Itching and scratching habits vary greatly from one dog to the other. You know your dog best so you’re in a better position to tell if he has been itching, licking his skin or scratching himself more than usual lately. By more than usual here we mean itching scratching and licking a single area excessively to the extent that he’s losing patches of hair. If this is the case with your pet, then don’t ignore the problem.
Take a closer look at him to figure out where the problem is coming from. If you’re unable to know the cause, it’s advisable to rush him to the veterinarian so that he can be diagnosed properly and treated as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Dog Itching
There are several factors that are responsible for excessive itching in dogs. Let’s look at some of the common causes below:
Allergies – Your dog can be allergic to different environmental, food and seasonal factors.
Parasites – parasites such as mites and fleas can cause dogs to have severe allergies leading to excessive itching.
Hormonal changes or excessive stress can also cause dogs to itch and scratch themselves excessively.
Skin infections – fungal or bacterial infections can also cause itching in dogs.
Other possible causes include ringworms, sensitivity to products used for grooming, hot spots, mange, atopy, as well as contact dermatitis.
If your dog’s itching is caused by parasites such as fleas, you can easily spot them through the white towel test and get rid of them naturally. However, a majority of itching causes aren’t that obvious, hence it’s not easy to find the root cause of the problem by yourself.
There are several possible irritants within your home (yard, grooming products, food etc.) that can make your dog itch, thus making diagnosis at home almost impossible. To make matters even worse, most skin issues affecting our pets have similar symptoms, so finding the right diagnosis by yourself is challenging.
Take Your Dog To The Vet Immediately For Proper Diagnosis
Because of that, you best bet is to take your dog to a professional vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. The problem could be as simple as allergy to fleas or sensitivity to that new grooming product you bought recently, or it could be more complicated than you thought. So, the earlier you visit the vet, the better so that any problem can be detected early and treated before it gets more serious and costly.
He or she will likely conduct several tests including intradermal skin tests (also called allergy tests), skin biopsies, blood tests, skin scrapings, bacterial cultures as well as fungal cultures to take out the guess work and find out the exact cause of your dog’s itching.
Overall, considering that your canine friend’s itching can be caused by anything from fleas to skin infections to allergies, it’s in your best interest to take him to the vet immediately. It’s only after careful and thorough examination that your vet will be able to find out the root cause of the problem and provide the best treatment plan for him.