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Obsessive Paw Licking by Frank Utchen, DVM
Front Legs

Question: Dr. Utchen my dog is licks one paw so much she has a sore on it, and I can't get her to leave it alone. Now it is bleeding. I've tried covering it with a sock, but she tears that off and keeps licking. What can I do to stop her? She hates wearing that collar thing.


You are probably describing what we call an "Acral Lick Granuloma." These sores are frustrating to pet owners and veterinarians alike. Attempts to resolve this problem with antibiotics alone routinely fail, as do simple approaches like treatment with over-the-counter ointments and creams. The best solution we've found i... Read More

Adolescent Dogs by Frank Utchen, DVM

Dr. Utchen, we adopted an 8-month old Labrador who is a wonderful family member. However, he is so hyper that he is wearing us out. How can we get him to calm down? Signed, "Dog Tired" 

Dear D.T., 

You have adopted a teenager. The adolescent dog, like the adolescent human, has an immature brain in a body that's nearly the size of an adult. The dog's maturing process resembles the human teenager in several ways, and your canine needs similar guidance during this difficult stage of life.

Dogs are highly instinctive animals who have difficulty understanding human ... Read More

Allergies, Canine

What is an allergy?

An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins. The allergen protein may be of insect, plant or animal origin. Repeated exposures  to the allergen may over-sensitize the immune system, such that a subsequent exposure to the same or related allergen causes an over-reaction. This means that the immune response, which normally protects the dog against infection and disease, can actually be harmful to the body.

What are the symptoms of allergies in dogs?

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