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Hi! I took my foster dog home about a month ago now and I am planning on adopting him in the near future :) we think he is some sort of Golden/shepherd mix. He’s 5. He had rectal cancer in August, tumor was removed and now he’s cancer free! He’s a very sweet and people oriented dog but tends to be on the nervous, cautious side.

Since getting him, he is frequently licking his paws, privates, and rear end. He is also paw/nail biting. No fur gone or sore spots yet.
My first thought was allergies. I’ve switched him from Science Diet to American Journey grain free dry food and Spot Farms grain free wet food. He fully switched over around Christmas. Seems a little better but I can’t tell if I’m biased...

Then I thought it might be a habit/pacifier he picked up while being at the shelter, or a combination of allergies and stress. (He was extremely stressed at the shelter, so much that he was moved from the kennels) I’ve been discouraging him and trying to redirect him with toys, going for walks, etc. but he always ends up back to licking himself.

He went to the groomer yesterday and had a bath/trim/gland expression and still was licking himself after getting home. My family and I probably catch him 10-12 times a day just licking, licking, licking. These grooming sessions last around 5-10 minutes uninterrupted.

I’m not sure if this is a big enough deal to want him to see the vet, and I’m willing to try a couple other things/give him more time to settle in. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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I'm just guessing here, but my guess is his main issue is stress. Sounds like he has had a pretty unsettled life so far. I would suggest talking to your Vet, there may be some medication that he or she could prescribe to help him cope, while he settles into his new home.
 

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I have a cat who's constantly over grooming and scratching himself and he has many food and environmental allergies. Changing the food is a good first step but he'd need a very limited novel protein diet, and if he has environmental allergies he's either going to need long-term medication or immunotheraoy treatments. Stress and change in environment can weaken the immune system and trigger allergies.
A certain would do allergy testing for skin allergies. My cat has constant raw bloody spots from scratching and over grooming though.
 
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