Why Do Dogs Lick and Bite Themselves
A dog that displays compulsive behavior repeatedly performs one or more behaviors, over and over, to the extent that it interferes with his normal life. This segment is not about compulsive behavior. Your dog’s behavior of licking and biting may appear compulsive. This is because he won’t stop, but let us look at why do dogs lick and bite themselves.
Why do dogs lick and bite themselves?
All dogs lick and bite themselves from time to time as a way of coping with their itching problems. But, when licking and biting become excessive, then there is certainly something wrong with your dog. Especially when the licking and biting causes hair loss or serious injury.
The following are the reasons why dogs lick and bite themselves;
Fleas, ticks, and mites in particular cause excessive itchiness and discomfort. Check your dog for signs of infestation. Run a flea comb through the coat and inspect the teeth for insects. Also look for deposits of small, black specks on the skin. If you suspect your dog has an infestation, consult your vet about appropriate treatment.
Concurrent bacterial and yeast infections are common causes of itching in dogs. Infections are often accompanied by licking and biting of the skin, hair loss, scaling, odor, and fluid discharge. Excessive scratching of feet and face are common in dogs with concurrent yeast and bacterial infections. If the anal glands become overfilled and neglected, an infection can arise. This usually leads to biting of the rear end like the flank, hind legs, and tail base. Whether it’s a bacterial or yeast infection, your dog needs your help to solve the problem. If you suspect your dog has a bacterial and/or yeast infection, consult your vet immediately.
The most common causes of allergic itching are insect bites, food allergies, and a reaction to allergens in the environment. Allergies cause mild to severe itching. Contact dermatitis, a skin irritation, results from exposure to an environmental irritant. Plants in your yard, lawn chemicals, dust, pollen, mold, home cleaning products, and grooming products are a few possible irritants. Food allergies also cause itching. Your vet can determine if an allergy is causing your dog to lick and bite himself constantly.
Something is making your dog physically uncomfortable. It could be a result of previous trauma or joint disease. Dogs with bone, ligament, or joint problems sometimes react to pain by licking and biting themselves. A small fracture or tear may be to blame, or your dog may have arthritis, hip dysplasia, or another degenerative condition. If you suspect your dog is in pain, get him to a vet immediately. Your vet can identify the reason for your dog’s discomfort and pain.
If your dog’s body is not producing enough thyroid hormone or putting out too much cortisol, superficial skin infections can occur. You may notice small, red spots and your dog may lick or bite as if bothered by allergies. Your vet can determine if your dog is suffering from an allergy or a hormonal imbalance.
Your vet can help you determine why your dog is licking and biting a particular area of its body and prescribe antibiotics, topical anti-itch products, or other medications and recommended treatments necessary to alleviate your dog’s suffering.
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