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Dog licking bare elbow - help!

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  • Dog licking bare elbow - help!

    My dog's been licking her elbows, which are both already bare from years of having a 50lb dog lie on them like a ton of bricks. One elbow in particular is now reddish and the fur around the bare area is stained brown. It worries me, but I feel like I spend half my life toting that dog to the vet, which she hates, for minor things and I'm reluctant to do it again. Though I will if she needs it, of course. I'm starting to worry the red elbow could have an infection going. It doesn't seem that bad, but how do I know?

    Possible causes: allergies, boredom, arthritis pain. The allergies seem otherwise under control and it's WINTER. Boredom? Maybe, but she is really obsessive on it unless I'm directly interacting with her. Arthritis pain? She does have fairly bad arthritis in the hips and hind legs, but I didn't think it was bad in the front. Argh. Any wisdom is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    If the skin around the elbows is the only area that's irritated, I would suspect bed sores over allergy. Rub in a little triple antibiotic ointment as needed, and monitor. Bactine spray can be soothing too, but I'd go for ointment first. Try not to let her lick if you can; it becomes something of a vicious cycle.


    • #3
      Sometimes dogs with arthritis in the hips will use their elbows to help leverage themselves up - pulling with the elbows to minimize pushing with stiff and sore hips.

      I've used Dermaplast spray before on my hound when he's gotten a bit overenthusiastic about licking his knee, and it seems to work well. He leaves it alone and it heals up quickly.


      • #4
        But wait a minute... Shouldnt she take her dog straight to the vet?!!! Just joking

        My big dog sleeps on a twin sized mattress with a fleece cover. Yes he is a big baby. But it prevents bed sores. Maybe a new bed is in order?
        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


        • Original Poster

          Dogs can get bed sore? She doesn't even have a bed! Well, she has a bed but prefers to sleep on the bare floor. Thanks for the idea, though, I'll nip off and research that. Dogs...


          • #6
            She might like the floor because it is cold. My Pyr/Dalmation mix, who is 100+ lbs and hairly like a yak, prefers his mattress to be on the back porch, no matter how cold it is! Right now he is laying in front of the fire but soon will ask to go back out.
            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


            • #7
              Just be careful of her developing a lick granuloma. According to my vet, once they develop, it's almost impossible to stop. My older english setter has two of them. The vet says he's tried steroids, surgery, e-collars, bandages and nothing works in the long run.



              • #8
                LOL! I thought this was going to be about a dog with a fetish for licking people elbows - my MIL's dog does that!


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                  She might like the floor because it is cold.
                  Oh, that's definitely a cause. She's super shaggy and overheats easily. We sleep in a room with the heating grate closed, a window cracked and a fan on all winter.

                  Originally posted by StGermain View Post
                  Just be careful of her developing a lick granuloma. According to my vet, once they develop, it's almost impossible to stop. My older english setter has two of them. The vet says he's tried steroids, surgery, e-collars, bandages and nothing works in the long run.StG
                  I was researching pressure sores today, and that did come up as a truly awful next step. I've been kind of hit or miss with trying to resolve this, but that made me decide to take some steps. I'm going to make her use a bed/mat at night, if I have to crate her (please God I don't have to crate her), use neosporin on the elbows and - sigh - the cone of shame. And probably go to the vet, just to make sure it's not infected at all. Sigh.

                  Originally posted by nevertoolate View Post
                  LOL! I thought this was going to be about a dog with a fetish for licking people elbows - my MIL's dog does that!
                  I love my dog, but she'll do that obsessive licking my leg sometimes and after about a second it totally freaks me out. Like Chinese water torture.


                  • #10
                    The obsessive licking was the last issue my 16 yr old Lab had that finally forced the decision on me. She had developed the lick granulomas, they were bleeding and deep and hidden by her shaggy coat. Perhaps if she were younger I would have tried one of the antidepressant/ anti anxiety meds to see if it would have stopped the obsessive behavior. Talk to your vet about it.
                    There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


                    • #11
                      vacation1 - Have you tried Bitter Apple spray? This is the description:
                      Grannick's original spray formula is designed to discourage fur biting, hair chewing and licking of hot spots.

                      Invented by a pharmacist in 1960, Bitter Apple spray leaves an unpleasant yet harmless taste on your dog's fur to discourage licking, chewing and biting. Keeps dogs from licking wounds and hot-spots, so they have a chance to heal properly.

                      I know dogshow people use it to keep dogs from chewing on their coats.