Learn about the main causes and how to get rid of it
Author: Luana A. Battaglia, Andrea Sinewe and Stefanie Stobbe | Read time: 3 min
How many times during the day do we feel the need to scratch ourselves and we do it without even realizing it? Sometimes it’s the eyes that itch, or some another part of the face… This is normal and it happens with dogs too. However, there is a real problem when the itching becomes so frequent that it interrupts the animal’s normal needs – such as eating, drinking, playing or sleeping – or so intense that it causes other symptoms such as redness or wounds. Some dogs can also constantly
lick the affected body area or rub their head and body on the carpet or against objects in an attempt to relieve their discomfort.
Without a doubt, itching is distressing. We at Tierarztpraxis Bärenwiese are ready to help you find out why your dog is scratching, and we are looking forward to improve its health!
The most common reasons that make your dog itchy are:
- skin parasites: fleas and mites
- skin infections: bacteria or ringworms (fungus)
- allergies: insect bites, food allergy or allergens in the environment such as pollen, mold or dust
Along with itching, other symptoms may appear. So be aware if you also notice the following signs:
- excessive fur loss or reduced fur in a specific body area
- redness of the skin
- small lumps or sores (with or without secretion)
- very oily or very dry skin (with or without dandruff)
Diagnosis and Treatment
People usually think that itching is psychological but this is very rare in dogs. To a very large extent, its origin can be found and the symptoms can be relieved.
Occasionally, the diagnosis can be very simple and intuitive such as an allergic reaction occurring after a bee sting. Yet, many are challenging such as food allergies, in which a protein used in the diet has to be indirectly identified. In some cases, it is then necessary to do various tests to rule out other possibilities to reach a final diagnosis.
Since the reasons are so diverse, the type and time of treatment also vary greatly depending on the cause. For instance, if a wound is contaminated by bacteria, the animal may need a special shampoo, and/or a cream, or an anti-itching medication. Antibiotics are often not necessary and should be used carefully.
Allergen-specific immunotherapy (desensitization) can also be an option for treating certain environmental allergies. It is like a “vaccine against the dog’s own allergy”. This treatment allows the immune system to get used to the substance (“allergen”) which is causing the allergy. It can relieve symptoms and reduce your dog’s visits to the veterinarian.
It is important that the owner follows all the instructions given by the vet to get the best possible result for their pet. Unfortunately, sometimes the improvement can be only partial or take a long time to be achieved.
No matter if it is a small or a big itchiness, a small or a big problem, at Tierarztpraxis Bärenwiese you will find a great team to bring comfort to your furry friend!
Do you need more help? Contact us and schedule an appointment!