Itching in Dogs — Common Causes, Symptoms and Remedie
Are you worried about your furry baby scratching and licking constantly? Just like humans, your dog also develops itchiness for a number of reasons. While some of them may require you to plan a vet trip, others can be treated at home by following simple remedies. Scratching occasionally may be normal for dogs but if itching constantly, could indicate an underlying medical condition.
According to a 2019 Nationwide Survey on pet insurance data results, Allergic Dermatitis was the one of the most common causes of itching in dogs. It took the data of all pet owners from 2012 t0 2019 who took their dogs to the vet with this condition.
What causes itchy skin in Dogs?
- Food – Constant itching in dogs could be a sign of food allergy. It indicates that their diet needs a fix. Some of the common dog food ingredients that can cause allergic reactions to some dogs are beef, chicken, and dairy. Usually termed as Dog food allergies, these can cause itchy skin, especially on the feet, face, armpits, or belly. Consult your vet for the best course of action if you suspect your pet with a food allergy.
- Fleas – Much like mosquito bites cause itchiness in humans, flea bites often cause allergic itch in dogs. They are common and can be mostly found under their hind legs, rear area and tail base. These bites cannot be spotted but can be found all around their body causing scratches.
- Environmental – In some dogs, environmental triggers play a role in causing allergic reactions. These are dust mites, pollen or mold spores. Either seasonal or they can cause itchiness all round the year. If you find them licking or losing their hair in a certain part of the skin, it could well be an environmental allergen.
- Skin infections – Bacterial and yeast infections can also cause itchiness in dogs. Their skin turns red and often greasy with a distinct odour. It can be extremely uncomfortable for dogs. Bacterial infections can be found anywhere in the skin. They are often the result of irritated or damaged skin from constant scratching. Yeast typically affects areas of folded skin, like ears, neck, under the tail, and around or in between your dog’s toes.
What are the symptoms?
- Excessive Licking
- Skin Infection
- Swelling, inflammation and redness
- Chewing or biting
- Rolling on the ground
- Rubbing against surfaces
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Signs of pain and discomfort
- Injury at the site of the itch
How can they be treated?
In most cases over-the-counter topical ointments do the trick and dogs recover. However, sometimes home remedies may not be enough to treat itchiness in dogs. Topical ointments mostly provide temporary relief. Getting to the root of the problem to reduce itching or remove the source of itchiness needs long-term treatment.
Some dogs are put on an Elizabeth collar to prevent them from chewing or scratching at the site of irritation. Flea infestations can be resolved with medicated shampoos, advised by your vet. Bacterial and yeast infections are usually treated with antibiotics. Seasonal allergies are treated with antihistamines and certain diet changes. Whatever may the cause of itchy skin be, it is a good idea to consult your vet for proper medication to treat itchiness in dogs before getting them started on any line of treatment.