All dogs scratch. But how do you know when its more than just an itch?

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July 1, 2018
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July 1, 2018

All dogs scratch. But how do you know when its more than just an itch?

Allergies in dogs, result in skin irritation or inflammation, otherwise known as allergic dermatitis.

Fleas, food, or environmental allergens such as pollens, moulds, or dust mites can cause itching in dogs. The four most common allergies in dogs are:

  • Inhalant Allergies (environmental indoor and outdoor allergies eg pollens)
  • Contact Allergies (carpet, deodorant, shampoo etc.)
  • Flea Allergies
  • Food Allergies

A wide variety of allergens can cause an inhalant allergy in dogs, otherwise known as atopy. The allergic response occurs when an affected dog inhales dust, pollens, or moulds. A dog with atopy is usually itchy during specific seasons of the year; seasonal allergies and atopy are two ways to describe the same type of allergic skin disease in dogs.

In addition to itching, here are behaviours and symptoms you might notice:

  • Excessive licking, chewing, biting, or scratching.
  • Excessive rolling, rubbing, or scooting.
  • Foot chewing.
  • Hair loss.
  • Recurrent ear problems.
  • Redness of the skin or changes in the skin, such as sores or darkened colour.
  • Body odour, which indicates a secondary infection from bacteria or yeasts.

Your dog is trying to relieve the itch in any way he or she can. But as the itch cycle continues, the skin becomes inflamed and tender, causing additional problems. We then need to treat sores and hot spots as well as the underlying cause of the itch.

How can you help?

Your Vet can help determine the often complicated, underlying cause of your dog’s itch.  There are a variety of prescription medications and courses of treatments that will ease the problem considerably.

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