If your dog is suffering from some form of skin condition then they may be excessively Itching, scratching, and licking. Here, our Tracy vets discuss various skin problems that could affect your dog as well as how to treat symptoms such as itching and scratching.
Why is My Dog Excessively Itching & Scratching?
Most dogs will inevitably encounter itching at some point. Itchy skin conditions can lead to relentless scratching and make your dog miserable. While these skin problems in dogs may not be incredibly serious, they should be treated as soon as possible. Some of these conditions do need veterinary care and will require treatment to prevent them from becoming more severe.
What Are Some of the Causes of Skin Conditions in Dogs?
There are countless reasons why your dog may start to scratch, lick or bite at their fur but some of the more common causes of itchy skin include:
- Bites from fleas and mites are one of the most common sources of itching and skin problems in dogs, and can be one of the easiest to treat. Your Tracy veterinarian can prescribe medication to quickly resolve your dog's parasite issue. You can also proactively give your dog medication to avoid parasites such as fleas, mites, or ticks in the first place.
- Skin problems in dogs due to environmental dermatitis develops due to contact with certain substances, such as grass, dirt, and plants. Symptoms include itchy/dry or cracked skin, rashes, blisters, redness, or swelling. Antihistamines or oatmeal baths are effective ways to alleviate this condition. Your Tracy vet may recommend a cortisone cream or other alternative depending on the severity of your dog's skin condition.
- Nutritional Dermatitis tends to be a relatively uncommon cause of skin problems in dogs, however, it is possible for your pooch to have an allergic reaction to something in their food. Typically, nutritional dermatitis results in skin irritations and scratching, but digestive issues can also occur, such as diarrhea or vomiting. If your pup is displaying either type of symptom, it's best to make an appointment with your primary care vet.
- A number of dog breeds are prone to allergies, making skin problems in dogs due to allergies a somewhat common reason to visit the vet. Allergens that cause itchy skin can be found in pollen, dander, plants or insects, among other things. Symptoms that your dog may experience aside from itching include excessive grooming or licking, watery eyes and sneezing, rashes, and inflamed skin. Your Tracy vet may be able to diagnose what is causing the allergy and recommend treatment, however more severe cases may require specialist care.
- Hives are another type of allergic reaction that can cause skin problems in dogs. Hives can be a reaction to many things, from medications to bites and more. Symptoms 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 for dogs often helps to alleviate this condition. A dog-specific hydrating leave-in conditioner may also help. Ask your Tracy vet what they recommend for your pet.
Emergency Cases of Itching, Scratching & Skin Problems in Dogs
If your dog's skin problem persists for more than 48 hours, you should make an appointment so your Tracy vet can diagnose the issue and treat your pup's annoying skin condition. Prolonged itching can cause excessive scratching and biting at the source which can result in self-inflicted injuries and in some cases infections. This can become serious if left unchecked.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.