Every dog itches from time to time – this is natural. If itching has become permanent and greatly interferes with the pet’s life, he does not sleep and eats well, behaves unusually, it is worth contacting a veterinarian. Most likely, the dog is itchy and needs help. The first thing that a specialist will do is determine the causes of this unpleasant symptom.
Itching can cause severe irritation and inflammation of the skin, which, if not properly treated, will spread throughout the dog’s body, affecting more and more areas. Painful combing, sagging paws, hair loss – the dog constantly experiences unpleasant sensations, this makes its life unbearable.
Often, itching in a dog is one of the main symptoms of an allergy or a possible sign of a flea or tick bite. Itching occurs with atopic dermatitis, some diseases of the internal organs, and the presence of a symptom may indicate that the animal is under stress.
Why the dog itches: possible causes
This disease is found in many dogs of different breeds, but sensitive breeds are most often affected by allergies (West Highland White Terrier, Labrador, French Bulldog). Allergic reactions in dogs are manifested by contact with parasites (fleas, mosquitoes, ticks), with various chemical compounds found in cosmetics (shampoos, deodorants), household chemicals (cleaning products, insecticides) and even artificial coatings. Food allergies to different types of meat, fish, chicken, milk, soy and a number of other products are also possible.
Also known as environmental allergy. This chronic skin disease, accompanied by itching, is formed as a result of contact of the animal with pollen of plants, mold, dust mites and other environmental allergens. Most often, the disease manifests itself at the age of 6 months to 3 years. In addition to the itching itself, it provokes symptoms of secondary infections that occur due to severe scratching on the face, groin, armpits and legs. Since atopic dermatitis requires lifelong therapy, it is important to choose a remedy suitable for long-term treatment.
Bites of external parasites
Fleas and ticks are a serious problem for dogs and their owners. By themselves, the bites are unpleasant to the animal, make it constantly itch, lick and even bite itself. However, the main danger lies in the diseases that parasites carry.
Due to a tick bite, a dog can become infected with pyroplasmosis and anaplasmosis (it affects the dog’s blood cells), Borreliosis, also known as Lyme disease (destroys joints and negatively affects the animal’s cardiovascular system). Multiple flea bites can lead to anemia. If an animal swallows a parasite, it can become infected with helminths (dipylidiosis). Also quite often allergic to flea saliva. Timely use of an antiparasitic agent will be the best prevention of itching bites and diseases that spread fleas and ticks.
Like humans, animals are stressed. In addition to itching, it has many other manifestations, for example, specific food reactions, excessive activity, or apathy. The cause of the nervous state of the dog may be a change in living conditions associated with moving or changing the owner. Often the animals worry at the reception of a veterinarian, during haircuts and other grooming procedures that are performed by strangers. Stress provokes trips in public transport, contact with other animals, increased noise. As a rule, to cope with the nervous state of the pet, it is enough to neutralize the factor that provoked this reaction.
Itching can also occur due to fungal and bacterial skin lesions and with serious disorders in the functioning of internal organs, for example, diabetes mellitus, renal and liver failure. The first step in resolving the problem of itching is not to determine the cause of the symptom. You can probably find out the cause only after a full examination by a veterinarian. Do not risk the health of your pet – refrain from using medicines without the appointment of a specialist!