Perhaps one of the most common discomforts seen in dogs today is the case of an undefeatable itch. Red spots on the skin, dull fur, sores, and dandruff—not to mention the incessant sounds of scratching—are all signs of pruritis, that is, itchiness in dogs. While any dog may have itself a scratch once in a while, one must not ignore signs of discomfort like these and seek the root of the problem. Itchiness is one of the most common problems a dog may have; below are the most likely causes.
Dry skin can induce much misery and discomfort. If not treated, your dog may even develop an infection due to excessive scratching. The fix for dry skin is, however, quite easy. Dogs tend to respond best to a change in their diet. Including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is a great way to start. Adding enzymes and probiotics to assist in digestion can also benefit the nutrition your pet receives from his or her meals. Moisturizing shampoos can also reduce the symptoms.
Perhaps the second most likely cause of your dog’s pruritis is an allergy. Allergies in dogs may be a growing epidemic as a result of rigorous vaccinations, diet, or other factors. In any case, there are two main types of allergies a dog can have, contact and atopic.
If your dog has a contact allergy, he or she is allergic to something external. This could be a plant species, bites from parasites, mold, dust, mildew, or even perfume or cigarette smoke. An atopic allergy is one that is internal. An allergy to certain foods is less common in dogs than other allergies, yet it too is a possibility.
It may take some trial and error to figure out what your pet is allergic to, but in the end, it will definitely be worth it. Treatment for allergies includes oral medication and the addition of probiotics to the diet. However, it is best to see your veterinarian to get your dog the best treatment.
A third possible cause for an itchy dog is that of infection. An infection can be caused by bacteria, yeast, or fungus. Ringworms fall into the fungal category. Your vet can provide antibiotics and antifungal treatment to heal your dog’s hot spot or sore. If your dog has an infection, immediate treatment can prevent the wound from quickly spreading. Regardless of what may be causing your pet’s discomfort, getting to the vet will save you and your dog from more misery and from other possible complications down the road.
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At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest!