Dog itching is worrisome to watch, because it means discomfort your pet, it can lead to dangerous damage to their skin, and may be a symptom of serious diseases. In this post, we'll discuss what all causes dog itching and how to treat it, including the use of CBD oil as a dog itchy skin home remedy.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Reasons For Dog Itching
2. The Cons Involved With Traditional Dog Itching Remedies
3. Why CBD Is A Great Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy
4. How To Use CBD For Dog Itching
5. Choosing The CBD Pet Product
6. Dosage of CBD oil for Dog Itching
7. Things To Know When Purchasing CBD Oil As A Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy
Reasons For Dog Itching
Dog itching sounds like a term for a type of particularly bad or persistent itching in humans, doesn't it? We're talking about your pet dog itching and reasons for why itching occurs so you can figure out how to stop it from tormenting your poor dog.
Acute Dog Allergies
Dogs can suffer from allergies just like humans do. They may be allergic to pollen, mold, dust mites, other pet dander, and chemicals in products you use around the house. Symptoms can include things like a runny nose, red or runny eyes, sneezing, paw chewing, and itching, itching with the gnawing at their skin and everything.
These allergies will come and go with no noticeable progression and might only be brought on by an unusually high concentration of the allergen.
It should not pose much threat except to make your dog feel miserable for a little while. If necessary, treatment will usually include limiting exposure to whatever the allergen is and possibly asking a vet about allergy medication to help them ride it out if the symptoms are bad enough.
Dog Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is basically a chronic allergy. It usually starts when they're young, as young as 3 months, though in some dogs the symptoms may not be noticeable for the first three years. It may take until their 6th year to develop the condition.
A dog with atopic dermatitis will suffer from the condition year-round, every year, though they have respite when they are not having flareups, for instance, it may get somewhat better during certain seasons, but will come back with a vengeance. Their symptoms are likely to get worse over time in a flareup and over the course of their life. If the trigger is dust mites, your dog could see no real respite with changing seasons or weather because it's impossible to rid your home of all dust and associated mites.
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis include scratching, rubbing, and licking at affected areas, with can lead to inflamed skin, hair loss, skin lesions, flaky skin, and a foul odor to the skin.
The most common places for a dog's atopic dermatitis to cause them a problem are their:
- face around their eyes
- paws, including between the toes
This a common ailment, getting more prevalent all the time. All dogs can suffer from it, but some breeds are more likely, including Beagles, Boxers, Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Irish Setters, Retrievers, and Shar-Peis.
Because atopic dermatitis is a chronic ailment, you'll need a more routine, longer-term treatment than you do for acute allergies.
First, you'll learn what their trigger is, by process of elimination or going to the vet for an allergy test.
Certainly, limit their exposure to the allergen as much as possible.
Then, if relief can't be found through the elimination of allergen exposure, you'll have to help manage your pet's symptoms. Steroids, skin-soothing and anti-microbial shampoos, antihistamines, and fatty acid therapy are common treatments. Immunotherapy is given for particularly troubling cases.
Mange is a parasitic issue with one of two causes.
Demodectic Mange is caused by mites that all dogs have, but some dogs do not have a strong enough immune system to handle. It is often found in either puppies or adult and senior dogs in poor health. It is not contagious.
A puppy may have a slight case of Demodectic mange that cures itself as its immune system gets stronger. Adult dogs will require a rigorous treatment to improve their overall health.
Sarcoptic Mange, or scabies, is caused by parasites that are transmitted from one dog to another, meaning that it is contagious. it is, in fact, highly contagious.
The disease will follow contact with an infected dog and take anywhere from 10 days to 8 weeks to show symptoms.
Both types of mange cause sores, hard, crusty patches on the skin, thin, leathery skin, weeping, fur loss, pain, and itching. The skin is likely to become infected.
Don't rule out mange if you don't see the mites. They are too small to see with the naked eye.
Treatment consists of controlling the parasites. The dog's remaining fur will need to be clipped so you can get to the skin and the parasites. Then, they'll need to be given a topical treatment, bathed in medicated shampoos, or given an oral medication, depending on the severity of the condition.
Some dogs have flea allergy dermatitis and they don't just itch a little when a flea bites them, they get a terrible itch that can last for days, from just one bite.
Flea allergy is marked by itching and fur loss in patches, predominately near the tail and legs as fleas particularly love those areas. It can spread to other areas, if the animal becomes infested with fleas.
Many people dismiss fleas as the cause of their dog's symptoms because they haven't seen a flea on the dog. This is an inaccurate way to look at the issue as the fleas don't have to live on the dog to cause the allergy. Most fleas just bite the dog and leave shortly after.
Treatments include putting the dog on typical monthly oral and/or topical flea treatments and steroids. Antibiotics may be given if the affected area is infected. For persistent cases, desensitization may be required.
If a dog has a food allergy, it can show the most obvious symptoms like vomiting and stomach upset, but it can also display fur loss, ear infections, itching, and skin infections.
Treatment includes isolating the food allergy and eliminating the substance they're allergic to from their diet. This could be a protein, a grain, or an additive. It is possible to prevent a food allergy from starting in the first place by promoting a healthy gut, as it is the digestive system and its role in the immune system that produces food allergies.
Dog Hypothyroidism can affect mid-size to large dogs as they age. It is also more likely to impact Doberman Pinchers, Irish Setters, and Retrievers. It is not one of the most common reasons for dog itching, as it much more likely to cause poor coat quality, fur loss, excessive shedding, weight gain, poor energy, and cold intolerance, but it can cause itching and skin infections, so it bears mentioning.
Treatment for dog Hypothyroidism consists of giving them a routine oral hormone for the rest of their lives.
Dog Yeast Infection
Dogs have a yeast on their bodies called Malassezia. We have it too, and like us, things can make the balance of it out of whack and cause problems for the dog. Stress or a weakened immune system can cause the yeast to have a field day and give the dog wet, smelly patches that itch and may make their coat greasy or cause fur loss. It is more likely to be a problem in humid environments and to affect the skin, ears, and places with mucous.
The Cons Involved With Traditional Dog Itching Remedies
Steroids are powerful and effective methods of reducing inflammation, decreasing itch, and relieving pain. A pet can gain immediate and undeniable relief, but the side effects and risks of steroids are significant enough that a pet can't use steroids in the long term and may not even be given to them if the risks are deemed greater than the benefits for your dog.
Steroids can cause:
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- increased hunger, leading to weight gain and uncontrollable behaviors
- lack of energy
- poor wound healing
- decreased ability to fight off bacteria, which can lead to or exacerbate bacterial infections
- nervousness and agitation
- pre-diabetic dogs to become diabetic while taking the drug
- urinary tract infections
- adult demodectic mange
- thinned skin
- muscle weakness
- increased susceptibility of fungal infections with long term use
- Cushing's disease, particularly for pets with an already high cortisol level from stress
Antihistamines are also powerful at tackling allergic reactions but have some alarming side effects.
Benadryl can cause:
- dry mouth
- excessive salivation
- rapid breathing
- increased heart rate
- urinary retention
- changes in appetite
You can't give your dog Benadryl if they are pregnant or have several health conditions, such as angle closure glaucoma, seizures, or hypertension.
Dogs can overdose on Benadryl and suffer seizures, agitation, and death. It is also possible for dogs to have an allergic reaction to Benadryl.
Why CBD Is A Great Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy
First, we'll go into a little explanation about what CBD is. It is cannabidiol, which sounds like cannabis, but is not marijuana. Well, it is in marijuana, but it is also in legal and non-psychoactive hemp. Manufacturers extract cannabidiol from hemp to treat a dizzying list of conditions in humans and dogs.
It works because our bodies have an endocannabinoid system that creates its own cannabinoids to regulate many of our crucial bodily functions. Sometimes we don't make all we need or our bodies require a bit of a boost, and external cannabinoids such as cannabidiol help our endocannabinoid system work as it should.
CBD can help dogs in many ways, but when it comes to conditions that cause dog itching, it is most helpful in:
- calming itch
- reducing inflammation
- boosting the immune system
- calming stomach upset
- providing nutrients lost from lack of appetite, stomach upset, or special diets
- alleviating pain, should the condition causing itching or the damage done from itching cause pain
- reducing stress
- appetite normalization
As you can see, that's a wide variety of problems associated dog itching that CBD tackles, whether attacking itching at the source, from stress to allergies to a poor immune system or alleviating the dog's symptoms or side effects from medications.
How To Use CBD For Dog Itching
CBD can be used instead of or in conjunction with other treatments for conditions that cause dog itching. Do be aware that you'll want to discuss either replacing or aiding treatment for your dog with your licensed veterinarian. Some of the conditions listed above have specific requirements that CBD can only aid in, not replace. Your doctor will also need to know about the CBD to tell you how it will work best for what you're trying to do with it and how to best do their treatments while the dog is taking CBD.
Choosing The CBD Pet Product
There are many types of CBD pet products to choose from:
- oil tinctures
- crunchy treats
- soft treats
CBD Oil tinctures can be put in the dog's in mouth or applied to their food with a dropper. There are also oil tinctures that can be sprayed into the mouth or on food. These are the most direct method of giving CBD oil to your dog. Some of them are flavored and some are not. CBD oil tastes like hemp, which has a noticeable taste that some humans and dogs cannot stomach. You will have to find the right taste combination that works best for your pet.
CBD Capsules can be easier than oil tinctures as the taste isn't an issue and it may be easier to get a dog to take a pill that have a dropper in their mouth. Dogs may try to pull the eating around the medicine trick too, and they can't do that with a capsule given by mouth.
CBD Dog Treats are the most enjoyable way to give your dog CBD as it will seem just like they are taking any treat. You can pick the crunchy or soft kind depending on your dog's taste.
CBD Topicals, usually lotions and shampoos, can be great for localized issues or just treating the skin. Apply lotion directly to the affected area for relief from itching, inflammation, and pain. Use shampoos as often as directed.
Dosage of CBD oil for Dog Itching
The science behind CBD oil for humans or pets is still new so dosages are kind of a trial and error thing. Most scientists agree that less is more, some conditions actually improve more with a smaller amount than a large one, because CBD has a different impact on the body in small or large doses, not just because they're getting more or less, but because of what it does. When you're finding the right dose for your dog and their needs, it's also easier to work up with the dosage than to work down.
Dosage does depend on the weight, age, and overall health of the dog. The package of CBD product should give you directions on the general dose for the size of the dog, if your dog is particularly old or young or in very bad health, you may need to use less than directed on the package and consult your vet.
Things To Know When Purchasing CBD Oil As A Dog Itchy Skin Home Remedy
Full-spectrum vs CBD Isolate
Manufacturers extract CBD in two ways, one isolates just the CBD while the other retains parts of the entire hemp plant. The hemp plant contains other cannabinoids and a ton of nutrients and terpenes that also provide health benefits, so most people prefer to buy full-spectrum CBD oil vs CBD Isolate. This is particularly needed if the dog has nutritional needs because of decreased appetite, stomach upset, or food allergies. If you try full-spectrum CBD Oil and it doesn't help, don't give up on CBD, try CBD isolate. Some people report that CBD isolate provides better results than full-spectrum for their needs.
Determine where the hemp was grown. All reputable manufacturers will tell you if they grow the hemp themselves or where they get it from.
CBD products must be tested by a third-party lab to ensure they are really CBD oil, in the amount promised, and that they don't contain anything unexpected. It'd be nice if we lived in a world where people didn't do unscrupulous things that require such testing, but we do, so always check that the manufacturer has lab results visible and that you read them.
Make sure it was extracted using the CO2 extraction method, because it is safest and purest way.
Read the ingredients of any CBD product you intend to buy, and be particularly concerned about the ingredients in CBD oil if you are treating a pet with food allergies.
Make Innovet's CBD pet products first on your list to try, as we meet all these criteria.
Sources:CBD and Allergies
CBD and the Skin
Therapeutic Effect of CBD Ointment
Anti-Inflammatory Benefit of CBD
CBD Eases Pain