Doberman Pinscher

Acral Lick Granuloma

An acral lick granuloma is a lesion, usually located on the distal part of one of the limbs of dogs, which is caused or worsened by the animal's obsessive licking of it. Damaged cells are believed to release pain-relieving endorphins that addict the dog to the licking and mutilation of the lesion.

The possible causes of the itching and licking behavior include:

Color Dilution Alopecia

This is a genetic defect affecting the way pigment is distributed in the hairs of affected dogs. Dogs with unusual haircoat coloration such as blue or fawn are affected. Abnormal pigment (melanin) clumping in the hairshafts and subsequent changes in light refraction are responsible for the unusual coloration, and in severely affected animals, excessive pigment clumping causes breakage of the hairshafts and abnormal or stunted hair growth.


Patchy areas of pigment loss may involve the skin, hair or both. Most commonly affected areas include lips, nose, eyelids, face and footpads.