Dogs can get itchy for many reasons, and their suffering is worse at night. Dogs can suffer from scratching at any time in their lives. It is normal, but the problem begins when this condition becomes intense, and the scratching is accompanied by chewing and biting. This itch condition is a cause for concern.
The medical term used for the itch condition in dogs is called pruritus. Itching is a skin problem and is one of the most common reasons an owner takes their dog to the vet.
TICKS AND FLEAS
If you notice itching in dogs, the first thing to check is fleas and ticks.
Ticks go unnoticed and can finally be noticed when they are big enough. They can cause a lot of irritation and suck your pet’s blood. Tick attack becomes severe during tick season, so it is important to keep an eye on them.
Similarly, a flea infestation can also cause severe itching in dogs. Some dogs have sensitive skin and suffer from allergic reactions due to flea bites. Fleas are easy to spot in their sleeping areas like crates and beds. If your dog is itchy and you also find reddish-brown areas on his body, fleas are the most common cause.
Food allergies are common in humans and in dogs, and it can cause severe itching. If you can’t find ticks and fleas on your pet, food allergies might be the culprit.
To find an allergic ingredient, certain food trials are performed. After that, try to avoid that trigger ingredient that causes itching in dogs.
If you didn’t find any food or fleas behind the itch, environmental allergies might be the cause of the itch.
The most common allergens that can cause itching in dogs are dust, pollen, pet dander, cockroaches, and mould.
Common signs that appear from environmental allergies are itchy skin, injuries to the feet and back, sneezing, discharge from the eyes and nose, and hair loss in itchy area.
Different diagnostic tests can help find the cause behind the itch condition in dogs. Your vet will perform skin cytology or skin scrape test to check for the presence of ticks, mites, bacterial or fungal infections.
If the cause is not found, food allergy tests are performed, and the ingredient causing the specific allergy is identified.
Another easy way to diagnose allergens is to take a blood test. The blood test will indicate the antigen level. Intradermal skin tests are also performed in which allergen injections are given under the skin, and the response is measured.
Successful treatment of itching depends on the underlying cause.
When your dog’s natural coat oils get depleted, the lipid barriers of a dog’s skin are reduced, and they may run a higher risk of developing skin conditions, especially if they are scratching excessively.
One of the first signs of insufficient nutrition in your dog is dryness or dull coat/skin condition.
Hair can appear dull and dry, look wiry, and even develop dandruff. Skin that is dry and irritated, is prone to potential infection and fleas.
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Dogs can get itch condition due to many reasons. Regardless of these reasons, it is necessary to seek veterinary attention. Do not give any medicine without a veterinary prescription. Also, protect your dog from fleas, ticks, and environmental allergies.