Possible Causes Of Excessive Itching In Dogs

Possible Causes of Excessive Itching in Dogs

Excessive itching can have the following consequences: redness and inflammation of the skin, wounds and injuries resulting from self-mutilation, and partial or complete hair loss, also called alopecia. Below are the main symptoms and recommendations to help you take care of your pet if he has the problem.

Excessive itching affects dogs of all breeds and ages, as well as domestic cats.

how the itch develops

The  act of scratching, or the sensation that leads to itching, can also be called itching.  Its manifestation provokes an intense and persistent desire to rub, scratch, lick and bite your skin or coat.

dog scratching itself

Sometimes itching can appear on its own and is usually associated with the nervous system.  However, it can be the symptom of other pathologies. It can develop because of skin inflammation and allergies or ectoparasite infestations.

The prognosis of canine pruritus is usually positive, but it depends on an early diagnosis.  If not properly treated, it can cause complete or partial loss of hair. In more severe cases, wounds and ulcers from intense itching can lead to bacterial infections.

Canine itching symptoms

The main symptom of canine itching is, of course, the intense and growing itching.  The animal can develop obsessive behaviors and spend the entire day isolated, scratching or licking itself. In addition, many dogs rub and rub the affected parts of their bodies against objects, furniture and even trees in the garden.

This behavior leads to the following  consequences:

  • Redness and inflammation of the skin
  • Wounds and Injuries Derived from Self –  Mutilation
  • Partial or complete hair loss, called  alopecia

Main causes of canine itching

The most common cause of itching, or itching, is associated with ectoparasite infestations.  The presence of fleas, ticks and mites can lead to intense itching and the development of irritation and inflammation of the skin.

Consequences of Canine Itching

Allergies appear as the second most frequent cause of itching in pets.  They can be caused by food, parasites, chemicals, dust and some natural agents such as mold and pollen.

Some endoparasites, such as roundworms (ascaris), can also make our pets itchy.  Mainly in puppies under six months.

The chemicals present in some cleaning and cosmetic products are also dangerous to animals.  Not only do they facilitate the appearance of the itch, but they can also cause more serious poisoning.

Canine itching: the psychological factor

Canine itching is often complicated when it activates what is known as the vicious circle of itching.  The irritation causes the animal to scratch and cause wounds. With this, the itching sensation increases, leading to a more intense urge to scratch, causing new injuries.

However, the vicious circle is not reduced to physical expressions.  This itchy sensation is usually contagious and its advancement is associated with the nervous system.

Stimulation of itchy skin reaches the brain through this system.  The animal’s immediate response is usually to scratch itself in order to relieve itself and make the foreign stimulus disappear.

Learn more about canine itching

But this reaction causes more irritation and leads to new itchy stimuli. This triggers a series of vicious reactions that can cause intense skin and nervous irritation.

The psychological factor of pruritus is so determinant that it can cause contagion between humans and animals.  In many cases, the owner develops an imaginary itching when observing the itch in their pet.

Canine itching treatment

There is no single treatment for the problem.  The veterinarian may prescribe ointments, pills or injections to lessen the urge to scratch and prevent further damage.

Typically, a change in diet and specific testing will be recommended to rule out the possibility of underlying allergies.  If an infestation of internal or external parasites is diagnosed  , the appropriate deworming must be done.

It is essential not to self-medicate the animal that suffers from itching.  Many remedies and even some homemade solutions can worsen the itching situation and irritate the animal’s skin more.

Veterinarian examining a dog's ear

Canine itching: is it possible to prevent it?

It is possible to prevent canine itching by adopting positive habits in home hygiene, such as keeping the environment clean and ventilated.  The animal must also receive its deserved care, such as bathing, brushing, affection, etc.

A balanced diet and regular exercise are also essential for strengthening the immune system.  Allergenic animals must follow a hypoallergenic diet to control their organic reactions.

Preventive medicine is essential to combat the causes related to parasites and allergies.  In addition, periodic visits to the veterinarian allow early diagnosis of canine itching and other skin problems.

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