Is your dog scratching, licking, and biting at their skin? If so, it could be a sign that they have a skin condition called dermatitis. Today, our Ypsilanti vets discuss possible causes of dog skin problems as well as the signs, and treatments available.
Skin Problems in Dogs
All most all dogs will encounter a situation that makes them itch at some point. Usually, this will just be annoying for your pup but nothing serious. Although, some skin problems do have to be addressed by a veterinarian and will need treatment to keep them from getting worse.
Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
There are a handful of skin conditions in dogs that can lead to scratching, biting, or licking at their fur as well as rashes, we have listed some of the most common ones below:
Flea and mite bites are one of the most common causes of itching and skin irritation in dogs, and luckily one of the easiest to treat. Your vet is able to prescribe medication to resolve the parasite issue. You could also be proactive and give your dog medication to avoid fleas, mites, or ticks in the first place.
This is a skin irritation that develops when a dog comes into contact with certain substances, such as plants, dirt, and grass. This can cause symptoms such as itchy/dry or cracked skin, rashes, blisters, redness, or swelling.
Some recommended ways to treat this condition include antihistamines or oatmeal baths. Your veterinarian might also suggest a cortisone cream or other alternative depending on the severity of your dog's condition.
This is generally an uncommon problem for dogs, however, it's possible for them to have an allergic reaction to something in their food. In most cases, nutritional dermatitis causes skin irritations and scratching, however, digestive problems can also develop, such as diarrhea or vomiting. If your pup is showing either kind of symptom, you should call your vet to schedule an appointment.
Some dogs are prone to allergies, making this a fairly common reason for veterinary visits. Some allergens that can cause itching and other skin problems in dogs can be found in pollen, dander, plants, or insects, among other things.
A few of the most common allergy symptoms other than itching in dogs include rashes, inflamed skin, excessive grooming or licking, watery eyes, and sneezing. Your vet might be able to diagnose the cause of your dog's allergy and can recommend treatment options as well as ways you can prevent future allergic reactions.
Another type of allergic reaction is hives. Hives can be a reaction to a variety of things, from bites to medications. Symptoms include a raised bump that can make a dog's fur stick out.
Once in a while, hives can develop in combination with swelling near the eyes. Generally, bathing your dog in a hypoallergenic shampoo can alleviate this condition. A hydrating leave-in conditioner might also help. Ask your vet what they think is best for your pup.
If your dog's itching or other symptoms lasts longer than a few days, you should schedule an appointment with your vet so they can diagnose and treat the problem. Prolonged itching can cause excessive scratching and biting which can lead to a self-inflicted injury. This can become serious if it is left untreated.