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" My dog started licking my extremities lately. Can dogs smell illnesses in your skin?"

ZocdocAnswers My dog started licking my extremities lately. Can dogs smell illnesses in your skin?


For 2 to 3 days my dog has been crazily licking me. No new diet or hygiene habits.


Although there have been some recent reports of dogs and other animals being used in pilot studies to detect certain illness in human beings, the data on this is very preliminary and not very strong. Although I am not a veterinarian, I would suppose that your dog's behavior is more likely to be related to your dog's own psychological state or stress level than it is to any unrecognized illness that you might have. However, that being said, it is always a good idea to check in with your primary care doctor, especially if you have not had a physical examination in a while. The goal of the physical examination is to screen for undetected diseases, make sure that you are following a healthy lifestyle, and answer any questions that you might have about your health. When you go to see your doctor, you can mention this behavior of your dog, especially if it persists. In the meantime, of course, if you develop any serious or new symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, night sweats, chest pain, or shortness of breath - all of which would be signs of a new problem - you should get in right away to see your doctor.

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