Does your dog often lick its paws? Do you have sores, alopecia or wounds?

This problem is common in veterinary consultations and may be due to a condition called acral lick dermatitis, a common pathology in dogs of large breeds and that must be known to take action immediately.

In the following lines we tell you what it is and what should be done to solve this problem.

Acral dermatitis or lick granuloma

Acral lick dermatitis, also called lamellar granuloma or acral forunculosis, is a pathology typical of the canine species that manifests itself with excessive licking by the dog in the area of ​​the carpus in the forelimbs, or the tarsus in the later.

This condition causes an injury or granuloma very similar to a wound in the animal. Acral lick dermatitis usually occurs in dogs of large breeds, such as labrador, boxer, German shepherd, doberman and Great Dane.

In many cases, it is difficult to determine whether the exposed wound appeared due to a specific condition or was generated as a result of the licking of the animal. This is because, in most consultations, the animal is checked when the condition is chronic.

Whatever the cause, the truth is that the lick of the pet aggravates the injury and is something that the animal can not avoid because it feels pleasant, generating a vicious circle that can lead to compulsive behavior. Therefore, action must be taken to resolve it as soon as possible.

Causes of licking acral dermatitis

Acral lick dermatitis can be caused by any of the following situations:

Behavior of the animal itself, as a result of a situation of stress, anxiety or frustration.
Joint injury.
Focal lesion located by a blow or foreign body.
Atopic dermatitis.
Food allergies, to flea bites, parasitic, infectious or fungal.
Neuromuscular problems in the dog.

With the analysis of each of these causes by specialists, it is possible to reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the problem. Tests may include radiographs in the affected area, cytology and bacterial culture and skin biopsies.

Acral lick dermatitis treatment

It is necessary for the veterinarian to make an immediate diagnosis of this condition, so that he can refer the case to the specialist as soon as possible. It is recommended that the analysis be carried out by both a dermatologist and a veterinary ethologist.

Depending on the cause identified, the veterinarian will determine the most appropriate treatment and it will be necessary to comply with the instructions of the specialist, in order to solve the problem.

Treatment usually includes medications and actions aimed at preventing the dog from licking the affected area. It is essential that the veterinarian carry out periodic monitoring to see if the problem was completely resolved or adjustments are necessary.

With proper care, the animal can heal the lesion and recover the coat in the affected area; Therefore, it is necessary to comply with the instructions of the specialist.