By Elizabeth Racine, DVM
Does your dog seem to be scratching more than usual? Is he licking himself raw or waking you up during the night with his chewing? Pruritus — the medical term for excessive itching — is a common symptom of many skin conditions. Identifying and addressing pruritus early is necessary to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.
- Parasites, such as fleas or mites
- Food allergies
- Environmental allergies
- Skin infections
- Ear infections
It’s important to remember that itching is a symptom of an underlying problem. While it may be tempting to try to treat your dog’s itching at home with an oatmeal bath or a slather of coconut oil, these home remedies rarely work because they only temporarily soothe the itching and do not address the underlying cause. Once your veterinarian has diagnosed the cause of your dog’s itching, he or she will be able to prescribe appropriate treatment. Depending on what is causing the itch, treatment may include:
- Anti-fungal medications
- Medicated shampoos or ear cleaners
- Anti-parasitic medications
- Diet change
Itching and skin problems are very common in dogs of all
ages, and they can be caused by a number of different underlying medical
conditions. Managing the underlying
cause of the problem is critical to stop the itching and restore your dog’s
skin health. With the right treatment, your
dog will be back to his happy, comfortable self in no time!
If you'd like to learn more about dogs and itching, check out this article.