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Acral Lick Dermatitis (Lick Dermatitis) in Dogs… Tips to Treat.

Acral Lick Dermatitis (ALD), is one of those conditions that just tears at the heart strings of any dog owner simply because it’s so difficult to treat!

This is because…

In most situations, the cause of why your dog is suffering from ALD skin condition is unknown.  Which means that treating it will often times become a frustrating (and sometimes expensive) guessing game.

So, what is Acral Lick Dermatitis?

Acral Lick Dermatitis (lick granuloma or canine neurodermatitis)  is a skin disease that is characterized by hair loss in a particular “hot spot” where a dog will excessively lick themselves over and over in an “obsessive-compulsive” manner.

As a result, the animal will remove the hair or fur in that particular area leaving a bald spot.  Unfortunately, the disease can progress to the point where the animal continues to focus on this same spot until lesions and or soars develop on the affected body part.

This is when…

Things can become much more serious because now these lesions and soars can and often will become infected and, in some cases, will develop granulomas which will require additional treatment beyond just focusing on what the cause and remedy of the abnormal behavior.

Acral Lick Dermatitis or Lick Granuloma Treatment Options

As we’ve already stated, treating Acral Lick Dermatitis or Lick Granuloma can often be a very difficult condition to treat simply because the “root” cause for why your beloved pet is itching, scratching and licking (excessive licking) a particular spot is generally unknown.

Sores and infections can be treated by performing a skin biopsy to determine what antibiotic should be used to treat and avoid further complications and Elizabethan collars can be used to physically restrain your dog from chewing on a “hot spots” but what’s really causing the issue?

Is it because…?

Is the condition brought on simply because your pet is suffering from some type of food allergy?  Or is some other type of environmentally triggered allergy?

We simply don’t know.  That said however, because certain dog breeds such as:

Tend to have a higher propensity to develop Acral Lick Dermatitis, researchers tend to believe that there must be some genetic or hereditary connection to the condition and believe it may be linked to some type of obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Many of the cognitive therapy approaches that work so well in “human” subjects simply can’t be applied to our four-legged friends which limit what one can do to help treat dogs suffering from this condition.

That said however…

Studies have shown that removing stress and minimizing “boredom” from an afflicted dog daily routine does seem to help along with experimenting with anti-inflammatory medications which could potentially address any possible allergy causes that could be at play.


Behavior modification specialist may be able to help, and in some cases folks have attempted to prescribe anti-anxiety medications to help minimize the symptoms associated with this condition.

But this is where…

We here at IndulgeYourPet usually like to remind our readers that we’re not medical specialist and we’re certainly not VETERINARIANS!  We’re just a bunch of folks who have a passion about animals and hate to see them suffering.

This is why…

We write article like these and why we always recommend that if someone is in the process of looking for a new pet and is considering adopting or purchasing an animal that is prone to developing a medical condition that could one day become pretty expensive to treat, that the also take a moment and consider purchasing a Pet Insurance policy to help avoid any unnecessary expenses later on during their pet’s life.

For more information about Pet Insurance please check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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