It is totally normal for a dog to scratch several times every day, but when it scratches insistently, sometimes creating even wounds or hair loss, then we are faced with a health problem.
There are many factors that can cause itchy skin, from parasites to yeast, bites and even allergies. So we must meticulously examine your skin for reddened areas, rashes, small insects and / or a bad smell.
Index of contents
- 1 What do I do if my dog scratches excessively?
- 2 My dog scratches a lot and has reddened fur
- 2.1 Scratching for allergies
- 2.2 Flea or lice bite
- 2.3 Itching produced by mites (Scabies)
- 2.4 Yeasts, fungi and bacteria
- 2.5 Itching produced by Seborrhea
- 2.6 Insect bites
- 2.7 Atopic dermatitis
- 2.8 Ticks
What do I do if my dog scratches excessively?
We must not lose our calm, with complete tranquility we will lay our dog on his bed and gently examine his fur. We must separate her hair with the help of our hands, and inspect her entire body.
These are the symptoms to look for:
- Small bites or rashes (pimples)
- Redness of the skin, irritation
- Atopic skin color, bad smell
- Parasites such as fleas, lice or ticks
- Scaly skin, dandruff
If we appreciate any of these symptoms, we should go to our vet so that he can carry out the pertinent tests and prescribe the appropriate treatment. There are no home remedies and we should never self-medicate our dog.
My dog scratches a lot and has reddened fur
If we appreciate irritated or reddened skin, it is probably due to excessive scratching due to the itching or a reaction of the dermis, which can be caused by several causes, among which are:
- Food or seasonal allergy
- Flea bite or flea allergy
- Yeasts, fungi or bacteria
- Sting from bees, wasps, or other insects
- Atopic dermatitis
As you see there are many factors that can cause itchy skin in our dog, causing him to scratch a lot and make his situation even worse. All these cases require veterinary supervision without exception.
Let’s see in detail what each one consists of. Remember that it can have several causes and not just one, so you should pay close attention when examining it.
Scratching for allergies
The allergies our dogs suffer from may be food or environmental / seasonal. They cause itchy skin irritation and in the most severe cases the appearance of small pimples.
Although it can occur anywhere on the body, mostly affects the legs, belly, muzzle and ears. If the scratching and irritation is focused on those areas, it is probably an allergy.
Flea or lice bite
Fleas are very small and fast so we may not be able to see them with the naked eye even if we thoroughly examine our dog. To feed, they bite our dog and suck his blood, which causes a lot of itching.
And not only is the itchiness of their bites bad, but many dogs have an allergy to flea bites, so two factors add up that will cause a lot of itching in our dog making him scratch even to get hurt.
Both fleas and lice can attack any part of the body, although they usually focus on the back, tail, chest and areas near the ears.
Itching produced by mites (Scabies)
Mites are ectoparasites that directly affect the skin, which is known as scabies. They multiply quickly so that in a matter of days they can cause extreme itching in our dog, making him suffer a lot.
It is essential that our veterinaryn take samples and detect the type of mite to be able to put an effective treatment that stops the itch of our dog and avoids the contagion to other dogs. Scabies can affect any part of our dog’s body.
Yeasts, fungi and bacteria
Bacteria can cause an internal or external infection on our dog’s skin causing a lot of itching. Mushrooms and yeasts can also do the same and in all cases, a very characteristic bad smell usually appears.
While bacteria can affect any part of your skin, fungi and yeasts tend to primarily affect the legs and ears, sometimes the areas near the eyes and even the armpits. Provoking a constant and intense itching.
Itching produced by Seborrhea
Seborrhea is a skin syndrome caused by excess fat production, which produces flaking, cracked skin, dandruff and generally excess dirt also on the ears.
Seborrhea can be caused by a poor diet, stress in our dog or bad habits, the use of a shampoo not suitable for dogs or illness. It causes a lot of itching on our dog’s skin, which will make it scratch with a lot of intensity.
Bees, wasps, spiders and many other insects can sting our dog causing great irritation to its skin and in some cases, even adverse allergic reactions (which will require urgent veterinary treatment).
At other times the itching is not due to any of the above causes, but to an atopic dermatitis that may present breeds with skin folds like the Bullgod, the Shar Pei, the Bulldog or the Carlino.
Some breeds are quite prone to suffering from this type of atopic dermatitis, which usually has no cure, but which requires life-long treatment to prevent its proliferation. Other races are just unlucky enough to suffer from it.
Ticks also feed on the blood of our dog, introducing its head under its skin. This produces a very annoying itch that will make our dog scratch a lot.
Further, ticks carry many diseases that can affect our dog and cause even more itching or other symptoms that hinder locate the actual origin of the itch.
The only positive part of ticks is that they are usually easily detected due to their size. Removing them is also easy, always making sure that your head does not get inside the skin.