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Why is my Chihuahua licking the dining room floor?

Beige-colored Chihuahua standing on wooden floor, looking up at the camera.

(Photo: Bree Bailey)

Why is my Chihuahua licking the dining room floor?

May 20, 2013

Q: My Chihuahua, Tinker, is suddenly licking the dining room floor. His tail is turned downward, which is never the case, and he recently vomited. Should I be concerned?

A: Tinker's behavior is consistent with gastrointestinal distress. Licking inanimate objects as well as air licking indicates irritation and/or nausea including gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn). It doesn't tell us why Tinker is distressed, however. In the otherwise normal dog, we might consider his ingesting something new, inappropriate, spoiled, or perhaps a non-food item.

If his vomiting stops for two hours, the administration of an over the counter antacid such as famotidine (Pepcid) at 1/4 of a 10mg tablet and repeated in 12 hours, if necessary, should offer Tinker some relief. It's best to fast him at this time for at least 12 hours but leave his water down. If drinking elicits further vomiting, however, please replace his water with ice cubes for him to lick.

-- Answer from Dr. Michael Salkin, a veterinarian on JustAnswer.

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