Diagnosis and Treatment of Canine Acral Lick Dermatitis in Pets Pet Prime

  • Date: 20-11-2020
  • Post By: Dr Sapna Soni
  • Category: Best Pet Clinic in Gurgaon

Acral lick dermatitis is a chronic lesion disease which is directly caused by self-trauma. A cycle of licking, pruritus, and secondary infection develops. It is also called acral lick granuloma.


Systems Affected:

Skin/Exocrine system is mainly affected



This condition is most common in large breeds especially Doberman pinschers, Labrador retrievers, Great Danes, Irish and English setters, golden retrievers, Akitas, Dalmatians, boxers, Shar-Peis, and Weimaraners. Age at onset on this disease varies (especially with cause). No sex predilection is there as both male and female pets are affected as suggested by veterinary hospital near me.


Signs and symptoms:

Excessive licking of the affected area. Alopecic, eroded, thickened, and raised firm plaques with scabs and exudation which usually located on the dorsal aspect of the carpus, metacarpus, tarsus, or metatarsus. Lesions often occur singly or may be multiple. Affected licked area my become hyperemic or swollen along with redness and pain. Affected dogs will lick the area repeatedly due to severe itching. Affected dogs will be irritated and may become aggressive due to continuous irritation at the affected area.


Causes of acral lick dermatitis:

Focal trauma to the area initiating a lick-itch cycle. Anything which is causing a local irritation or lesion may initiate response. Associated diseases like staphylococcal furunculosis, hypersensitivity, endocrinopathy, demodicosis, dermatophytosis, foreign body reaction, neoplasia, underlying joint disease or arthritis, trauma, neuropathy, psychogenic, or sensory nerve dysfunction may be the precipitated factors for this disease as explained by many veterinary hospitals in Gurugram.


How to treat acral lick dermatitis:

  1. Behavioral therapy: Attempt should be made to identify psychological causes of this problem. If there is any tick/mites which is irritating the dog, then treat the dog for parasitic infestation.
  2. Physical restraints: Elizabethan collars and bandaging can be done to permit healing.
  3. Diet: No modification in food should be done unless food hypersensitivity is suspected. Difficult to treat this condition, especially if no underlying cause is found. Warn owner that patience and time are necessary.
  4. Antibiotics: Based on bacterial culture and sensitivity, appropriate antibiotics should be used. Antibiotics should be administered until infection is completely resolved. Antihistamines e.g., hydroxyzine (1–2 mg/kg PO q12h); chlorpheniramine (4–8 mg/dog PO q12h) should be used to remove the problem of pruritus. For topical application, Flunixin meglumine and fluocinolone in dimethyl sulfoxide (combined) can be used. Topical medications should be applied with Gloves to avoid any infection from the affected animals. Animals should be kept from licking the area for 10–15 minutes for better effectivity. Monitor level of licking and chewing closely to treat properly. Treat underlying disease to prevent recurrence. If no underlying disease is detected, suspect psychogenic causes (compulsive or self-mutilation disorder); prognosis is guarded.


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