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Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Skin Conditions

Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Skin Conditions

Constant itching, chewing, and licking are signs that your pup has a skin condition. Here are some of the reasons your dog might be itching so much, how to help them feel better, and when you need to bring them to your New Iberia vet for emergency care.

Dog Itching, Scratching & Irritability

It's inevitable, dogs will itch. However, conditions that cause your dog to feel itchy can lead to unrelenting scratching that can make your dog very unhappy. While these skin conditions can be annoying for your pet they aren't usually serious. That said, some conditions do require veterinary care and treatment to prevent them from becoming more serious.

    Why Is My Dog Scratching & What To Do

    Dogs may start to scratch, lick, or bite at their fur for many reasons but some of the more common causes of itchy skin include:

    Parasitic Bites
    • Bites from fleas and mites are one of the most common sources of itching in dogs but can also be one of the easiest to treat. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to quickly clear up your dog's parasite issue. You can also give your dog preventive medication to avoid parasites such as fleas, mites, or ticks in the first place.
    Environmental Dermatitis
    • This common skin irritation in dogs 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 vet may recommend a cortisone cream or other alternative depending on the severity of your dog's skin condition.
    Nutritional Dermatitis
    • This tends to be a relatively uncommon issue for 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 vomiting or diarrhea. If your dog is displaying either type of symptom, it's best to make an appointment with your veterinarian.
    Skin Allergies
    • A number of dog breeds are prone to allergies, making this 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 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 be seen 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 vet what they think is best for your pet's needs.

    Emergency Cases

    If your dog's excessive itching lasts for longer than 48 hours, you should schedule an appointment with your vet so they can diagnose any issues that might be causing this annoying skin condition. Lengthy amounts of itching, scratching, or biting can result in self-inflicted injures that can develop into serious infections 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.

    If your dog is abnormally itchy, and it's disrupting both of your lives, contact us today. Our knowledgeable staff at All Creatures Veterinary Hospital can help get them back to feeling comfortable in no time!

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