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constant licking

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
My 14 year old dsh, Fred, licks incessantly, and it is driving me nuts. When he is done licking himself, he will hold Georgia down and lick her, then lick himself more. He has a clean bill of health from the vet, and is flea free. He stays mostly indoors, with occasional supervised outside visits. The vet said it could be a compulsive thing from a head injury he had years ago, but this has just started about a year ago. I hate to fuss at him for doing this, but he gets hairballs from it, and he is so pitiful when he does that, I am often afraid for him because it seems to be such a strain on him, and he is so old. I would appreciate any thoughts on what I might be able to do for him. Oh, yeah, in case it matters in this, he is FIV+.
post #2 of 2
One of the symptoms of cognitive disorders can be compulsive licking. Any change of behavior, particularly "odd" things, might also be a sign of brain tumor. I don't want to scare you, and I'm just throwing out things that you might want to pursue further with your vet. Anipryl (approved for dogs with cognitive disorder) sometimes helps cats, too. An Xray or other imaging test could look for tumor, and rule that out.

In the meantime, you can try distracting him when this occurs, perhaps with an interactive toy or game that's more engaging than the licking. If he's licking one particular place on the other kitty, you could try painting that area with bitter apple to make the taste bad so perhaps he'll leave the other cat alone.

Good luck. This is a tough one--wish I could offer better suggestions.

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