Scratching and licking is a fairly normal habit of most dogs. However, some dogs are constantly biting, chewing, licking, and scratching themselves to the point that it's unnatural. Most dog owners will complain that the dog keeps them up all night because it's so itchy. Having itchy skin is very uncomfortable for a dog. Just imagine not being able to sleep because you couldn't stop scratching yourself.
Diagnosing and treating skin conditions is not an easy task in many cases. There are countless reasons why a dogs have itchy skin including external parasites and allergies. Some dogs even lick themselves due to obsessive behaviors. Here are just a few of the common reasons why dogs have itchy skin.
If you believe that your dog is excessively itchy, schedule an appointment to see your veterinarian right away! They can identify the problem and offer a treatment plan that's right for your dog. The ASPCA's guide for finding a good veterinarian can help you make an informed decision about choosing a veterinarian that you feel comfortable with.
Fleas http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3404894430/
Fleas are one of the most common reasons why dogs have itchy skin. It's important to provide your dog with a safe and effective flea prevention as recommended by your veterinarian. Some dogs are even allergic to fleas, which can cause them to be even more itchy.
Many dogs have allergies. Just like people, a dog can be allergic to all kinds of things. They can be allergic to fleas, foods, grass, pollens, and even human dander. Allergies in dogs usually manifest in the form of itchy skin.
Demodex is a small mite that lives on a dog's skin. Sometimes, the mites over-populate a dog's skin causing them to be extremely itchy and have fur loss. Demodectic mange is most common in dogs with a weakened immune system, like puppies or older dogs with immune system disorders.
Scabies is also known as sarcoptic mange. This condition is also caused by a mite. Dogs with scabies will be severely itchy and may even inflict damage to their own skin. Fur loss and scabs are symptoms of scabies. Scabies is common in puppies or outdoor dogs like strays.
Yeast Infection http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4087002889/
Yeast is an organism that can be found on a dog's skin, including inside their ears. A dog's ears are the perfect environment for yeast to thrive. Ear infections caused by yeast are very common problems for many dogs. Yeast can also live on the surface of a dog's skin, but typically infect areas like toes, "armpits", and the inguinal region.
Hot spots are a common name for moist dermatitis. They are caused by cuts or abrasions on the skin that become irritated and infected. A dog may lick the area causing it to worsen. Soon, the hot spot can get out of hand. These are very painful and itchy for dogs.
Lick granulomas occur when a dog repeatedly licks their paws. Many times, this behavior is obsessive or compulsive. Lick granulomas can be very difficult to treat.