An occasional scratch in a dog is considered to be perfectly normal but excessive episodes of itching, scratching and biting can tell you there is something wrong with your dog’s health. Even though most of the times the reason for the itching episodes are diseases related to the dog’s skin, rarely much more serious internal disorders causing this can be observed.
There isn’t a universal sign that can address you to the root of the problem, so careful and detailed examination of the dog performed by a vet is the most effective way of helping your pooch. Owners can help the veterinarians by telling them whether the itching is localized (specific area) or generalized and whether it happens throughout the whole year or seasonally.
Many times the itching is accompanied by hair loss, odor, and discharge from different parts of the dog’s body.
Why is My Dog so Itchy? Causes of Itchiness in Dogs
The list of causative agents or primal disorders for itchiness in dogs includes:
- pathogenic bacteria
- yeast, skin parasites
- flea and lice infestations
- internal parasites and worms
- inflammation of the ear canal
- anal gland disorders
- food allergy
- environmental allergens
- hormonal diseases
- and metabolic disorders.
Examining Common Itchy Areas on Dogs
A good vet will always make an examination of both ear canals and the anal glands whenever there is an itchy dog in his/her clinic.
Dog Itchy Ear Canals
An acute and chronic case of ear canal inflammation makes the dog excessively scratch the ear and the area around the ear. The nails cause defects on the surface of the dog’s itchy skin that can easily get infected and the process spreads outside the ears. Itchy ar canals can undergo bacterial, parasitic and fungal pathological process. Other causes of inflammation are foreign bodies, tumors, and allergy. These dogs are exceptionally sensitive when you touch their ears and can react quite painfully.
Clean your dogs ears with an anti inflammatory to help ease itchy ear symptoms.
It’s widely accepted that every dog needs to have its anal glands expressed at least once yearly, but this doesn’t exclude the possibility of some complications such as acute inflammations of the gland, abscesses, and fistulas. Severe disruptions result in excessive biting and scratching of the area around the dog’s anus, including the hind limbs.
Supplements can also help to support health anal glands.
Internal and External Parasites
Checking your dog for fleas isn’t as complicated and scary as it looks. Just spread the hair at different parts of the body and look for moving black insects the size of a rice grain.
Checking for Fleas
To check for fleas, what you can also do is to shake and trim some of that fur onto a piece of white paper. Put a few drops of water on top of the paper and squeeze with another piece of white paper. If you observe brown to black lines on the paper your dog probably has fleas.
If fleas are the case, research and apply the best flea medicine.
Checking for Parasites and Worms
It’s not so easy to check the dog for internal parasites or worms. The only way an owner can be sure his dog has worms is when they are physically present in the feces in the form of short or long white stripes.
A veterinarian can observe parasite eggs when examining feces samples and this is the most trustworthy method. Both fleas and worms can cause itching in your dog so make sure you regularly deworm them and use some type of insect repellents.
Itchy Dog Home Remedies
You can help your dog alleviate the intense scratching two ways: diet supplementation and topical application of itchy dog remedies.
Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy – Vitamin Supplements
The most beneficial supplements include:
- vitamin e
- omega 3 fatty acids
- low-fat yogurt
- and coconut oil.
Also check out these dog itch remedies.
Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy – Topical Treatments
Topical treatment starts with regular brushing and frequents bathing with pH neutral dog shampoo. This will generally keep your dog’s coat in great condition and the itchy skin will be smooth and moisturized.
In cases of inflammation chamomile tea soaks, ground oatmeal, primrose tea, eucalyptus and natural skin tonic can help. Research different dog shampoo for itchy skin/dog conditioners and groom your dog regularly to help with itching.
Some dogs may experience itching due to food allergies. Consult with your vet about an allergy test. There are also mobile vets (ex. Baltimore area mobile veterinarian) that provide this service. In the case of allergies, you may also give your dog Benadryl for temporary relief.
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