Itching, scratching, and licking are signs of dog skin problems. To help you figure out why your pooch is being tormented by itchy skin our Rock Hill vets share some of the most common skin problems seen in dogs, and what you can do to help your pup feel better.
Itching & Irritability
At some point in their lives most dogs will be tormented with itchiness. Itchy skin conditions can lead to persistent scratching and make your dog irritable and unhappy. Although many skin conditions in dogs are more irritating than serious, some itchy skin conditions do require veterinary care and will need treatment.
Dog Skin Problems - Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
There are countless reasons why your pooch may start to scratch, lick or bite at their fur but some of the more common causes of itchy skin are listed below:
Reaction to Parasitic BitesBites from fleas and mites are one of the most common causes of itchiness in dogs, and can be one of the easiest to treat. Medications are available from your vet that will quickly resolve your dog's parasite problem. Although, when it comes to fleas, mites, ticks and other parasites our vets believe that prevention is always better than treatment. Talk to your vet about the best parasite protection for your pup.
Environmental DermatitisEnvironmental dermatitis is a common skin irritation in dogs that develops due to contact with certain substances, such as grass, plants and dirt. If your dog is suffering from environmental dermatitis you may notice symptoms such as itchy/dry or cracked skin, rashes, blisters, redness, or swelling. Antihistamines or oatmeal baths are effective ways to alleviate this condition. In some cases, a cortisone cream or other alternative may be prescribed by your vet depending on the severity of your dog's skin condition.
Nutritional DermatitisWhile it tends to be uncommon, it is possible for your dog to have an allergic reaction to something in their food. Nutritional dermatitis most often results in skin irritations and scratching, however, digestive issues can also occur, such as diarrhea or vomiting. If your pup is displaying symptoms of this condition it's best to make an appointment with vet. An elimination diet may be required in order to narrow down the cause of your pups skin reaction.
AllergiesThere are a number of breeds that are prone to allergies, making this a relatively common reason to visit the vet. Allergens that cause itchy skin can be found in pollen, dander, plants or insects, among other things. Allergy symptoms that your dog may experience aside from itching include inflamed skin, rashes, excessive grooming or licking, watery eyes and sneezing. Your vet may be able to diagnose the cause of your dog's allergy and recommend treatment, however more severe cases may require specialist care.
HivesHives are another type of allergic reaction that can be seen in dogs. Hives can be a reaction to a number of things from medications to bites and more. Hives show as a raised bump that causes the dog's fur to stick out, or swelling near and around the eyes. Using a hypoallergenic shampoo specially formulated for dogs may help to alleviate this condition. A dog-specific leave-in conditioner may also help to soothe your pup's skin. Ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.
If your dog's itching persists for more than a couple of days you should make an appointment to have your dog's skin problem examined by your vet. Itching that persists for an extended period can cause excessive scratching leading to self-inflicted injuries and in some cases infections. Skin problems in dogs can become serious if left untreated.Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.