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The licking noise...
katiep1081 posted:
Hey all,

Looking for some tips, tricks (anything really!) to deal with my issue.
I'm a proud dog-mom to a very sweet, cuddly nine year old Pug named Harper. In the last couple of months, I noticed that she is constantly licking her paws or just lapping at the air. I assumed she was thirsty at first and set out more water (bowls in different rooms). But the problem has persisted.
Next I thought she was maybe having allergy issues (she had in the past). So I called the vet and got some antihistamines to put in with her food. There was less scratching but no less licking or lapping.
I tried some different oral care things. Tooth brushes, rinses, foams for cleaning and dry mouth. No decrease.
I'm starting to think it's a habitual/ behavioral issue, but I'm not sure. She doesn't seem to be in any distress when it's happening. She just looks at me, like "What's your problem?"
The problem is the noise is driving me INSANE....

Bernadine Cruz, DVM responded:
Some noises can just drive us batty...licking is definitely one of them. Suspecting that your dog may have an allergic component to the paw licking is definitely logical. There are times when a trial of different antihistamines are needed ... what works for one pet may not be effective for another. It is also important that the appropriate dose and given at the prescribed frequency is adhered to or else you are setting yourself and the pet up for treatment failure.

Besides allergies, the pet could have a fungal infection secondary to the licking and anthistamines are not going to fix that problem. It is also possible that your pet has a problem with a joint (arthritis) and is licking the paws/joints because of pain. As you can see, there are several possible scenarios as to why your pet is licking its paws. Even a seizure disorder has to be considered since you mentioned it is licking the air.

I would strongly recommend that you make an appointment for your Pug to be examined by your veterinarian and follow his/her recommendations for care.

Best of luck.....


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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