Ditch that Itch

Itchy skin in dogs is not only completely frustrating for the owner to watch but is very irritating and uncomfortable for the dog. Itchy dogs can become so distressed that they may show signs of aggression. Below are a list of signs your dog is itchy. 

What causes skin irritation and scratching?

There are so many reasons your dog may be itchy and scratchy

  • Creepy Crawlies are the most common cause of itchy dogs. Fleas, Ticks and mites bite our pets and make them really itchy. 90% of the time the little visitor isn’t even on your pet so it is important to prevent bites.
  • Infections: Does your dog have a moist yeasty smell? Maybe he is suffering from a fungal infection. This is very common in pets, especially in the ears.
  • Allergies: A dog who bites his paws, scratches his ears or rubs his face is showing typical signs of allergies. Allergies can be indoors such as dust mites or outdoors such as pollens, another allergen is food
  • Poor Nutrition: Poor food quality equals poor nutrition for dogs which affects the health of their skin.  Essential Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids with DHA and EPA are important in promoting good skin health and coat quality
  • Lack of grooming: When a dog is groomed, dead hair/fur and flakes of skin get brushed and washed away. Regular grooming is even more important with dogs that have extra thick, long or double coats.
  • Pain/Neurological conditions: on the rare occasion itching and scratching can be caused by the pain that the dog is trying to relieve.

 

So how do we stop the itchiness?

Due to the huge amount of causes of skin irritation treatment is never straight forward. The first thing is we have to figure out what exactly is causing the itching. Owners often get frustrated sometimes trying treatment after treatment and nothing working. Ideally finding out exactly what is causing the itchiness means that we can treat it more accurately. Basic treatments are below:

  1. Get rid of creepy crawlies- In Arra Vets we always recommend a three month flea and tick tablet that seems to work very well
  2. Improve the dog’s diet- We find that dog’s that are on poor diets or tinned food tend to be more likely to suffer from itchiness. Putting them on a diet with increased Fatty Acids and omega oils will protect and repair the animal’s skin barrier
  3. Groom the dog- removing dead hairs, cleaning the skin and allowing air to circulate the coat leads to a healthier coat and happier dog. We offer medicated shampoo washes and recently we have added in a Nagayu carbon dioxide spa treatment that so far has had amazing results.
  4.  Treat the cause: Depending on other causes for skin irritation they will need to be treated separately.