Where there's smoke, there's fire. I always believed that and my experiences didn't prove me otherwise. When I'm facing a problem or a strange behavior, I am extremely reluctant to write it off as a behavioral issue. I always want to look for a physical cause.
When a behavioral or an emotional issue is diagnosed, how is it treated? With chemicals.
When I was reading Four Paws, Five Directions, some of the concepts really resonated with me. They were making connection between physical and emotional/behavioral. My dog nutrition course is also making similar connections.
That's why I was quite excited to see that it has been discovered that excessive licking of surfaces (ELS) by dogs may not be a behavioral problem after all.
Researchers now believe that ELS (excessive licking of just about anything, such as floors, carpeting, furniture ...) could simply be a clue that something else is up. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior discovered that 14 our of 19 dogs presenting with ELS included in the study were in fact suffering from GI disorders, ranging from giardiasis, chronic pancreatitis and other disorders.
How many more connection are there that we are missing?
We often complain that our dogs can't talk. Maybe it's just that we don't know how to listen.
This only confirms my belief. If you have a problem, look for a physical reason. If you don't find one, keep looking.
Excessive licking of surfaces by dogs may not be a behavioral problem, but a clue to something more
Gastrointestinal disorders in dogs with excessive licking of surfaces
Where There Is Smoke, There Is Fire: A Symptom Is Your Friend, Treat It With Respect!
The House Is On Fire! Bridget's Pancreatitis