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Compulsive acral dermatitis in a mongrel dog

Valentina Nuti


A male mongrel dog, Labrador Retriever crossbreed, about 6 years old, after various therapies by a veterinary dermatologistis sent to behavioral counselling for acral lick dermatitis.

Since the dog had not been diagnosed with any organic disease and had a negative neurological examination, the diagnosis and treatment were directed towards an attachment disorder and environmental anxiety with substitutive and ritualistic behaviors. Initially a nutraceutical (Calmex) for 2 weeks was prescribed and, in the meantime, the behavior modification program with the dog trainer began with bi-weekly training sessions at the owner’s home.

After the first 2 weeks the dog began to interact with the dog trainer without mounting behaviors and he diminished the vocalizations in the absence of the owners but he continued to injure his skin during the night and to destroy the objects of cloth when frustrated.

In association with the meetings with the dog trainer, the owners accepted to start the drug therapy and Clomipramine was prescribed in increasing doses starting from 1 mg/kg bid in increments every 15 days up to the dose of 3 mg/kg bid.

After about 10 months the dog no longer showed compulsive licking; he learned to manage interactions with children and to move away and relax in his enclosure when he got frustrated instead of manifesting "mounts" and hyperkinesia.

Clomipramine administration was discontinued gradually according to custom.


acral dermatitis, compulsive behavior, dog

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