If you’ve been noticing that your dog has been itching and scratching a lot, you might automatically assume that it’s because of fleas. Now, that definitely is a great possibility, but there are other factors that you should definitely take into consideration.
As a matter of fact, did you know that there are actually hundreds of underlying causes behind why your dog may be experiencing this kind of discomfort? We’ve done a bit of our own research and come up with five main ones to think about as you’re looking for an “itch solution”.
Allergies. People aren’t the only ones who can be allergic to things like pollen, dust and foods. Pets can experience these kinds of allergies as well and if they go untreated, it can definitely bring about constant itching and scratching. Allergies are not something that you can diagnose on your own, so you will definitely need to take your dog to the veterinarian. But, if you notice that your dog also has body inflammation, gas, sneezing and coughing and what appears to be a chronic case of dandruff, these are all real symptoms of a possible allergic reaction.
Parasites. In the simplest of terms, a parasite is an organism that lives off of another organism. A lot of pets spend time outside and therefore can pick up both internal and external parasites that way. Telltale signs of these include, scaling of the skin, your dog constantly licking its paws, crusting and scabbing on the tips of the ears and near the elbows and yes, incessant itching. Over time, parasites can pose a threat to both you and our canine, so make sure to have blood tests ran on your pet if you recognize any of these signs.
Fleas, ticks and lice. Whether it’s a human or a pet, fleas, ticks and lice are definitely reasons to cause itching. Anytime something that doesn’t belong on the skin embeds itself, it causes a sensation that is annoying, at best. Plus, when it comes to these things in particular, there can be eggs that have gotten into the surface layers of the skin. Washing your dog with a flea or lice shampoo, using medications such as Advantix and throwing out all of his old bedding (because it too may be infested) are viable steps in removing fleas from his body.
Fungal infections. Fungus is something that comes in two different forms. You can get it on the skin or mucus membranes (such as a ringworm or thrush) or you can have systematic case of it that will actually infect your organs such as your liver and lungs (and even your brain). For dogs, a mild form of a fungal infection may result in both itching and a respiratory infection. A systematic case can lead to lethargy, fever and extreme weight loss. (Again, something that needs to be handled by a veterinarian).
Seborrhea. Something else that can give a dog an itching sensation is seborrhea. Just like with humans, it will result in noticeable flakiness and greasiness in the skin and hair. Luckily, this is something that is a bit easier to treat. All you need is to purchase some dog shampoo especially made to treat seborrhea like Homeopet and follow the instructions. It should bring your dog much-needed relief in no time.