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Why is my dog licking his left elbow?

(15 Posts)
Ephedra Tue 08-Jul-14 17:58:15

5 1/2 year old border collie who has serious but undiagnosed joint issues, has been licking the inside of his left elbow, it started a month or so ago. He isn't limping more than normal there is no swelling, nothing on his skin, no sign of pain* and the joint seems to have normal movement. He hasn't had an off lead walk in months so he hasn't hurt himself while out. X-rays from last year were normal as was the joint tap to check for arthritis.

*I'm going to keep track of the licking for a few days then give him some painkillers to see if that makes a difference.

After all the specialist we have seen who have no clue what is wrong with him we made the decision to stop investigating and to make sure the dog is happy and as painfree as possible for as long as possible, which is why we haven't been the the vets yet with this.

Any ideas? Tia

Ephedra Wed 09-Jul-14 09:21:58


Ephedra Thu 10-Jul-14 17:12:56


soddinghormones Thu 10-Jul-14 19:04:00

Well not an expert by any means but all the times any of our animals have licked obsessively it's been because the affected area was bothering them - I'd go to the vet I'm agraid

soddinghormones Thu 10-Jul-14 19:04:14

Afraid even ..

Ephedra Thu 10-Jul-14 20:21:50

Thank you Sodding, he isn't licking it loads but enough that I have noticed and he isn't doing the same to his other elbow.

I really don't want to take him to the vets as he really hates it and they never find out what is wrong. They also just keep offering NSAIDs which he can't have, then they shrug and say keep an eye on it. We have been dealing with this issue for 4 years and still don't know what is wrong.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 10-Jul-14 23:13:27

Licking is often a sign of pain. There are other pain killer options apart from NSAIDs if your current vet can't suggest some maybe you need to try someone else.

Ephedra Fri 11-Jul-14 09:47:10

Thanks Lonecat, my collie is on Pardale V as and when it's needed. Sadly that seems to be more often and normally it's his back end that causes the problem.

FliptheThread Fri 11-Jul-14 09:49:22

Mine lick where there is skin irritation.

Ephedra Fri 11-Jul-14 09:50:13

Any ideas as to what could be causing the pain? Like I said in the op, last years x-rays were fine and there is no sign of arthritis.

I sometimes think this dog was put on earth to give me something to worry about all the time!

Ephedra Fri 11-Jul-14 09:51:54

FliptheThread his skin looks fine. It's not red, hot or swollen and looks just the same as his other elbow.

Ephedra Wed 16-Jul-14 10:26:12

Well my dog has now been on painkillers since friday and I have only seen him licking his elbow twice since then.

While I am pleased that he isn't hurting anymore it is not good news. Having to have painkillers every day means that whatever is wrong with him is getting worse sad

Ephedra Wed 16-Jul-14 11:52:41

I'm going to have to take part of my last post back, my dog isn't currently painfree sad

He hasn't settled at all today, he wont get on the sofa and is really restless. Poor dog has already had his morning painkiller and I can't give him anymore. Fuck!

WhatsTheEffingPoint Wed 16-Jul-14 12:09:36

My boy would develop limps after walks and then lick his legs obsessively, the vet we saw said to give glucosamine and cod liver oil tabs (you can give glucosamine tabs that a human would take but she did say that a dogs body can't always absorb enough of the glucosamine as it doesnt break down the same way it does in a human body).

Any way turns out my boy had very bad elbows so an operation later he is now on Cod Liver Oil tabs and Yumove tablets (that are cheaper to buy online then through the vets)

Ephedra Wed 16-Jul-14 12:48:19

Thanks WhatsTheEffingPoint, I hope your dog is doing well now. My dog has been on joint medication for years (yumove or riaflex) and it does make a difference but no enough anymore. My dog has nothing at all wrong with any bone in his body according to x-rays and no vet we have ever seen has any idea what the problem is.

His elbow doesn't seem to be bothering him today so thats not the problem right now. He objected to a massage so I called the vet and he agreed I could give him an extra painkiller, as he is now fast asleep I would say it worked!

If is still isn't right tomorrow he will be going to the vets, however, he has form for making us think the worst and then he bounces back. He has never needed 3 painkillers in a day before though.

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