Suddenly, her head jerks up, and she attacks her hind end with a soft ferociousness, licking her side furiously. Slurp slurp slurp.
To many dog owners, their dogs' incessant licking of paws, toys, and even pillows is just ordinary. Licking. It's what dogs do.
Or is it? Could excessive licking be a sign of something more?
- chronic pancreatitis
- lymphocytic-plasmacytic infiltration
- gastric foreign body
In the Montreal study, we have a clue to suggest that some dogs lick excessively out of physical gastrointestinal discomfort. It could be a persistent stomach ache. It could be allergies. It could be nausea. And sometimes it's exacerbated by boredom, by lack of exercise, by wanting human attention. But now we know! So, the next time your dog licks excessively, to the point of OCD-like behavior, you don't have to pass it off as "just a dog thing". In the end, it may not be OCD. It could actually be his GI tract!
Bécuwe-Bonnet V, Bélanger MC, Frank D, et al. Gastrointestinal disorders in dogs with excessive licking of surfaces. J Vet Behav 2012;7(4):194-204.