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Why does my poodle keep licking herself?

Q: Why does my poodle keep licking herself? PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk My tiny toy poodle keeps licking her vaginal area to a point where she starts breathing so heavily. She was bred on the March 12 - I am not sure she is pregnant, this licking has been going on long before that and its mainly at night. She does not seem to have an infection, her anal glands are secreted
regularly and no worms. Please help.

A:Why does my poodle keep licking herself? PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk Dear Toy Poodle Owner, The most common reason for dogs to lick persistently at their vaginal area is if they are licking away a discharge. If they are very efficient at this, the owner may never even get to see any discharge, as they are licking it away too quickly. Some will do this during a season, in which case it is nothing to worry about, but they should stop when the season stops. Mating can irritate a bitch slightly, so this can also stimulate them to lick themselves. They could also catch a slight infection during a season or after mating which would lead to more licking. So all she has just been through will not be helping, but if she was licking before she even came into season, then there could be some other underlying cause. Does she ever leak urine ? That would also make her lick. Some dogs are obsessively clean. Or if she has a tightly tucked up vulva,some dogs can get a fold of skin around it which can collect little bits of dirt/ discharge/ etc which can lead to a slight dermatitis { irritated skin } around the vulva. If the fold of skin is pulled back, the redness of the skin can be seen around the vulva { not in it }. If this was the cause, it may be a life-long problem, but by gently cleaning it and occasionally using some cream to soothe it if needed, it can be managed. She would be best being checked over by your vet, as if she is in discomfort or has an infection, it would not be fair to leave her. It would be a good idea to bring a sample of urine with you and if they saw her 3-4 weeks after mating, they may be able to palpate her abdomen and tell you if she is pregnant or not { easier in some dogs than others ! }. Good luck with the breeding, Maeve Moorcroft MVB MRCVS
{ PetPlanet Vet }

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