Shiny pink or red  hairless areas called lick granulomas look similar to hotspots. Also known as acral lick dermatitis, this condition can be swollen or bleeding from excessive licking and the end result is a thick, hardened reddish lesion, also called a plaque.

catgrooming2Lick Granuloma Causes:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Allergies
  • Poor nutrition
  • Excessive stress
  • Neglect
  • Obsession with grooming

Herbal and  Naturopathic Help

Sometimes simply switching your pet to a natural diet will solve the licking problem. Improper diet may be the cause of allergies, problems stemming from poor nutritioninfections due to a weak immune system, and behavioral disorders.   If boredom and neglect are part of the cause, there isn’t much we can tell you to do other than pay more LickGranulomaattention to your pet and care more about their psychology and  needs. But if you’re taking the time to read this, you’re probably not that type of pet owner.

Pets also need exercise. No herb can compensate for an unnatural diet, a lack of exercise, and  a deficiency of exposure to natural light.

Take steps to find out if your pet has allergies. If something new has been added to your dog  or cat’s environment, ask yourself if it’s a possible allergen. Analyze the  ingredients in your pet’s food, and talk to your holistic veterinarian. It can be a tedious process, but sometimes discovering what your pet is allergic to requires removing one element at a time and observing with patience to see if the symptoms go away.

PoulticeOnDogIf your pet has  anxieties, and you believe the obsessive licking is due to nerves, you can try  giving passionflower, chamomile, valerian, kava kava or California poppy. Skullcap  and other Chinese herbs have also been known to help, as has acupuncture.

Topically, you  can apply aloe vera gel to soothe and heal the affected area. The same way some  people put bad tasting substances on a baby’s thumb to stop sucking, you can  try this tactic on your pet using diluted tea tree oil or grapefruit seed extract.  Not only do they have antibacterial properties to help heal the skin, they also  taste bad and may discourage licking. Tabasco sauce, powdered cayenne, and Echinacea-goldenseal  tincture all serve a similar purpose.

poppy For other topical  solutions, see the section on abscesses.  A poultice can be helpful because it not only can  soothe or help heal the area, but it also acts as a bandage that impedes the  animal from licking the lesion. Calendula, green tea, and yarrow are all good  poultice ingredients for lick granulations.



The root of the issue needs to be accurately  diagnosed before a homeopathic treatment can be properly administered. There  are, of course, homeopathic remedies that help alleviate itching, et cetera,  but we don’t recommend using them in this case because masking the symptoms  will prevent you from deducing the systemic cause. You won’t be able to figure  out what is causing an allergic reaction, for example, if medicine is being  used to numb an itch.

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