Is my dog extremely itchy, now what? Have you seen that your dog is itching a lot and are not certain what the cause is or how you can help them? As a pet parent, it may be hard to watch your pet suffer and not have the ability to communicate with him to discover what he’s feeling. Instead, you’re left to monitor his symptoms and do your very best to assist him in getting better. Canine itching is a typical occurrence that may stem from a variety of different causes. Determining the dog’s underlying reason is critical to finding the proper treatment to relieve the itching. Here’s a guide from Innovet Pet Products which outlines a few of the possible causes of an itching dog and what you can do to help your dog eliminate his uncomfortable symptoms.
How to Help Itchy Dog: Possible Causes of Dog Itchiness
If your dog itching a lot, it’s possible to feel helpless and uncertain of what might be the culprit. Dog itchiness may stem from a variety of different reasons, some of which easily can be addressed at home and other ones will need a vet and medical care to treat and diagnose. Here’s a guide on the possible causes of dogs that itch a lot.
My Dog Is Itching A Lot: Allergies
One common cause of itching a lot in dogs is allergies. As with humans, dogs may experience several different dog allergies which may make them feel uncomfortable and itchy until the allergen is removed. A few of the most typical dog allergen are environmental and food triggers, like poultry, grains, mold, or pollen. Like allergies for human beings, it may time and trial and error and time to narrow down what the possible allergen might be, yet in some instances, it might be easy to identify based upon the timing of when the itching started. If there isn’t an easy explanation that aligns with the timing, a trip to a vet will assist in narrowing down what the possible allergen might be and eliminate any additional possible causes which might be causing the itchiness.
Vets have a number of different ways at their disposal to discover what the possible allergen might be. If a food allergy is suspected, they might suggest putting your pet on a limited diet in order to narrow down the quantity of ingredients he’s eating to check if the itchiness abates, stays the same, or worsens. If they think that an environmental allergen might be the cause, they might want to move ahead with intradermal skin testing or a blood test to check what certain allergens your pet must avoid.
My dog scratches a lot, now what? Depending upon the severity of the itchiness the canine is experiencing, some vets might suggest a mixture of various treatment techniques. Some possible treatments for allergies in dogs include oral medicines, regular grooming, allergy injections, a limited diet, and much more. If you suspect your pup is experiencing allergies, it’s vital to talk to a vet before starting any treatments. They’ll have the ability to perform a physical exam, as well as perform any extra testing that’s needed to make a proper diagnosis.
Causes of Dog Allergies
There are a plethora of causes for canine allergies, too numerous to mention. But, below is a short overview of a few of the more typical allergens dogs usually suffer with. Oftentimes, allergy triggers have to be discovered using a process of elimination, and occasionally just good ‘ol intuition.
FAD (Flea Allergy Dermatitis)
FAD is a fairly common allergen in dogs and is triggered not by a bite from a flea itself, yet from a flea’s saliva. A pup’s sensitivity to a flea’s saliva causes an inflammatory reaction that does not line up with the actual quantity of fleas making their home on top of your dog.
Even just a single flea may create a miserably itchy canine for weeks, long after the offending flea is removed. Constant bathing may assist in controlling fleas though since they simply are not as attracted to a clean dog as to a dirty one.
Imagine the way lice is attracted to a human’s hair with lots of hair gunk and product, and it’s possible to get an idea of the way that fleas are with canines. Clean-haired dogs are not nearly as appealing.
Environmental Triggers & Atopy
Canines may be vulnerable to both outdoor and indoor allergens. Much like human beings, dogs may be sensitive to dust mites, mold spores, and even fabrics such as cotton and wool. Also, cleaning chemicals may irritate your dog. Chemicals and perfumes that might be in your carpet or rugs may become an irritant.
Outside allergens such as ragweed and additional grasses, and pollen, may affect your dog all year long or seasonally. If there’s something in your house that’s affecting your dog, you usually will notice symptoms persist until you have completely removed the offending allergen, which sometimes can require some diligent detective work.
When you can remove the allergen, you might have to visit the vet for the medicine to control the issue. Quality of life is a critical factor here, because you do not want the dog to be miserable on a daily basis.
Dogs even can be sensitive to things such as cigarette smoke; therefore, if you are a smoker, do not smoke in your house. You may consider taking up a different habit. Even as you smoke away from your house, the smell of smoke may cling to your clothing as you return home and still impact your dog.
Dander is a notorious allergen, and not just for humans. Feathers may irritate the dog, materials designed of plastic or rubber, and even roaches may cause allergies.
Vaccines and Medications
Prescription medications, as well as vaccines also can cause allergies, particularly if you over-vaccinate your dog. Try and stick to the minimum as it’ll come to inoculating your dog, as vaccines cause an immune response, and taxed immune systems are ripe environments for allergies to develop.
Steroids may be effective at controlling the symptoms of an allergic reaction, as steroids virtually shut the immune system down, yet they have additional extremely severe side-affects and aren’t suggested as a long-term plan.
Antibiotics also can be a culprit in developing allergies, as without a healthy gastrointestinal tract, it is hard to raise a healthy pup.
Insecticidal shampoos also can irritate a sensitive pup, and even flea meds made to prevent flea infestations may be a huge no-no.
Allergic reactions to specific foods and added food ingredients are fairly common.
Some food sources that might trigger allergies in your pet are:
- Chicken Eggs
Since an allergy may develop to pretty much anything, even foods which typically are considered ‘hypoallergenic’ still can become an allergen, particularly with over-exposure.
That is why it is vital to mix your dog food up on a routine basis and offer your dog a well-rounded diet. Repeatedly feeding them the same thing is simply an invitation for food allergies to set in.
My Dog Is So Itchy: Dry Skin
Dry skin is an additional possible cause of dog itchiness. Dry skin may stem from a variety of different factors, like colder weather which strips the skin of its natural oils or fatty acid deficiency. If you believe that your pet might be experiencing this problem, inspect the skin’s surface and check if there’s anything distinct or noticeable. Are there skin flakes? Does the skin look red or inflamed? Does itching tend to be focused on one particular body region or is it everywhere? It’ll permit you to better gauge the circumstances and have answers prepared for an appointment with the vet. A vet will have the ability to evaluate your pet and suggest a treatment strategy to assist in addressing the underlying problem.
My Dog Is Really Itchy: Anxiety or Boredom
Did you have any idea that dogs may feel bored, as well as anxious just like humans can? While an individual might start biting their nails or tap their fingers on the table when they’re nervous, bored, or anxious, dogs might itch as a method of processing how they’re feeling. In some canines, that behavior might become serious if the anxiety and boredom aren’t addressed and the behavior fixed. If you believe your pet might be itching out of anxiety or boredom, it may be useful to boost his physical and mental stimulation to channel his feelings into a fun, as well as a productive activity. Instances of this might be playing a training game which is going to require him to be active, while still reacting to verbal commands efficiently and quickly, or going on a long stroll. In many canines, a boost in physical and mental stimulation will assist in reducing feelings of boredom, anxiety, and related destructive behaviors.
My Dog Can’t Stop Itching: External Parasites
One other typical culprit for dog itchiness is external parasites, like ticks and fleas. The majority of pet parents have had experiences with ticks and fleas. Unfortunately, they may be tricky to eliminate as an infestation occurs. Both ticks and fleas on dogs may cause a dog to suffer itching which may range from mild to serious. Fleas on canines usually are considered less harmful than ticks, yet when there’s an infestation, they may be very itchy and uncomfortable.
Some dogs also can be allergic to the saliva that are in flea bites, which may cause them to develop extra painful and uncomfortable symptoms, like hair loss, swelling, hot spots, as well as a canine bacterial infection. On the other hand, ticks are blood-dependent parasites which bite into a canine, as well as latch themselves onto their skin. For ticks, a dog is an ideal host that they feed off of until they’re fully filled with blood. But, for a dog, ticks may be dangerous and painful. Ticks also can carry a variety of different diseases which may be dangerous to dogs.
Therefore, how will you know if your pet might be itching a lot because of parasites? Step one includes doing an inspection of their body. For fleas, it is possible to uses a clean flea comb to delicately section out and brush through the dog’s hair to check if there are fleas present. If the dog has fleas, remember that they might’ve spread somewhere else in your home. Fleas may be hard to contain once they’ve infested; therefore, it’s important that you check the dog as soon as you think they might be suffering with fleas. In order to search for ticks, methodically, and slowly check the whole surface of the dog’s body. Ticks are going to become more noticeable and larger as they’ve filled up with blood, which is going to make them simpler to see.
If the dog has ticks or fleas, it’s vital that you see a vet in order to decide the best action to take, which is going to be dependent upon the kind of parasite, as well as the severity of the infestation. Ticks and fleas may both be uncomfortable and dangerous for your pet, so you’ll want to get them free of parasites as soon as you can, as well as adopt preventative steps that assist in warding off any parasites down the line. There are a variety of different treatments your vet might suggest, like medicated collars, medicated shampoos, prescription medicines, and a lot more.
How to Help Itchy Dog?
Gather a short medical history. This measure is critical to give your vet a picture of what your pet’s health has looked like all throughout his life. Do they actually have a pre-existing medical condition? Are they on medications? As with human beings, an accurate health history lays the foundation for an accurate diagnosis. If your pet is itching a lot and it is not possible to determine why it is vital that you bring him to a vet as soon as you can so that they may be evaluated. Below are some things it is possible to expect to happen and to be asked during the trip to the vet and get itching for help dogs. While the order might vary, the majority of vets are going to use the below details to form an accurate diagnosis of what the dog’s itchiness might be coming from.
- Why is it that are you bringing the pup in? As the vet has an idea of what the pup’s health history has looked like up ‘til this point, they’ll probably dive into why you’re bringing your pup in. They’ll open the conversation up to permit you to provide them a short synopsis of why you felt that the dog required medical evaluation, and which symptoms or behaviors are worrying you.
- When did the dog initially start to display symptoms? The vet likely will want to set up a timeline of when the dog originally became symptomatic so that they may factor this into the diagnosis.
- Have the dog’s symptoms worsened in severity or remained the same? Besides setting up the general timeline of the dog’s symptoms, the vet also will probably ask if the symptoms they’ve been exhibiting have worsened over a period of time or if they’ve stayed the same. They also may ask you if the symptoms have been continuous or intermittent.
- Are there any additional circumstances or behaviors which coincide with the onset of the dog’s symptoms? As aforementioned, a variety of different factors may lead to a pup becoming itchy and some of them center around a variety of food-associated and environmental components that might help the vet make a diagnosis. Did your pup recently change to a new dog food brand? Did the dog recently visit a new dog park? Did you treat your yard recently with chemicals? Even things which might not seem relevant might be a contributing factor and the more details that the vet has, the better they’ll be to holistically assess all the information.
- Conduct a full physical, as well as the visual exam. Once your vet has gathered the details that are needed from you, they’ll typically turn their attention to your pet and start conducting a thorough physical and visual exam. During the examination, they’ll typically check the eyes, ears, legs, skin, and more to check if there’s anything which alerts them. As the vet concludes his exam, he usually will inform you of his treatment plan, as well as preliminary diagnosis.
Appointments with the vet may be intimidating for both the dog, as well as owner, yet by being ready with the pertinent details, it is possible to be more comfortable and concentrate your attention on making the dog feel at ease. If the dog is itching a lot, you’ll want him to receive relief ASAP, and a swift visit to the vet usually will yield a treatment plan and diagnosis which will get your dog back to optimal health.