2001-Sat Feb 25 06:36:43 EST 2017
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Your dog's itchy
skin could be an indication of skin allergies, as well as a sign of some diseases. And if your dog has itchy skin, he'll likely
scratch, rub, lick or chew in an effort to relieve the irritation no matter what's causing it. Learn more about the causes of itchy skin and how you can
help your pet.
There are a variety of
causes of itchy skin in dogs. They can include allergies,
fleas, mites, bacterial infections and other diseases that can be manifested in the skin like
hypothyroidism, autoimmune diseases or
Licking, chewing, rubbing, scratching and general discomfort are the most obvious signs of itchy skin. Hair loss, evidence of self-trauma and redness of the skin are other common signs. Your veterinarian may suggest various tests to help with the diagnosis. Recommendations may include skin scrapings, fungal cultures, skin biopsies, blood tests,
allergy testing and diet trials.
Take your pet to the veterinarian to determine the cause. Once a cause is identified, treatment may range from topical therapy and medications to desensitization injections or diet changes. Antibiotics are commonly used to address secondary bacterial infections that may develop. There are also a number of products to help control parasites that can cause itchiness.
Though you can't always prevent your
dog from developing an allergy, there are some things you can do, like making sure he receives regular external
parasite control. Talk to your veterinarian about which product might be right for your
dog. It's also a good idea to keep him well groomed, since excessive or unkempt hair can lead to irritation. Finally, see your veterinarian at the first sign of your dog's discomfort — early intervention can help relieve irritation and potentially prevent secondary infections from occurring.
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