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Health and Nutrition

22 Jun 2016 16:14
Your dog’s pals are telling you to get your pet to the doctor 
Perhaps you’ve noticed that dogs with whom your dog has always been friends have recently taken to sniffing his private parts. He seems to be licking them too. You may notice that he even stops in the middle of a walk or play at the dog park to lick.

What's this sudden preoccupation with his private parts? If the interest in your dog’s genitals is new, and its specifically about sniffing, other dogs may be picking up on the scent of some kind of infection that you can’t detect. A dog’s licking can further suggest the presence of an infection. He may be trying to sooth the burning or other unpleasant sensation. A urinary tract infection is high on the list of possibilities. It's best to take your dog to the vet’s office for a check-up.

The vet will probably run some tests and then prescribe an antibiotic to fight whatever is ailing your dog. The frequent licking is probably just making the situation worse.

Sometimes it's easy to dismiss a change in a dog’s habits as a behavioral issue. It's best to have it checked out as delaying may make things worse and more costly. Your dog will be a healthier and happier dog for your efforts.

- Arlene Wong, Loving Pet Care, with excerpts from June 2016 article, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University