Lick Granuloma, also known as eosinophilic granuloma or acral lick dermatitis, is an extremely common pet health concern among both cats and dogs. This occurs when your pet relentlessly licks at a specific spot on its body. After some time, the area becomes damaged, the skin thickens and a deep infection can result. This condition commonly occur on the sides or tops of the paws, the tops of the front legs, or on the ankles of the rear legs. There are many conditions thought to cause constant licking of these areas including boredom, various skin diseases, infections, joint diseases, trauma and allergies.
How Lick Granuloma Affects Your Pet
No matter what makes your pet lick a certain spot on its body, the situation becomes a vicious cycle rather quickly. Licking at an irritated area offers your pet a degree of relief; however, it also causes more damage to the area. This, in turn, leads to more licking and more damage. After some time, your pet's fur will fall out and the skin will become inflamed and thick. The skin will appear raised and become sensitive to any type of pressure. When pets continue licking the area, serious lesions can result. Left untreated, these open sores can become infected with bacteria.
Common Symptoms of Lick Granuloma
It is fairly easy to recognize a lick granuloma, as the symptoms are all quite visible. If you notice your pet displaying any of these symptoms, you will want to make an appointment with your veterinarian right away. Common Symptoms of Lick Granulomas in Pets: Constant Licking of a Specific Area of the Body, Open Sores on One Area of the Body, Loss of Hair on a Certain Area of the Body, Thickened Skin on One Spot of the Body, Inflamed Area on the Body, Infection of an Open Lesion, Skin Sensitivity/Pain Localized to One Spot and An Area of Raised Skin.
Treatments for Lick Granuloma
The treatment plan your veterinarian will choose for your pet's lick granuloma will be highly dependent on the underlying cause of your dog or cat's licking. While the granuloma will certainly need to be treated, the cause of it will too or else it will simply return. As such, treatment can involve a number of things including, but not limited to, antihistamines, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, topical or injectable steroids, acupuncture, radiation therapy, cryotherapy, surgery, cones, and/or bandaging. If your pet is simply licking out of boredom, toys or a companion may help keep it occupied.
Since lick granulomas can occur due to many different pet health conditions, most any breed of dog or cat can develop them. However, there are some breeds of dogs that seem to develop them more often than others. Most vulnerable breeds to Lick Granulomas: Doberman Pinschers, Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes, Bull Terriers, Other Large, Short-Haired Breeds and Various Other Short-Haired Terriers.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.