Dear Labby: Why is my Dog Licking?
My 10-year old Cocker Spaniel has started licking their elbow joint all the time. I checked to see if there was a cut or a tick or something irritating him, but I don’t see anything. What’s up with this licking behavior?
Good question – lots of dogs lick themselves and for a variety of reasons. Where they are licking and the intensity of the activity may give you some indication of what’s going on with them.
- Licking the pads of their feet. This may be in indication of an allergy – especially if the licking is done when they come in from outside.
- Licking their private parts. When Jack developed some incontinence he started licking, sometimes feverishly, to clean himself. Once we got him on some incontinence medication it stopped. If they are licking their anus, it might be an indication of anal gland irritation or blockage.
- Licking their joints – elbows, hips, shoulder. This is likely an indication of pain, maybe from arthritis or an injury to the joint.
The bottomline is, if the itching seems obsessive or out of the ordinary, get your vet to check it out.
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