Dear Dr. Kay: I have a Bichon terrier who is a licker. She licks floors, pillows carpets, etc. She has had two surgeries for this problem, in which they removed hairballs, (one 7 inches long!), they put her on Prozac (which did not work) and I have to muzzle her to keep her from licking. The vet said that next surgery she will have to go to a specialist. Can you help?—Amy
DEAR AMY: So sorry for what you and your dog are going through! You did not mention how long you have observed this licking behavior. If the problem has been lifelong, I suspect the issue is behavioral and consultation with a behaviorist might be the ticket. If this is a more recent issue, talk to your veterinarian about underlying digestive issues or a hormonal imbalance called Cushing’s disease. In the meantime, you might check out the OutFox Field Guard. This device was developed to prevent plant awns called foxtails from entering a dog’s ears, eyes, nose and throat. But it works great for this purpose, and it’s also an extremely humane way to prevent dogs from eating inappropriate things!