Flank Sucking in Dogs

Apr 19, 2022 | 0 comments

Flank Sucking in Dogs

What is Flank Sucking?

It is believed that the habit of sucking on your tongue may have a genetic cause that is triggered through anxiety, stress, or boredom. It usually begins as an escape strategy, since the act releases endorphins to relax. In some instances it may become repetitive and chronic, leading to an endless cycle of behaviour in which anxiety relief is derived through the activity, and the anxiety resurfaces, and leads to another exercise. Dogs suffering from anxiety may require only minor triggers after the behavior becomes routine. It could develop into the need to hide objects or pictures, and could affect normal behavior like eating, sleeping, and playing. The tendency to suck in the tongue is usually effectively controlled by a regular therapy.

Flank sucking is one of the types of dog compulsive disorder (CCD) that is frequently seen within Doberman Pinschers. It is defined by a dog that holds within its mouth an individual piece of flank skin. It is a habitual practice that is connected to other non-nutritive sucking behavior that include pica and blanket sucking. Although it seems harmless, it could result in hair, skin and behavioral problems.

Signs from Flank sucking in dogs

The signs of flank sucking usually start before the dog attains sexual maturity. The behavior may become permanent when the cause has been removed, but it will it will continue to happen without any triggers. The symptoms can include:

  • Obsessive chewing, licking, or sucking of hair or skin on the flanks
  • Skin irritation
  • Skin sores
  • Skin infections
  • Hair loss
  • Reduced eating
  • Decrease in play
  • Aggression when confronted during suction of the flank
  • Pica or the chewing or ingestion of non-edible objects
  • Blanket sucking
  • Hideously engaging in the behavior
  • Obsessive hiding or accumulation of objects
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The causes of Flank Sucking Dogs

It is widely thought that canine compulsive conditions have a genetic cause that is characterized by mutations in the chromosomal genes and serotonin genes. They are believed to affect the degree of the disorder. Additionally, there are external factors that can cause. Causes of flank sucking be attributed to:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • An insatiable suckling desire is made worse by an earlier weaning
  • Afraid or Stress
  • Separation anxiety
  • Insufficient stimulation in environment
  • Previous trauma or abuse

Diagnostics of Flank Sucking dogs

An assessment of the condition is established by analyzing the flank skin’s behavior, any other manifestations, how long ago the time at which symptoms of age began with triggers or frequency of behavior, the duration of behavior, reactions to a change in behavior and other factors related to behavior or medicine.

Your vet may be required to rule out any other conditions that have similar symptoms, like neurologic diseases, skin disorders or pain-causing conditions. As part of the diagnostic medication for itchiness, pain, or seizure control could be administered to determine the dog’s reaction.

Methods to Treat Flank Sucking Dogs

The treatment for this condition is the same as treatment for other CCDs and may involve both behavioral and medication. In most cases, the disorder requires ongoing management however, a reduction in symptoms is achievable.


Any causes that could have caused or worsened the behaviour are treated accordingly. The importance of a balanced and healthy diet usually discussed and can be altered.

The use of medications can help treat disorders of compulsive behavior that cause the symptoms through reducing process of re-uptake serotonin however, they should be used in conjunction with changes in the environment and treatment for behavioral disorders. Serotonin-modulating drugs are different types of antidepressants that include fluoxetine as well as memantine. When the two drugs are used together, they perform together to produce more effective outcomes. Clomipramine may be prescribed.

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Behavior Modification

Changes in behavior and environment includes removing stress which causes the behavior as well as creating the environment is enriched. The first step is to review your dog’s daily routine to identify the stress triggers that he is experiencing the things that frustrate your dog and what type of structure is in place during day to daily activities, and if there are any factors that can cause the behavior. It may be beneficial to talk with a professional to come up with a plan. Methods for achieving the goals you have set can include:

  • Develop and maintain an everyday routine that includes eating, playing or walking, and even sleeping
  • Create social interactions regularly
  • Create a relaxing space during times of social interaction with stimulating and mentally stimulating objects to keep you entertained in the form of stimulant toys, chew toys and items that have hidden food
  • Eliminate or stay clear of your dog’s triggers for stress or irritating activities that include a punishment or crating
  • Eliminate any human reinforcement
  • Do not penalize behavior since it could cause further anxiety
  • Offer rewards for desirable behavior when it is demonstrated
  • Distract your dog through counter-conditioning techniques in the event that behavior is displayed to divert your dog’s attention
  • Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, and at minimum 60-90 minutes every day for large dogs.
  • Try soothing recordings of audio or video to play with your dog when he is at home in case he is suffering from separation anxiety.
  • Enhance your dog’s ability to learn through new commands, participating in games, and with obedience training
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If flank sucking turns to pica your pet might require surgery to eliminate ingested food items that are not digestible.

Recovery of Flank Sucking Dogs

Even if treatment has been successful and behavior is halted it is possible that the same behavior is likely. Effective management generally requires constant focus. Learn to anticipate and minimize the triggers of your dog, and then learn to spot the triggers and redirect it when needed. In certain cases, the it is possible to prevent this condition. be accomplished by avoiding breeding affected dogs.

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