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Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Conditions

Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Conditions

Excessive scratching, licking and itching are all signs that your dog may have a skin condition called dermatitis. Discover what may be causing the skin problems your dog is experiencing and how you can help to treat them. 

Skin Conditions that Cause Itching & Irritability

Most of our pups will encounter abnormal itching at some point. In most cases, it will only be annoying for your pet, but not serious. However, some conditions need to be seen by a vet and will require treatment to help prevent their condition from becoming worse. 

    Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

    There are a number of reasons that your dog may begin the scratch, bite or lick at their fur excessively. Some of the more common ones include:

    Parasitic Bites

    Bites from mites and fleas are one of the most common sources of itching and scratching in dogs (and one of the easiest to treat). Your vet can prescribe medications to resolve their issue with parasites. You may also proactively give your dog medication to avoid fleas, ticks and mites from infecting your pet in the first place. 

    Environmental Dermatitis

    This is a skin irritation that develops due to contact with certain substances, such as grass, dirt, and plants. Symptoms include itchy/dry or cracked skin, rashes, blisters, redness, or swelling.

    Some ways of alleviating this condition includes antihistamines or oatmeal baths. Your vet may also recommend a cortisone cream or some other alternative depending on the severity of their condition.

    Nutritional Dermatitis

    This issue is relatively uncommon in dogs. However, it is possible that your dog may have an allergic reaction to something in their daily diet, Usually nutritional dermatitis causes skin irritation and scratching, but may also cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting. If your pup displays any of these symptoms, it is best to contact your Avon vet.

    Skin Allergies

    Some pups are prone the allergies, making this a common reason to visit your vet, Allergens that cause itching in your dog can include dander, pollen, insects or plants among other things. 

    Some of the symptoms aside from itching include excessive grooming or licking, watery eyes and sneezing, rashes, and inflamed skin. Your vet may be able to diagnose what is causing the allergy and will recommend treatment as well as ways to prevent future allergic reactions.


    Another type of allergic reaction is hives. Hives can be a reaction to many things, from bites or medications. Symptoms show as a raised bump that would cause the dog's fur to stick out.

    Occasionally, hives will present with swelling near the eyes. Using a hypoallergenic shampoo for dogs will usually alleviate the condition. A hydrating leave-in conditioner may also help. Ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.

    Emergency Cases

    If your dog's excessive scratching and itching persists for more than a few days, make an appointment with your Avon vet in order to diagnose and treat your pup's health issue. Prolonged and excessive itching and scratching may cause self-inflicted injuries. This can become serious if left unchecked. 

    To learn more about skin problems found in dogs, or to find out your pet's treatment options, contact our Animal General vets today to book an appointment.

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    Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of pets from across Farmington Valley. Get in touch today to request an appointment. 

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