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September 2016: Causes of Itchy Skin In Dogs and How You Can Help

Does your dog itch, bite and scratch itself regularly? Every pup has got to scratch some time, and that’s completely normal. Dogs itch for many different reasons, and sometimes, for no reason at all. As a pet owner, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s habits, as compulsive licking, scratching, biting and chewing can become a symptom of an underlying pathology. Read on and understand why exactly dogs itch, plus learn how to stop the unnecessary  itching for good.

Allergies in dogs are very common, and a big contributor to why they itch.  Allergies are generally triggered when your pet comes in contact with grass, dust, pollen or even household items such as wool, other fabrics, plastics and cleaning products. The best way to determine if you pet is allergic to a specific item or thing, is to simply remove the items, or your pet from the area and see if this makes a difference. 

Once you have identified the source of the problem, the next step is to treat, control and maintain. Relieve your dog’s itching with a Medicated Shampoo such as Aloveen Oatmeal Shampoo, control the itching with a supplement that contains essential omega oils and Vitamin E, Caine Omegaderm or PAW’s Coat, Skin & Nail would be suitable, and ensure you are feeding them a well-balanced diet. 

Fleas, ear mites and worms are also among the most common causes for your dog to compulsively lick, chew or scratch. Fleas can often go unseen until there is a large infestation, ear mites are microscopic and worms reside inside of your pet, which overall makes it difficult to identify the source of the problem. So try not to assume your dog isn’t suffering from parasites just because you can’t see them. To make things easier, learn the symptoms/signs of the different parasites, and how to effectively treat and banish them for good.

Fleas

Symptoms/Signs:

  • Excessive itching, scratching or biting

  • Generalized hair loss

  • Reddened skin

  • Scabs

  • Hot spots

  • Flea dirt (looks like black pepper or dirt)

  • Visible adult fleas 

Treatment:

  • Topical/spot-on: Frontline Plus (also treats ticks), K9 Advantix (also treats ticks), Revolution (also treats ticks, heartworm and other parasites) or Advantage Flea.

  • Oral: NexGard (treats and protects from fleas and ticks for 1 month) or Bravecto (treats and protects from fleas and ticks for 3 months).

  • Collar: Seresto (treats and protects from fleas and ticks for 8 and 4 months respectively).

Ear Mites

Symptoms/Signs:

  • Scratching around the head and ear area

  • Head shaking

  • Black or brown waxy secretion inside the ear

  • Strong odor

  • Red or inflamed ears

Treatment:

Worms

Symptoms/Signs:

  • Itching around the rectal area

  • Scooting

  • Visible worms in the faeces

  • Decreased appetite

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Lethargic

Treatment:

For optimal protection from external and internal parasites in your pet, treat on a monthly basis, or as directed by the medication packaging.

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