Are you and your dog suffering from sleepless nights due to your dog’s compulsive itching and scratching? If so, you’re not alone.
Pruritus, the medical term for excessive itching, is one of the most common reasons dog owners seek veterinary care.
Dogs scratch themselves for numerous reasons and not all are cause for concern. However, there are certain signs that indicate there could be a problem.
Signs of skin disorders
- Red inflamed skin
- Hair loss
- Dandruffy skin
- Open wounds from self mutilation
- Hot Spots
If your dog is suffering from any of the above symptoms and itches nonstop, you should call your vet.
Common Reasons Dogs Itch
The first step is to examine your dog’s skin and see if it’s oily, dry, or inflamed. If you see dandruff or cracked skin then your dog may be suffering from dry skin. This may occur more often in the winter or if your dog is lacking fatty acids in their diet.
Dogs that don’t receive enough exercise or live in a stressful environment can become destructive. They may not only chew on shoes and other inappropriate items but may scratch and bite at themselves.
Fleas and mites are near the top of the list for reasons dogs itch. The parasites are so small that it’s nearly impossible to spot them with the naked eye. They can leap from one dog to another so it’s best to have your dog examined if they are itchy and scratchy.
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies, contact dermatitis from soaps and pesticides, and food allergies. Food and seasonal allergies can be hard to treat since it’s hard to remove the irritant, but medicine and certain topical solutions can help.
If your dog has bald spots and licks or scratches nonstop, their bodies may not be producing enough thyroid hormone, or producing too much of the hormone cortisol. A test by your vet can determine if this is the cause of your dog’s itchy skin.
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Treatments For Itchy Dogs
Topical salves and products
Soothing shampoos and topical salves can help rehydrate dry skin and provide your dog with some much needed relief. Always consult with your vet before administrating any over-the-counter products, like Benadryl.
Some dogs are allergic to ingredients in their food like grain or beef, so vets will suggest those irritants are eliminated from the diet. Other dogs may be deficient in fatty acids so may need a supplement or diet change.
Get Rid of Parasites
If fleas or mites are the culprits for your dog’s obsessive itching, then your vet will give you medication and suggest you use flea shampoo on all pets in the home. To ward off any future encounters with the vile pests, dogs should be on a flea/tick preventative.
Skin tests/ Medication
Vets may need to perform skin scrapings to test for parasites and bacterial or fungal infections. Then they can properly suggest a treatment plan to help Fido stop itching.
While there are many reasons why your dog is so itchy, most are relieved with a simple treatment plan. Schedule an appointment with your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
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- Dry Skin On Dogs: What Causes It And How To Treat It
- Is A Hormonal Imbalance Causing My Dog’s Itchy Skin?
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