Dog itching, medically referred to as pruritus is one of the common skin disorders affecting dogs. Every dog’s itching habit differs and when your dog itches more than usual, watch out as it may be a result of flea allergy dermatitis or other allergic skin diseases.
When your dog begins scratching, or licking his skin more than normal, scooting his butt across the floor all the time, or has he started to lick one area excessively, losing patches of fur, scabs, raw/bleeding skin, inflamed areas of skin, etc – then, it could be a pointer to some skin disorder which may lead to a skin infection called pyoderma.
Causes of Dog Itching
Itching in dogs has a number of common possible causes and some major causes include; environmental factors, food, and fleas.
- Although fleas can be spotted, not spotting them does not mean they aren’t present and a single bite from a flea can lead to severe itching. The most common places fleas can be found are the rear end, hind legs, and tail.
- Food is another cause of allergic itching in dogs. Some dogs are allergic to common dog food ingredients like dairy products, beef, and chicken. Food allergy can lead to itching around the armpit, belly, face, and paws.
- Environmental triggers like dust mites, mold spores, or even pollen can cause allergic itch seasonally or even all year round itching. Environmental allergies can lead to itching around the face, belly, and paws.
Other possible causes include; ringworm, mange, grooming products reactions, hormonal changes/stress, hot spots, etc.
Effects of Dog Itching
Dog itching can lead to;
- Severe discomfort
- Secondary health problems
- Skin damage
- Skin wounds and infection
- Hair loss
- Body odor
How can dog itching be stopped?
If you have noticed any sign of itching in your dog, try reaching out to the veterinarian as soon as possible. They are quite a number of possible irritants in your home, yard, and food so taking guesswork to know which of these is the cause of the itching could seem cheap but may not be effective. Moreso, some parasites (fleas, mites), ringworms, atopy, food allergies, and bacterial or fungal infections cannot be properly diagnosed at home.
Visiting a veterinarian will not only help in knowing what the exact cause of the itching is promptly but will also help you curb unnecessary spending and get your dog back in shape faster. Your vet will carry out fungal cultures, skin scrapings, intradermal skin tests (allergy tests), bloodwork, bacterial cultures, etc. to help narrow down the cause of the itching and develop/administer the correct treatment as well.
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