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My dog is licking the r

My dog is licking the r


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My dog is licking the r where I last was. What does that mean?

by Anonymous

2 Replies

Your dog may be feeling insecure and lonely and is attempting to comfort himself by licking. The r licking is a way of comforting the dog. A quick way to find out if this is the cause is to put your pet in an unfamiliar room, close the door and see if it continues. If the licking stops, he may be trying to find you and is licking to find you.

Licking is a way for your dog to express his feelings, either because he is frightened or because he misses you. It is only for a short while - and he will soon get bored, and stop, but for now, he wants you back. Sometimes it helps to let him have a small amount of your attention before he will settle down, or you can leave a toy, or treat on the sofa, or put something in the kitchen that he can get to if he gets restless.

Licking is a sign that he wants to be near you. If he doesn't stop, check where he is, and if he is still licking, try and put him away from the place. Try and get to know his behaviour, and then try to predict what he will do, if you can, so you can be prepared.

If he is a new dog and you are moving from one house to another, you may find that the new owner of the house doesn't want him. Try and find out what the new owner feels about him, if possible, and if the house is a good one for a dog, and if he is happy there, then you can bring him back there. Ask the new owner for some time alone with your dog, just you and him, and then see if he is happy.

Remember, though, that some dogs are not the best pets. Always check the background of the new owner first. Dogs are like children in many ways, and some new owners can't deal with them in the way they should. It is quite possible that they are the type of owner that will get upset if your dog gets upset, or angry if your dog becomes destructive. If this is the case, it might be best to find another home for your dog.

## **Curing the problems**

It is only really possible to treat some problems if you do have some experience of owning a dog. This is why I have included 'diagnosing the problem' in this section. If you have been brought up around pets, though, you probably have an instinct for this, so you should not find it too difficult. It will come with time, however.

#### **When is a problem too big?**

If you think a dog is sick, there are three things you need to take into consideration.

**1.** Do you really know enough about dogs and their health to know what is wrong?

**2.** What would you do if you were 100 per cent certn that your dog was going to die?

**3.** Do you have the time to do something about it, if you know your dog will die?

If you are 100 per cent certn about the answers to these questions, it will help you to work out whether or not a dog really needs to be put down. If it is just a problem that you can deal with without causing permanent damage, you might well decide that you can either cure it or put up with it for a while. Remember, you might have to wt weeks or months to get a correct diagnosis. It is easier to work out what will happen to your dog if it is already ill than if it is perfectly healthy. So, look carefully at your dog, talk to a veterinarian who is experienced with dogs and remember, if in doubt, treat.

#### **Is the problem treatable?**

Just because a vet tells you that your dog needs to be put down does not mean that your dog has to die. It is the same as you when you have some sort of problem, such as a broken bone, an abscess or an infection. Do you want to risk the pn and suffering that will inevitably follow from your efforts to treat the problem, or do you want to put your dog's life at risk?

It is a question of balancing the risks of treating the problem and the risk of wting. In this particular case, you can put your dog to sleep (or kill it) if the risk of fling to treat the problem is greater than the risk of the problem getting worse. It is a similar situation to that faced by any doctor when making a decision about treating a person.

A dog that is sick or injured is like any other patient. All dogs, including yours, have to be carefully monitored. They can get worse. Do they have a chance of getting better? There is no absolute certnty, but the chances are good that they can.

In this particular case, there are no other factors or risk factors involved. The problem can be effectively treated and the treatment will either kill the dog or cure the problem, the only other alternative being to put the dog down. So, the problem is treatable and your dog should be treated.

The question of whether a particular problem is treatable is best answered by a vet who has the experience to treat and help your dog. There is no doubt that any well-run, modern veterinary hospital will be able to deal with most of the common problems in a manner that will keep your dog alive and well. For a more detled discussion of your dog's health problems and what treatment is required, see chapter 5.

### **When to go for a second opinion**

We have no way of knowing how often an owner's primary vet will put the advice of the veterinary surgeon above that of the owner's, without even checking what the owner has been told. It is true that most modern veterinary surgeons take their responsibility for their patients' welfare very seriously. But it is also true that they need to have staff to see their patients. A patient whose problem has not been properly explned to them might just be given a prescription. An owner who thinks that their vet has done their best on a particular problem and has been unable to find a solution to their dog's problem could get a second opinion from a different veterinary surgeon. The second opinion could often result in the solution to the owner's problem.

Remember, in any case where your vet puts you off, a second opinion might at least help you. If your vet says to you that a dog is a good fighter, but that he is too old for this particular injury, you should consider a second opinion. If your vet says that a dog needs only a few weeks of treatment but he can't give you a good reason why, you should probably seek a second opinion. If your vet doesn't offer any explanation as to why he thinks you need to do something, then you should probably go to another vet. If it turns out that the problem the second vet says he will solve is the problem you have been having all along, your first vet might well be in a position to expln what went wrong in his or her diagnosis.

### **What is involved in a second opinion?**

Your vet will probably give you a list of the things he or she thinks your dog needs in order to recover and the things that are being done to make your dog better. If this isn't the case, you will have to be given a list of the problems that have been diagnosed or treated and your options for future treatment, both by your own vet and the second vet. In addition to the examination, many owners will be asked for X-rays, blood tests, and sometimes blood transfusions


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