Skin Disease Caused by Licking in Dogs

Acral lick dermatitis (also called lick granuloma) in dogs is a condition which develops as a result of excessive, chronic licking. It usually occurs on the front part of the lower leg, often over the carpus or metacarpus. The constant licking causes inflammation in the skin and, over time, the skin in that area becomes thickened. Because the dog continues to lick, the area can not heal and may become red, raised, and ulcerated. It is likely that the licking and the inflammation also cause the area to be itchy, which causes more licking, and starts an itch-lick cycle. Also called acute moist dermatitis, these sores are painful and can become infected and smelly. The lesions most commonly develop  back side of the wrist, on the ankle, or between the toes.

Although any dog can develop a lick granuloma, it commonly occurs in middle-aged, large breed dogs, such as the Doberman Pinscher, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Irish Setter, German Shepherd, Akitas, Boxer, Dalmatians, Shar-peis and Weimaraners.

Symptoms related to this disorder are 

Excessive licking and chewing of the affected area

Occasionally, a history of trauma to the affected are

Bald, ulcerative, thickened, and raised firm bumps (usually located on the back of the ankle, heel, or between the toes)

Lesions often occur singly, although they may occur in more than one location

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