ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Pets and Animals»
  • Dogs & Dog Breeds

Common causes of your dog's itching and scratching

Updated on March 15, 2008

Diagnosis can prove challenging for this frustrating problem

 

Your dog started scratching recently. You think it may be flea season again so you have her scheduled to see the vet to put her back on a monthly topical flea treatment.

Don't be surprised though if itching and scratching symptoms may leave your vet scratching his head as well.

When a pet presents itself with a scratching history, diagnostics may be challenging for even the most experienced vet. There may be various reasons why a dog starts the whole scratching ordeal and finding the right culprit may require extensive testing and extensive expenses for the owner.

Fleas may be the most obvious cause and many dogs suffer from a form of flea dermatitis allergy. This allergy is a reaction to the flea's saliva and this itching is more than a reaction to feeling the little critters crawl and bite their skin. You may notice that your dog has a lot of crusty bumps and hair loss due to the intensive itching. These bumps may upgrade into an annoying skin infection. A good flea product should get rid of the fleas and a good flea spray with a growth inhibitor should be used to treat the environment.

Food allergies are a major culprit for itching. Your dog may be allergic to just about anything found in the food you are feeding. Grains seem to be playing a major role. Additives, meats, dyes, preservatives are other triggering factors.

It may be challenging figuring out the real ingredient causing problems. The vet may have the dog put on a trial diet or prescribe an allergen free special food. Many have obtained great results by converting their dogs into a raw meat diet. If the dog has dry, flaky and itchy skin oatmeal baths have been hepful in soothing the irritated skin.

The environment may be causing your dog's scratching. From your carpet cleaner to your yard chemicals just about anything your dog has contact with may be the cause. Known common causes are dust, grasses, pollen, dust mites and molds.

Diagnosis in this case may be more challenging than thought. The vet may prescribe an antihistamine such as Atarax or even give a steroid shot in most severe cases.

Dogs may suffer hot spots. These are areas where the skin is exposed to moisture deriving from rain, a puddle or a pond. This moisture is trapped in due to the dog's coat or the presence of hair mats. Bacteria will reproduce and the area will become easily infected. The dog may make the area progressively worse by biting it and licking.

Medications may be causing a skin allergic reaction. If your dog is on any medication read the label carefully and see if itching is listed as a side effect. If in doubt contact the vet that prescribed your dog's medications.

Allergies can be challenging and very bothersome, both for the owner watching its pet scratch and for the dog actually scratching. In some cases the real culprit may never be identified and therefore, supportive treatment is provided to give relief.

Knowing the possible allergy triggers may give some hints on identifying what is causing your dog to scratch and hopefully your insight may help your vet come to a diagnosis.

Soothing oatmeal for dry, itchy skin

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)