Is your furry friend suffering from lick granuloma? This is a condition that results in a thickened, hairless area of skin because your pet obsessively licks or chews it. Because of the excessive licking, the area may also become inflamed, infected, or ulcerated.
Licking is a normal part of grooming behavior but when it gets out of hand, becoming constant and compulsive, it’s important to understand what’s happening and how to stop it.
It can be hard to see your beloved pet suffer. As an animal lover, you naturally want to do everything you can to make it better. In this post, we share some natural lick granuloma treatments, as well as some of our favorite gentle pet products.
Understanding Lick Granuloma
Have you ever noticed that your cat or dog won’t stop licking at a sore on their leg? While it’s natural for your pet to chew and lick themselves as part of their grooming instinct, it could also be a sign of lick granuloma. This is a chronic skin problem for your pet caused by excessive licking. This then causes their skin to itch or hurt…which makes them lick it more. Before you know it, they’re stuck in the vicious lick-itch cycle. The result is angry, reddened, and irritated skin that can scarily resemble a skin tumor. It’s similar to a hotspot. Both male and female dogs can be affected.
What Causes Lick Granuloma?
We know that excessive licking causes lick granuloma but how does this habit develop in the first place? It might be due to an underlying condition or disease, or it might simply be a behavioral problem. Your pet may be licking out of boredom or perhaps a psychological factor such as separation anxiety. It can also result from allergies, mites, trauma to the skin such as bruises or cuts, bacterial or fungal skin infections, or a foreign body under the skin like a splinter.
Food allergies in dogs cause all sorts of problems like itchy skin, tear stains, and more. It's really a big problem that a lot of pet owners overlook. If chronic health issues plague your dog, it's worth doing an elimination diet with your vet to figure out what foods your pet may be sensitive to and then eliminate that food and move to alternate proteins and consider home cooking with food supplements so you know exactly what your pup is consuming.
Does your Pet have Lick Granuloma?
You can usually tell if your pup or kitty has lick granuloma because of the appearance of their skin. It will look rough, reddened, and sore. If they’ve managed to lick all their hair off, you may notice a bald patch. The most commonly affected areas are on the legs, top of the wrist, around the ankle, and on the toes.
Natural Lick Granuloma Treatment
Now that we understand that lick granuloma is and why it may occur, let’s talk about how to treat it. Unfortunately, lick granuloma won’t heal on its own so intervention is necessary.
Here are some of our favorite lick granuloma dog home treatments and granuloma cat treatments.
Is there anything Manuka honey can’t do? Produced from the nectar of the manuka tree, this natural substance makes an effective antibiotic for cuts, wounds, and sores. You can apply it directly to the affected area. Though not made specifically for pets, we like this Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream that has very simple, nourishing ingredients that won't harm your pet.
Aloe vera is a cooling and soothing itch relief provider for humans and pets alike. Its antimicrobial properties help kill bacteria that can infect inflamed skin which makes it an excellent treatment for heat rash, hot spots, and link granuloma. Apply to the affected area 3-4 times daily. We recommend reading ingredients carefully on Aloe products as many time they have a long list of additives and worst of all, alcohol, which can really burn and irritate a wound like your pet has. Best of all is to use the aloe fresh from the plant.
Calendula is known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal and anti-microbial properties. When used internally or topical, it helps relieve pain and heal wounds.
Paw Salve for Dogs
This paw salve for dogs is made with all natural and organic ingredients making it the perfect choice for healing irritated skin. Handmade in the USA, we love it for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties. It’s safe for all dog breeds.
Paw Balm Stick for Dogs
Another natural lick granuloma treatment for your dog is this paw balm stick. It’s made with 5 organic ingredients and is 100% lick safe. Use it to heal cracked, dry, and irritated paws. As sustainable pet-owners, we appreciate that it’s packaged in a 100% compostable push up tube.