Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue

Harlequin Haven
Great Dane Rescue

11567 St. Rt. 774
Bethel, Ohio 45106

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Lick Granuloma

Lick granulomas are typically wounds seen on a dog's legs. Usually there is just one, but some dogs may have more than one at a time.  These lesions usually appear as firm, raised, hairless areas of skin that may be darkened with pigment due to the dog's chronic licking of the area. The center of the lesion is usually ulcerated, red and moist, but it may also be covered with a scab.

Causes of lick granuloma can include infections caused by bacteria, fungi, mites, allergies, cancer, joint disease, previous trauma, or an obsessive compulsive disorder caused in some dogs by boredom.  It is believed that damaged cells release pain-relieving endorphins that addict the dog to the licking and mutilation of the area.

This whole problem may have begun with just an itchy area. Once the dog has licked the area enough to cause hair loss and superficial skin erosion it will itch even worse. Of course that results in more licking and the cycle continues.

The licking can result in secondary infections, thickening of the skin and changes in pigmentation so it important to start treatment as soon as possible. There is also a better success rate with breaking the cycle when treatment is started early. A two-fold approach is generally the best course of action--stopping the licking cycle, and determining the underlying cause of the licking.

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