12 Reasons Your Dog Scratches Everytime
Thursday, October 13, 2016 3:40 PM
Here are a dozen causes of itching in dogs.
- Food allergies. Dogs can have food allergies just like people, but their reactions may be different, including chewing, scratching or rubbing, which cause secondary infections. It can be hard to narrow down a food allergy as the culprit of excessive scratching, unless you already have reason to suspect that your dog is sensitive to certain foodstuffs. There is a general consensus that dog allergies to food and ingredients such as wheat, beef and soya are responsible for a significant number of cases of skin allergies in dogs, but true skin allergies directly caused by food are actually quite uncommon.
- Bacterial infection. Common strains of bacteria include Staphylococcus pseudintermedius , Staphylococcus canis and others. Common signs include moist, sticky, inflamed skin lesions and hair loss.
- Flea allergy dermatitis. While your home may be free of fleas, your dog can still pick up fleas outside the home.
- Tick allergies.
- Yeast skin infection. Yeast are a normal inhabitant of the skin and ears�in low numbers. But sometimes they can overgrow and cause infection, resulting in itching, red or flaky skin or a pungent odor.
- A dirty coat. If your dog�s coat is dirty, matted or full of dead skin, this can lead to itching and discomfort in and of itself, as well as providing a much more welcoming environment for parasites and other nasties.
- Atopy. This is a steroid-responsive itch that isn�t caused by anything with legs, anything that can be grown in a laboratory or anything dogs eat. Atopic dermatitis can be triggered by direct contact with molds, dust or pollen, but the condition is really caused by an inappropriate immune reaction rather than by the allergens themselves. Dogs afflicted with atopic dermatitis periodically lick and chew at their paws and scratch their face, eyelids and ears. Atopy is more common in certain breeds, with small breed dogs such as West Highland Terriers being most commonly affected � although all breeds can suffer from this kind of allergy.
- Parasitic passengers.
- Mites. They burrow under the top level of the skin, and can lead to extreme itchiness and irritation in your dog.
- Other microscopic nasties. They thrive on the skin of the dog, and will soon make themselves at home, causing intense discomfort and irritation to your dog along the way.
- Other allergies
Ensure that your dog is groomed regularly and bathed if necessary, particularly in the case of longhaired breeds and elderly dogs that will be less able to keep themselves clean.
Your vet can prescribe preparations and medications to eradicate mites and other parasites in your dog.
Treatments vary, but most involve avoiding the allergens, treating the condition with medications that have fewer side effects than steroids, or desensitizing your dog by injecting small quantities of allergens to adjust the immune system responses.
Changes in diet or choosing a special hypo-allergenic complete food can often address itching caused by food allergies.