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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dog Murphy is about 11 months old. He has been licking his back right hind leg (not the left) and has been doing so for a few weeks. This didnt seem abnormal because he licks absolutely everything all of the time. But he seems to be obsessive about this leg to lick and now he is starting to lose some hair there and is developing open sores in the area he is licking. I have been directed to purchase some bitter apple stuff that makes things taste bad and prevent them from licking. Any thoughts out there? Anyone have this problem with their dog? Will his hair grow back in these areas where he is licking it away? Is there other ways of stopping him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its a bit tough to describe his history and lifestyle. He is so young, and I am such a rookie dog owner and I am not really sure what to report. Murphy has never really obsessed with licking any part of his body. I mean......he licks everything, but never so directed to one location. Having just googled that condition, wikipedia seems to imply it must be an oval shaped lesion on the forward side of the leg. He seems to have multiple lesions on the outer side and upper portion of the lower leg.

As for his history and lifestyle. He spends 4-5 hours in his crate, 4 times a week. My wife and I work off set hours and she has Mondays off.

We usually take him out for fairly decent walks. We live on the west coast of Vancouver Island and we usually hike with him. He did 4.5 hours of mountain hiking this weekend. Even tonight when I got home from work, I still took him out for a 45 minute run up a mountan side.

We have a quarter of an acre of fenced property that he still runs around in regularly.

He hasnt had any problems medically so far. His last visit to the vet was to get his lyme vaccine, the vet said he was ever so slightly over weight weighing 85 pounds @ 9 months. But my breeder disagrees with this asessment saying he is in fact a very healthy looking doberman. He gets regualr excercise daily. And although it fluctuates, goes on a major walk 2-5 times a week.

I cant think of much else to report for history and lifestyle. How would someone normally report that?
 

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You did.

Quite often, lick granuloma is the result of lack of stimulation resulting from lack of exercise, whether mental or physical. It is often found in rescue dogs.

He sounds overweight to me. Do you have any pictures?

I am wondering if it's too much exercise possibly? The growth plates don't close until 18 months. Pain can cause licking. 45 minute run up a mountain sounds excessive for a pup.
 

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My foster does this and it should be stopped asap.

Is it something he does when you are not home? Perhaps a kong or a bully stick will help redirect him while he is alone.

If it is something he does around you, a sharp "No" should do the trick. If you allow it to continue it will get much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can try to post a pick or two here, I am on the free membership though. I will see what I can do.
 

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Just upload to Photobucket (free) and link with the IMG link in your post.
 

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......I am wondering if it's too much exercise possibly? The growth plates don't close until 18 months. Pain can cause licking. 45 minute run up a mountain sounds excessive for a pup.
Just a slight expansion here--your pup should not perform any FORCED or REPETITIVE exercise until he is 18 months to 2 years old.

"Forced" refers to any exercise where the pup has to come along, or maybe really wants to be with you, and is comes along without getting a chance to set the pace or stop for a breather--that would include jogging or bicycling, for example.

"Repetitive" is what it says--but that might mean jumping, frisbee or tennis ball play, jogging, especially on hard surfaces, or bicycling.

People have lots of questions about exercise and the young dog--but basically, you need to avoid hard surfaces, don't ask him to jump or twist putting stress on growing joints and muscles, and give him plenty of time to pick his own rest time and speed.

He will do those things on his own, but he is choosing to, and will slow down or change activity on his own.
 

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This is a really good site:

Licking Dog

You might try a dog chiropractor in case he has a pinched nerve, causing a tingling, affecting that one leg.
 

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flavored dog chew

Our fox terrier started licking one spot when flavor from a flavored chew rubbed off on that leg. The behaviros continued. We tried bitter apple and various bad flavorings, including the one for children not to suck their thumbs.

The only thing that cured it was lots of kong-type, hide the food type toys for her food. She is an older dog and was when it started. Now you would never know she went through that phase. I think it was tied to her boy going off to college, too.

The behavior is largely extinguished now but we continue to try lots of distraction.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I am trying to upload several pictures as suggested by several members for assessing if my Doberman is overweight. I hope this works. Several people mentioned that maybe I am overdoing it with getting him excercise like hiking mountains. He loves it though, I do not exactly drag him out to these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
He has an unusual hair growth pattern on his shoulders. His hair swirls into a circular pattern there causing what I can only describe as dimple.
 

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My dog has a spot on his lower thigh that he likes...it seems to only happen in the winter (bored? artificial heat, and low humitity??...I don't know). I've used topical remedies...which offer a tiny bit of help....I've used Listerine mixed with distilled water
(30/70 mix), and I've used stuff I found at the feed store (goopy stuff...like thick vasoline). Bitter Apple didn't work at all. This year, I caught him before it was the size of a nickle....phew!

Kongs/toys etc for when he is alone might help some. When he's not alone, however....vigilance is the key...redirect his attention away from it. This is a horrible habit to break if he starts obsessing about it.

p
 

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Obsessive licking can be caused by multiple things allergies, boredum, pain (our vet said it could be a sign of arthiritis developing? Not sure how true this is.) Has he seen the vet to rule out any allergies? They get itchy and lick. Does he usually lick his feet when he's the crate with nothing to do?

Avril had one that we wrapped up for a few weeks (just vet wrap with tape around the tops and bottoms to keep it from slipping off. Then we also put bitter apple on it.) After we took it off it healed up a lot, and she has stopped licking. It is still healing, but I think her hair will grow back soon.
 

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Does the hair usually grow back. He isnt missing alot of hair but some is missing.
It will if you can keep him from licking the area.
 
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