Does your dog keep itching? Do you notice her rubbing her face and body on the floor or furniture, only to stop and scratch her itchy skin with her claws instead? If you have an overly itchy dog, there are many problems that can contribute to this problem. Whatever the cause might be, it’s important to figure that out and help your dog get the treatment she needs to stop itching and feel better fast.
In this article, we’ll explain some of the most common reasons why your dog keeps itching. You’ll be able to look through this information and figure out which might be the most applicable to your dog’s situation. Don’t forget to speak to your vet about these concerns and bring up what you think the problem might be as well.
Fleas and Mites Can Make Your Dog Keep Itching
Fleas and mites are some of the most common causes of itchy dogs. Most of the time, if your dog seems to be scratching excessively, it’s because she has fleas.
She may also have mites, which are similar parasites but aren’t the same thing as fleas. Mites are more likely to infest a dog’s ears or nose than the skin, but any part of the dog can be afflicted by an infestation of mites. You can usually see mites if you look closely; they resemble collections of very small freckles but can sometimes be seen moving around.
Fleas are much more visible than mites, especially when you look closely at your dog’s skin. You may need to part the fur to get a good look. You’ll likely notice small black fleas crawling around or may see them hopping off of your dog as well. You might also see flea dirt, which is flea droppings left behind in your dog’s fur.
Dogs can be treated for both fleas and mites with antiparasitic medication. Regular monthly flea treatments can prevent both of these problems from occurring in most situations. Your vet will let you know which options are best for your dog.
Dogs Keep Itching Due to Bacterial and Fungal Skin Infections
Dogs who keep itching but don’t have fleas or mites are more likely to have a skin infection. These infections may be bacterial or might be fungal. Yeast infections may also be a culprit for some itching in dogs.
These types of skin infections have a wide variety of causes and other related symptoms, but they all share itching in common. They are also somewhat difficult to treat depending on the cause, and they can be tricky to get rid of because your dog will be prone to licking and chewing while she heals.
Dogs who are being treated for bacterial or fungal skin infections may be given a round of antibiotics by the vet or your vet will recommend a topical therapy method, such as using certain shampoos, mousse or creams. They may also have to wear a cone collar in some instances. This collar will help prevent the dog from chewing or licking the affected skin and causing the infection to worsen or spread. The collar will likely only need to be worn for a few days, since the antibiotics will help stop the spread of the infection after your dog takes them for a while.
However, your vet will give you all the information you need regarding your dog’s infection treatment.
Contact Allergies Can Cause Your Dog to Keep Itching
Some dogs may be allergic to pollen, dust, dander from other types of pets, and other contaminants they may come into contact with. They may be exposed to these substances when they go outside in the yard, when they take walks, or even simply by living in the family household.
Some dogs’ allergies are mild but still cause itching, while others are severe and cause dogs to scratch almost uncontrollably. It’s important to narrow down the possibilities and find the underlying cause of your dog’s allergy if you think this may be what she’s dealing with.
If you think your dog is suffering from contact allergies, be sure to talk to your vet about this potential. Your vet will assess your dog’s history and ask you for many details. Your dog may require some tests, but it can be difficult to determine the cause of a dog’s contact allergies without plenty of observation and input from the owner, so be prepared to help as much as possible.
If your dog has contact allergies, she may need an ointment to treat them, or she may need to take allergy medication, depending on the situation and your vet’s recommendations for her.
Food Allergies Can Make a Dog Keep Itching
Finally, some food allergies can cause skin irritation in dogs. Dogs may be more prone to developing skin rashes, infections, and hives when they have an allergy to an ingredient in their food. Your vet will be able to diagnose your dog’s itching if it is a food allergy.
From there, you should be ready to change your dog’s food and potentially try several options before you figure out what she’s allergic to and which type of food is best for her. Putting your dog on a high-quality food without the ingredient she’s allergic to will resolve this problem with no medication.
However, it’s important to note that food allergies in dogs are very rare, which is why it’s important to see a vet so they can get to the true root of why your dog keeps itching.
Get Help if Your Dog Keeps Itching
The next time you see your dog itching and scratching, use the information outlined above to help you narrow down what the possible problems are. Remember, though, that you don’t have to do this alone; you can and should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice excessive scratching. This way, the vet can work with you to help figure out the underlying cause of the itching and choose the right course of treatment for your dog.
Although some pet owners feel like scratching is a normal part of dog ownership, remember that it shouldn’t be excessive. Everyone—and every dog—is itchy sometimes, but when your dog scratches repeatedly or frequently throughout the day, this is a sign that she needs some treatment. You and your vet are sure to find the source of the problem and figure out the best way to take care of your dog together.
At OrlandoVets, we work to find the reason why your dog keeps itching. Whether your pet needs treatment for dog allergies or treatment for a different cause, our veterinarians will work with you on developing the best possible way to help your dog’s excessive itching.
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We are a group of veterinary hospitals located in the greater Orlando area. Our purpose is to enrich the quality of lives of pets and their families through personalized partnerships with their veterinarian.