If you've noticed your dog excessively scratching, itching or licking themselves, they could be suffering from dermatitis. Our Statesboro vets talk about potential causes of your dog's skin problems and how you can help treat them.
Skin Conditions That Cause Itching & Irritability
Most dogs will inevitably encounter itching at some point. Usually, it will be mildly to moderately annoying for your pet, but rarely is anything 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
There are several reasons your dog may start to scratch, lick or bite at their fur. Some of the more common ones include:
Bites from fleas and mites are one of the most common sources of itching in dogs, and one of the easiest to treat. Your vet can prescribe medication to resolve the parasite issue. You can also proactively give your dog medication to avoid fleas, mites, or ticks in the first place.
This is a 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.
Although not commonly seen in dogs, it is possible that they may have an allergic reaction to an ingredient 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 veterinarian.
Allergic Skin Reaction
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.
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.
Breaking out in hives can be an indication of many things, such as allergic reactions to bites or medications. Symptoms manifest as a raised bump that cause the dog's fur to stick out.
Occasionally, hives will present with swelling near the eyes. Shampooing your pup with a hypoallergenic, dog-safe shampoo is usually helpful for alleviating their symptoms, as may a hydrating leave-in conditioner. Ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.
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 itching can cause excessive scratching and biting at the itch which can create a self-inflicted injury. This can become serious if left undiagnosed, so it's important to be vigilant and ensure your pet is getting the
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.