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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17893
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Our standard wire haired dachshund is repeatedly licking his

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Our standard wire haired dachshund is repeatedly licking his lips and unable to settle. He hasn’t lost his appetite and his tummy doesn’t seem painful to touch and it doesn’t look bloated. He is a little lethargic compared to normal but not excessively. Should we take him to the vet? Can you help?

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

I'm sorry to hear that your pup is suddenly licking his lips and unable to settle.

Since this is a new behavior then dogs will often lick when they have a bad taste in their mouth but that should not last long. They can also lick when they have something caught between their teeth, an infected tooth, or something stuck on the roof of their mouth.

Have you looked at his teeth and gums and on the roof of his mouth?

Dogs will often lick when they are feeling nauseous or have gastroesophageal reflux to try and settle their stomachs.

Metabolic diseases that cause stomach upset and reflux like kidney or liver disease, hyperlipidemia, or pancreatitis can cause licking. Anemia can lead to pica or eating or licking non food items as well as lip licking. I do recommend that he see his veterinarian for an examination and some blood tests to make sure there are no health problems behind this behavior if his lip licking continues.

For now if you don't see any problem areas in his mouth in case this is related to nausea or reflux to try and settle his stomach you can give either:

1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one half of a 10mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.


2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one quarter of a 20mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.

Either of these will reduce stomach acid and could help settle his stomach. You can use these for several days if need be or even long term as they are very safe medications.

You do want to mention this behavior to his veterinarian at his next veterinary visit even if he improves with the acid reducers as they will likely want to run some blood tests to look for any possible developing problems

It may also help to feed him a bland diet for the next few days as well. A homemade bland diet consists of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white, skinless chicken) and 2/3 boiled, white rice or pasta. Give small meals several times a day. Feed the bland diet for several days, then if he seems fine start mixing in his regular diet and slowly convert him back. If his symptoms return with a return to his regular diet then discuss using a low irritant diet like Hills i/d or Purina Veterinary Diets EN with his veterinarian.

In an older pup licking can also be a sign of pain, especially arthritis pain, and though generally they lick the sore joint not always. If he seems stiffer than usual or is limping then his veterinarian should examine him for signs of joint pain/arthritis.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr. Kara and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****