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Puppy chewing legs and licking penis

Species: Dog
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 3-6 months
Harley chews on himself constantly. He likes his penis, he chews on his legs, constantly.
I took him to class Thrusday and the trainer mentioned allergies or it could be behavior issues. He has an apt May 9 but should I take him sooner.

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that your little guy is chewing on himself so much. He sounds really uncomfortable.

Normally I would say that allergies are the main thing that would cause a dog to do this. Allergies often cause dogs to chew at themselves, especially on their legs. (But not so commonly on their penis.)

However, allergies are not super common in a puppy. You mentioned that your dog is 3-6 months old. It really is not that common for a puppy that young to have allergies. It's not impossible, but I am betting there is another cause.

The most common reason for a puppy to be itchy like this would be fleas. It's not always easy to see the fleas. You can read more information here on checking for fleas as well as treatment.

Another possibility is sarcoptic mange. This can cause very itchy legs and usually causes itchy ears and elbows as well. But again, it doesn't account for the penis being itchy. This is something you would need to see your vet to get a diagnosis for.

I have seen some puppies that have compulsive behaviors that cause non-stop chewing and licking of the penis.

But, with all of this said, I think that the most likely cause is fleas and the second most likely is allergies.

I would actually recommend that you see your vet sooner than May 9 if possible. If it's fleas you want to get on top of things before they get worse. The flea products in the store don't tend to work well, so you'll want to get a prescription product. If it is allergies then your vet can prescribe medication to help.

Hope things work out ok!

Dr. Marie



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Customer reply:

He take flea stuff provided by the vet. It's not fleas.
Can he have a nervose habit of chewing.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is certainly possible. However, I can't recall ever treating a dog this young for obsessive grooming due to a behaviour problem.

Your vet may decide to try a hypoallergenic food trial. Again, allergies are not common at this age, but if they are present, food allergies tend to be more common than environmental allergies.


Have you tried the Purr Pillow? This is one of Dr. Marie's top recommended pet products for 2016.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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