Krandall, thank you for your response. I am thinking it may be stress/anxiety because his licking increases when I am combing and brushing him. What would be a good chew toy to distract him when being groomed? My vet does not want me to give him bully sticks, greenies, nylabones.
I agree with your vet COMPLETELY, having spent $1600 on a partial obstruction in Kodi from a Greenie when he was younger, not to mention his pain and our worry over the whole incident!
A Kong might be a good alternative when you can't be actively working on the problem, but if he were my dog, I'd work with him with a clicker, working to replace all the licking with other, more appropriate behaviors. Some chewing at appropriate times is fine, but THAT can become obsessive too.
If you don't know how to clicker train a dog, I strongly suggest you take a few lessons from a good professional. If that's not possible, you can also learn the basics from any number of YouTube videos, but that doesn't replace the benefit of having an experienced trainer right there, helping you to get your timing right, (sometimes it can feel like there are too many things to handle at the same time when you are learning!) and to see exactly what's going on and help you choose more appropriate behaviors to reinforce.
If it IS caused by stress, a good trainer can also help you figure out ways to de-stress your dog's environment, which may help too. Sometimes, something as simple as crate training them, (using positive training methods... not just by sticking them in a crate and hoping for the best!) and having a crate open available for them to use as a place to retire and rest from the bustle of family life can help.