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Dog Scratching? What to do About Your Dog's Skin Problem

Is an uncomfortable skin condition causing your dog to itch and scratch relentlessly? Below, our Greensboro vets share some of the possible reasons why your dog may be scratching.


Why is my dog itching and scratching?

Most dogs will inevitably encounter itching at some point. In most cases, it will be annoying for your pet but not serious. However, some conditions do need to be seen by a vet and will require treatment to prevent them from becoming worse.

    Causes, Symptoms & Treatment of Dog Skin Problems

    There are several reasons your dog may start to scratch, lick or bite at their fur. Some of the more common ones include:

    Parasitic Bites

    Bites from fleas and mites are one of the most common sources of itching in dogs, and one of the easiest to take care of. Your veterinarian will be able to prescribe medication to resolve your dog's parasite issue. You can also proactively give your dog medication to avoid fleas, mites, or ticks in the first place.

    Environmental Dermatitis

    This is an uncomfortable skin irritation that 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. Suggested ways to alleviate this condition include antihistamines or oatmeal baths. Your vet may recommend a cortisone cream or other alternative depending on the severity.

    Nutritional Dermatitis

    Food allergies in dogs aren't very common, however, it is possible that your pooch could be having an allergic reaction to something in their food. Typically, nutritional dermatitis results in skin irritations and scratching, but digestive issues may happen as well, such as diarrhea or vomiting. If your dog is displaying either type of symptom, it's best to make an dermatology appointment with your vet.

    Skin Allergies

    Some dog breeds are prone to developing allergies, making this a somewhat common reason to visit the vet. Allergens that cause itching can be found in pollen, dander, plants or insects, among other things.

    Some of the symptoms aside from itching include excessive grooming or licking, watery eyes and sneezing, rashes, and inflamed skin. Your vet may be able to diagnose what is causing the allergy and will recommend treatment as well as ways to prevent future allergic reactions.

    Hives

    Another type of allergic reaction is hives. Hives can be a reaction to many things, from bites or medications. Symptoms show as a raised bump that would cause the dog's fur to stick out.

    Occasionally, hives will present with swelling near the eyes. Using a hypoallergenic shampoo for dogs will usually alleviate the condition. A hydrating leave-in conditioner may also help. Ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.

    Emergency Cases

    If your dog's itching persists for more than a few days, you should make an appointment so your vet can diagnose the issue and treat it. Prolonged itchiness can lead to excessive scratching and biting at the location which can create a self-inflicted injury. 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.

    If your pooch is itching and scratching contact our Greensboro vets right away to book an examination for your pup. Our vets can offer effective treatments to help relieve your dog's uncomfortable skin problem.

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