Acral Lick Granuloma (Hot Spot)

Acral lick dermatitis (lick granuloma) results from an urge to lick the lower potion of the legs, producing a thick firm, oval plaque.  Boredom is often the major cause of the dog's habit of licking its legs.  Larger breeds of dogs are more commonly affected, Danes, Dobermans, Labs, Shepherds, and are usually over 5 years of age.  Other causes for licking include allergy, arthritis and infections.  Treatment is variable with each case but includes anti inflammatory drugs, either systemic and/or locally, antibiotics, sedatives, bandages, and surgery.  In some cases, treatment will be life long. Occasionally a new companion will help reduce boredom.

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veterinarian

Acral lick dermatitis (lick granuloma) results from an urge to lick the lower potion of the legs producing a thick, firm, ulcerated plaque.  Boredom is often the major cause of the dog's habit of licking its legs but other causative factors can be previous injury to that portion of the leg, arthritis, infection, allergies, skin mites, or a psychological disorder.  Larger breeds of dogs are more commonly affected (although small dogs can be affected as well) and are usually over 5 years of age.  Diagnosis is via a history, physical examination, cytology, skin scrape and can even involve bloodwork, x-rays, biopsy of the skin, and allergy testing to rule out other disorders.  Treatment is variable with each case and can involve topical medication, placing a bandage or Elizabethan collar to prevent the licking, systemic antibiotics, anxiety medication, an injection directly into the lesion, or surgical removal.  In some cases, treatment will be life long.  Please call if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's lick granuloma.