Acral Lick Dermatitis is an inflammation and erosion of the skin on the limbs, brought about by excessive licking.
The most commonly affected body parts are the front pasterns and the paws of the forelegs. The skin loses its hair and becomes brittle and inflamed. The upper layers of the skin might be missing and the wound is constantly seeping or even bleeding. The wound often gets infected which additionally damages the skin.
In case of permanent itchiness or pains on the lower extremities, not infrequently also as compensation mechanism for stress and boredom, an intensive licking of individual or several skin areas may be the result.
A lick dermatitis needs to be treated with antibiotics, like a bacterial skin inflammation, partly also with anti-inflammatory medication. It should, however, also be examined whether the characteristics are possibly based on a stress factor which can be remedied.
Often the therapy is supported by the application of a neck collar which possibly is to be worn for months. If the cause of the lick dermatitis cannot be determined and if the dog does not stop the behavior after therapy, the owner may try to keep the dog busy. Often a change of environment has advantageous effects since it prevents boredom. In doing so, it must however be observed that the change should take place slowly so that the dog does not experience unnecessary stress. When the animal was attended with medication, at home you may support healing by cleaning the particularly heavily affected areas twice a day with disinfectant solution.