Itching and scratching in dogs is a nothing short of a nightmare for pet owners. It can keep the owners up all night, driving them crazy. If it can be so painful for the pet owners, then just think how the dog must be suffering. All the dog does the entire day is itch and scratch, bite and lick leading to a complicated and aggravating situation if not attended to at the earliest. If your dog is itchy and scratching all the time, it is important to find out the cause of the itch. This can be quite difficult.
These are the symptoms of severe pruritus (itching) according to veterinarians. There are a wide range of causes and severity of itching and scratching in dogs with skin and coat trouble. The top ten worst itching offenders are:
Parasites, such as ear mites, scabies or cheyletiellosis
Skin infections caused by bacteria
Ticks and lice
Fungal infections, including yeast infections
Whole-body illnesses, such as liver disease, immune-system problems and some cancers.
There are several types of scratching and itching that can affect your dogs. They can be broadly grouped under General Itching, Persistent Itching, Chronic Localized Itching and Chronic/Severe Itching.
In General Itching, the dog scratches the skin regularly but hardly shows any visible signs of localized problem. The most common reason for this could be fleas and ticks.
In Persistent Itching, the itching is more localized and the dog scratches a particular area but the visible signs are negligible to non-existent. This type of itching results in thinning of fur and flaky skin and more or less associated with allergies.
In Chronic Localized Itching, the itching is chronic and extremely painful for the dog. The symptoms include skin rashes and infection. These spots emit pus are make the dog smelly, ultimately resulting in hair loss.
In Chronic/Severe Itching, the dog experiences intense itching. The most common reasons for these are mange or microscopic mites, which lead to crusty and scab-like skin.
There are some other severe itching problems such as fungal infections. They are less common, but also require a vet's attention.
The best possible ways of treating itching in dogs is a combination of proper medication and skin treatment. Persistence in treating the itchiness topically while you are addressing the underlying causes through diet, supplements and medication will greatly benefit your dogs' ability to heal and reduce his or her stress as well
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