Sunday, August 2, 2009
Dog Licking Genitals and Groin Area
One of the most common questions I receive is from concerned pet owners about their dogs licking at their genitals and groin area. Many clients, quite embarrassed mention quietly that their poor dog "licks his penis" and has red spots in the groin area. Well....this is a very delicate subject but one that definitely needs to be addressed. Pictured above is a picture of my beautiful Bluey. Bluey has very bad allergies and when we first got him, he licked his penis and genital area constantly. I knew it wasn't just licking for the sake of licking because he would go to eat his dinner and then act like it was itchy down there and need to lick at his penis before eating!!! So... I started to investigate. Some dogs will lick their genitals as part of normal grooming and there really isn't any cause for concern. In this situation, I would say--maybe once a day. But, in Bluey's situation and in many, many of my client's pet situations, it is often several times a day.
The first thing I want you to know if your male dog licks his penis or your female dog is licking at her private area, that there is a lot you can do to help! While it is important for you to take your pet to the veterinarian to check for a urinary tract infection or other type of infection, many times the problem is due to food allergies in the diet as well as yeast overgrowth. There are supplements you can use for your pet that will start helping right away. An easy, effective solution is to use K9 Yeast Defense + Power Probiotic. Here is a complete list to give your dog fast relief:
Supplements to stop genital licking:
Pet UTI Prevention Formula--sometimes pets are licking their genitals because it is sore or painful--this is often due to bacteria accumulating in the urinary tract. By using the PET UTI Prevention formula which contains cranberry, d-mannose and other herbs, you are helping to keep the bacteria moving. Even if your dog doesn't have a UTI, this is a great "anti-bacterial" preventive formula that helps keep the area clean.
Power Probiotic--absolutely critical for pets that have genital licking. This helps to "repopulate" the good flora which helps your pet fight off infections. Also helps to prevent yeast overgrowth.
K9 Yeast Defense--This formula will stop the yeast. Many, many clients report that their pet's ear infections, licking of genitals and scratching all improve when using Ask Ariel's K9 Yeast Defense.
Notatum Anti-Infection--This is an excellent anti-infection formula that helps reduce inflammation and infection. Excellent for any type of UTI or genital infection.
Argentyn Spray On (provides cooling relief and helps heal the sore area---can be applied directly onto the genital area. Works best when used in conjunction with K9 Yeast Defense)
K9 Yeast Defense--If your dog is licking and chewing on the genital area or inside thighs, has a history of ear infections or is smelly even after a bath, this formula is a MUST!!!! This product really works to control the itching and discomfort which is why pet's lick and chew at the genital area. In just a few days, pets will start to feel so much better. K9 Yeast Defense is easy to use and is essential for any dog that is itching, scratching and chewing. If your dog has been on antibiotics and steroids, it is essential to use this product as it rebalances the intestinal flora which are altered from using these medications.
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When a female dog licks at the vulva or genital area, it often does send a signal that it is time to visit the veterinarian as well. Clearly, if a female is in heat or having hormonal changes, well, yes that can increase the genital licking too. But, for the most part, when a dog is licking there---you need to take them to the veterinarian first and foremost. Why? Well, it is often a sign of some type of infection. First, be sure to rule out the presence of a urinary tract infection. Unfortunately so many people mistakenly think that their dog licking in the genital area is just "grooming" when in fact it is an infection. Female dogs often have hidden infections in the urethra, not the bladder, especially older females, that will only show up in a urine culture, not a typical urine analysis.
Male dogs can actually get penis infections--I know it sounds just awful, but you may want to actually check. In Bluey's situation, his penis was red and surrounded by a thick filmy discharge. The veterinarian treated him for an infection but then just like with many other infections, I noticed it started to come back after we finished the antibiotics, I noticed it started to come back, along with the licking, which had stopped completely. I am happy to report that with supplements and dietary changes, it has now been 6 months and Bluey is no longer obsessed with licking himself. The minute he starts to lick, I give him K9 Yeast Formula . I keep him on a low carbohydrate, high protein diet and he stays on digestive enzymes along with Power Probiotic. I only need to use the K9 Yeast Defense for a few days and then the problem resolves.
In my experience, the most common reasons dogs are licking their genitals is because of either urinary tract infections, allergies or yeast. If your dog is getting chronic UTIs, you need to change the diet and also keep them on the PET UTI Package. Remember foods like grains, milk products (cheese), wheat and table scraps (often containing sugar) just fuel the infections---avoid dog biscuits (see earlier posts) and give your dog plenty of steamed, frozen vegetables.
Supplements that will start helping your pet right away:
K9 Yeast Defense
Notatum Anti-Infection Formula
Argentyn Spray On (provides cooling relief and helps heal the sore area---can be applied directly onto the genital area)
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