Treatment of Canine Acral Lick Dermatitis by Behavior Modification Using Electronic Stimulation

J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. May-Jun 1996;32(3):225-30. doi: 10.5326/15473317-32-3-225.


Canine acral lick dermatitis is characterized by excessive licking on areas of one or more limbs, usually near the carpus or tarsus. In this prospective study, five dogs with acral lick dermatitis were treated with remote punishment utilizing precisely controlled, momentary shock from an electronic training collar. The problem resolved in four dogs. Resolution was defined as one month in which no shocks (i.e., no electronic shock collar worn) or Elizabethan collars were utilized and no licking had occurred sufficiently to recreate a gross skin lesion. Relapse during the follow-up period of six-to-12 months occurred in two dogs, but licking stopped after brief retraining periods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Dermatitis / etiology
  • Dermatitis / therapy
  • Dermatitis / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / etiology
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome