licking around base of tail - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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licking around base of tail

A few months ago Cooper started this nasty habit of licking the fur around the base of his tail (areas to either side of his anus). And when i mean lick, i mean it's soaking wet. He doesn't appear to be chewing since the fur is still all there.

I read that it might be his anal glands, so i took him to the vet about a month ago. She checked and found that both glands were nearly empty, so that wasn't the problem. She thought maybe it was food/allergy related, so i switched him back to Natural Balance venison and he's been on that for the past month. He's eaten this before with no problems so i figured it was a safe bet. He was also limited to only natural balance venison treats.

Unfortunately, the problem is still going on. He will occasionally do it in the morning when i'm still in bed or in the other room when i'm home, but nearly 99% of the time he does it when i leave the house and he's alone. Besides the fact that it's gross (he's surely licking his anus too) and it's a pain to dry his butt off, i'm concerned that it could be symptoms of something else.

Any ideas what else could be causing him to do this? I'm suspicious that it might be behavioral since he mainly does it when i'm gone, but it could be that he just knows that's the only time he can get away with it.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 03:35 PM
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Just becuase they were empty when the vet saw him...may just mean that his licking is 'effective'! eeeewwww!

Is he chewing the fur off around the base of his tail?
Is his skin healthy where he is licking or are there scabs?
Did the the run a fecal test?

You can increase the fiber in his diet and see if the licking decreases....
Licking any body part certainly can be behavioral... Offering him something else to lick (like a stuffed frozen kong) might be helpful. As can increasing his exercise...increasing his training....to tire his body and mind.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 03:52 PM
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Is he update to date on his de-worming schedule? An itchy bum can mean worms are hanging around...no pun intended. I also agree that the licking could be an effective way of cleaning out the anal glands and that's why they were empty when the vet checked. What's the usual "firmness" of Cooper's poop?

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 03:54 PM
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Good post above. You also can not rule out allergies simply by switching the food. Dogs can be allergic to a lot things. Itchy butts are not uncommon with allergies! You could ask your vet about trying antihistamines or even Prednisone since this has been such an ongoing problem.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LibertyME View Post
Just becuase they were empty when the vet saw him...may just mean that his licking is 'effective'! eeeewwww!

Is he chewing the fur off around the base of his tail?
Is his skin healthy where he is licking or are there scabs?
Did the the run a fecal test?

You can increase the fiber in his diet and see if the licking decreases....
Licking any body part certainly can be behavioral... Offering him something else to lick (like a stuffed frozen kong) might be helpful. As can increasing his exercise...increasing his training....to tire his body and mind.
No chewing at all, just licking. I just checked his skin and it looks completely normal. No scabs or irritation. They didn't run a fecal test, so that's another thing i was wondering. He is on Interceptor for HW prevention and i believe it also kills the common intestinal parasites.

The vet also mentioned adding fiber and i forgot about that.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
Is he update to date on his de-worming schedule? An itchy bum can mean worms are hanging around...no pun intended. I also agree that the licking could be an effective way of cleaning out the anal glands and that's why they were empty when the vet checked. What's the usual "firmness" of Cooper's poop?
He is on interceptor, which i believe kills most worms. His stool is pretty firm/normal.

He does it every single time i leave him alone, so would the anal glands bother him that consistently?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 04:19 PM
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Reading this thread with interest as both my girls do this, Bella really goes for it at the base of her tail.

We also thought it might be additives in her treats.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 05:42 PM
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Can i bump this up.

It would be great if there is some more feedback
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Just thought i'd post an update. After trying food changes, vet visits, etc., the problem was still unresolved. I pretty much determined that it was a behavioral/anxiety issue because he would only do it when left alone. Last week i decided to try bitter apple spray. I apply the spray on the fur around his butt/tail before i leave and thus far the issues are almost completely gone. I'm hoping that eventually i can stop using the spray, but in the meantime it is working great.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 01:16 PM
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Hopefully just breaking the habit will do the trick, but it is possible he has tapeworms, which monthly preventative does not treat. Tapeworms can't be found in fecal tests normally.

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