Itching & Irritability in Dogs
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 for Itchy Skin
There are various reasons why your dog might start scratching or biting at their fur. Some of the most common ones are listed below:
Bites from fleas and mites are one of the most common sources of itching in dogs, and one of the easiest to treat. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to resolve the parasite issue. We believe that prevention is typically better than the cure. Speak to your vet about flea, tick and mite prevention products for your canine companion.
This is a skin irritation that develops due to contact with certain substances, such as grass, dirt, and plants. Environmental dermatitis can lead to itchy/dry or cracked skin, rashes, blisters, redness, or swelling.
To help alleviate this condition your vet may prescribe antihistamines, cortisone cream or other alternatives depending on the severity. Oatmeal baths can also be an effective and inexpensive way to relieve your dog's itchy skin.
Although it's rare, it is possible for dogs to have 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 appointment with your vet.
Some dogs are prone to 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.
Symptoms of this type of allergy, 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.
Another type of allergic reaction seen in dogs is hives. Hives can be a reaction to many things, from bites to medications. Symptoms appear as raised bumps that cause the dog's fur to stick out.
In some cases, 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.
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.