Many dogs need to see the vet due to frequent or even non-stop scratching. There are many causes for this and working out which one is the reason for your fur kid’s issue is essential to their (and your!) well being.
Most common causes for an itchy dog:
Fleas (most common)- the flea’s saliva causes the allergy and a single bite can cause them to be very itchy. Lesions tend to be more at the back end of your dog but can occur anywhere on their body. Note that your pup may have removed the flea that started the itch so you may not even find a flea on their body.
Inhaled allergies (atopy) – itch is due to allergens such as dust or pollen that is typically inhaled. The itch tends to be all over the body and may start by only occurring seasonally but builds up to being all year round.
Food allergy – often to a protein in food. Beef is a common cause. Itch can be anywhere on the body and tends to occur all year round.
Contact allergy- physically coming into contact with a plant that causes the dog to be itchy. A ground cover called trad (or Tradescantia albiflora) is a major cause. The itch will be where the allergen touches the skin so it tends to be the underside of the body and the paws.
Mites- Demodecosis. This is common in puppies but occurs in adults too. It can vary from small areas of hair loss to large areas with red and pimply skin. The mite is microscopic so the vet does tests for this. It’s not contagious.
Mites- Scabies: This mite can pass from dog to human and is very contagious to other animals. Most commonly caught from foxes. It causes intense itch and is microscopic, the vet does tests for this but it can be difficult to find.
It’s important to be aware that there may be more than one cause for your itchy dog and that there are other less common causes not listed above.
Our next post will look at ways to manage your itchy best mate.
Don’t let your fur kid suffer from their itch – let’s get an action plan in place. Book an appointment with our vet.