An Itch That Can’t Be Scratched: 3 Reasons for Excessive Dog Scratching
Spring has sprung, and it usually causes animals to act a bit differently. However, if you find your dog scratching excessively, it may be cause for concern.
Pet scratching may be a nuisance for pet owners, but it’s far more uncomfortable for the pet itself. The cause of this behavior is not always obvious. There are a few different conditions that may make dogs extra itchy.
If your dog is scratching too much, examine them for these conditions listed below and contact a veterinarian.
1. Pests and Parasites
The warmer months are the pests’ and parasites’ favorite time to breed. This is the season for fleas and ticks. They are the usual culprit for excessive dog scratching.
Checking for fleas and ticks can be difficult. They are small creatures that love to hide. There are special flea combs that can help find fleas in long-haired and dark-haired dog coats. Also, look for signs of flea dirt in your dog’s rest areas. If you wash them and the water turns reddish-brown, it’s likely your dog has a flea problem.
Ticks are trickier. Sometimes it’s impossible to spot them until the feed long enough to grow larger. The best method is to comb through your dog’s hair and feel for bumps. If there is a bump, examine it.
These pests can cause allergic reactions and skin outbreaks. At worst, they can even cause dangerous diseases. Make sure to inspect your dog’s fur regularly.
2. Various Allergies
Animals have allergies too, but unfortunately for them, they can’t communicate with their owners easily about it. Instead, pet owners have to be vigilant and recognize the signs. Excessive scratching is one of those signs.
Both food allergies and environmental allergies can make a dog extra itchy. Food allergies are rare so before going down that complicated path, check for environmental allergies.
Some dogs are sensitive to pollen and dander. Your vet will come up with a treatment plan specialized for your dog’s unique needs. This plan may include a special diet, allergy medicine, dog shampoo for itching, or even steroid injections.
3. Skin Conditions
If it’s not pests or allergies, it may be due to a skin condition. This can range from a yeast infection to skin cancer.
If the vet finds a yeast infection, a bacterial infection, ringworm, or even dandruff, there is usually a simple medication to take care of it. Something like skin cancer, however, requires more extensive (and expensive) treatment. Thankfully, this is a very rare cause of itchiness. It’s far more likely that there is a simple problem behind it.
Is Your Dog Scratching?
If your dog scratching is becoming a daily thing, don’t ignore it. Even if the underlying condition isn’t serious, they’re still experiencing discomfort. Considering all the love and comfort dogs freely give their owners, the least we can do is make sure they are healthy and happy.
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