one looks at a behaviour a dog is exhibiting, you always need to find the ‘root’ cause for the behaviour and then address thi.
Very often vets will resort to the dog wearing an Elizabethan collar to give the wound a time to heal. Some vets isolate the area by bandaging it, but unless the root cause of the behaviour is discovered and attended too, this often results in the dog starting to lick on the other leg instead! Thanks Scotty

Reply to Dog Behaviour Expert

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