What is considered self-harming?

By Michelle Barson, KeraVet Bio Staff

Self-harming pets are those that bite or lick repeatedly at areas of their bodies, commonly the lower portion of the front limbs. This behavior may be caused by anxiety, allergies, or wound pain (e.g., post surgical pain or otherwise).

The excessive licking can result in mild conditions like atopic dermatitis progressing into more severe conditions like acral lick dermatitis, also known as a lick granuloma. A lick granuloma occurs when a dog (or cat) licks their skin with such frequency that the skin surface becomes ulcerated, leading to bleeding and possible infection. Common treatments for lick granulomas include options to address the cause of the licking behavior (e.g., E-collars or anti-anxiety medications) as well as antibiotics to stem microbial infections.

KeraVet Gel has been formulated with a lick deterrent and tested amongst dog breeds known as avid lickers and chewers (e.g., young, fun Labrador retrievers). When using this product, animals have tended to lick the treated area once and then quit, thus leaving the wound to heal properly and minimizing the possibility of infection.