Dog itching? What could be causing it and what do I do?
Dogs itch. The question is why? The answer depends upon what kind of itching your dog is doing. If your dog itches and does not concentrate the itching on one area and shows no signs of a more serious problem, it is likely that your dog’s diet needs improving. Supplementing your dogs diet with Omega Fatty Acid supplements and bathing your dog with a gentle shampoo that contains oatmeal can help relieve your dog’s discomfort. Your dog should also be checked for fleas and ticks as they can also cause general itchiness in pets.
Allergies may cause persistent itching in some dogs. In this type of itching your dog may itch in certain spots, but not show any apparent skin problems. If this is the cause of your pets itching, switching your pets food or avoiding allergens with in the home may help. Using a vet formulated itch relief spray, can temporarily alleviate some of the irritation your dog feels.
Chronic itching in localized areas can indicated hot spots. This condition is painful and is characterized by hair loss in the area around the hot spot, swelling, oozing, smelly pus, and pain. Once your dog shows this condition, he/she needs to be seen directly by your vet to be treated. Treatment for hot spots includes, shaving the area around the wound, cleaning the area with a water based antiseptic, and antibiotics. Hot spots spread quickly and cause your dog extreme pain, so it is vital that you consult your vet quickly.
Two other causes of chronic itching are mange and fungal infections. Mange is a condition characterized by intense itching around the ears, elbows and face and skin that starts out crusty then becomes dark and thick. Mange is caused by mites and needs to be confirmed through skin scrapings by your vet. Fungal infections are rare, but they too need to be confirmed and treated by your vet.
A dog who is experiencing chronic itching is not feeling well over all. Supplementing your dogs diet with products like omega fatty acids and fish oil along with proper grooming can help with most causes of dog itching, but it is important that you visit your veterinarian to determine the cause and solution to your dog’s itching.