What is LICK GRANULOMA? What does LICK GRANULOMA mean? LICK GRANULOMA meaning & explanation
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What is LICK GRANULOMA? What does LICK GRANULOMA mean? LICK GRANULOMA meaning & explanation

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What is LICK GRANULOMA? What does LICK GRANULOMA mean? LICK GRANULOMA meaning – LICK GRANULOMA definition – LICK GRANULOMA explanation.

Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.

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A lick granuloma, also known as acral lick dermatitis, is a skin disorder in dogs. It results typically from the dog’s urge to lick the lower portion of one of his or her legs.

The lesion can initially be red, swollen, irritated, and bleeding, similar to a hot spot (wet eczema). The dog’s incessant licking of the lesion eventually results in a thickened, firm, oval plaque.

A major cause of lick granuloma appears to be psychological, related to stress, anxiety, separation anxiety, boredom, or compulsiveness. Lick granulomas are especially seen in active dogs left alone for long periods of time. One theory is that excessive licking causes endorphin release, which reduces pain and makes the dog feel euphoric temporarily; that effect then causes an addiction to licking.

Treatment of the primary cause, if known, is essential. In psychogenic cases, psychological factors should be identified and addressed, such as being left alone all day, being confined, and changes in the household.

Lick granuloma is a form of self-trauma and skin disorder in which animals, particularly dogs, continuously lick a small area of their body until it becomes raw and inflamed. The most common areas affected are the lower (distal) portions of their legs, such as the carpus (wrist), or sometimes another part of their body such as the base of their tail.

The lesion can initially be red, shiny, swollen, hairless, irritated, and bleeding, similar to a hot spot (wet eczema). Eventually a raised hard plaque forms.

A common cause of lick granuloma appears to be psychological, related to stress, anxiety, separation anxiety, boredom, or compulsiveness. Lick granulomas are especially seen in large active dogs left alone for long periods of time. It is often considered to be a form of canine obsessive-compulsive disorder.

But other less common causes include bacterial or fungal infections, trauma causing nerve damage, allergies, or joint disease. Hot spots may also lead to the formation of lick granulomas.

Many large breed dogs appear to be predisposed, as well as golden retrievers and other bird dogs. Most of the dogs with the condition are over five years of age. Seventy percent of the time it occurs on one of the dog’s left legs. Arthritic and mobility problems in older dogs give them more time to lick and over-groom themselves.

Frequent formations of lick granulomas in the same area due to the constant licking will cause hardening, callous formation, hair loss (the hair may stop growing back), and hyperpigmentation to that area. The condition becomes a vicious cycle – erosion of the skin from licking leads to pain and itching, which leads to more licking. Lick granulomas sometimes become infected with bacteria, causing abscessed areas or fistulous tracts (furuncles).

Treatment of the primary cause, if known, is essential.
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