Skip to Main Content

Pet Care Blog

Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Conditions

Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Conditions

Itching, scratching, and licking are signs your dog has a skin condition known as dermatitis. Find out what might be causing the skin problems and how you can help treat them.


Skin Conditions That Cause Itching & Irritability

Most dogs will inevitably encounter itching at some point. In most cases, it will be annoying for your pet but not serious. However, some conditions do need to be seen by a vet and will require treatment to prevent them from becoming worse.

    Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

    There are several reasons your dog may start to scratch, lick or bite at their fur. Some of the more common ones include:

    Parasitic Bites

    Bites from fleas and mites are one of the most common sources of itching in dogs, and one of the easiest to treat. Your vet can prescribe medication to resolve the parasite issue. You can also proactively give your dog medication to avoid fleas, mites, or ticks in the first place.

    Environmental Dermatitis

    This is a skin irritation that develops due to contact with certain substances, such as grass, dirt, and plants. Symptoms include itchy/dry or cracked skin, rashes, blisters, redness, or swelling.

    Suggested ways to alleviate this condition include antihistamines or oatmeal baths. Your vet may recommend a cortisone cream or other alternative depending on the severity.

    Nutritional Dermatitis

    This is a relatively uncommon issue for dogs, however it is possible that they may have an allergic reaction to something in their food. Typically, nutritional dermatitis results in skin irritations and scratching, but digestive issues may happen as well, such as diarrhea or vomiting. If your dog is displaying either type of symptom, it's best to make an appointment with your vet.

    Skin Allergies

    Some dogs are prone to allergies, making this a somewhat common reason to visit the vet. Allergens that cause itching can be found in pollen, dander, plants or insects, among other things.

    Some of the symptoms aside from itching include excessive grooming or licking, watery eyes and sneezing, rashes, and inflamed skin. Your vet may be able to diagnose what is causing the allergy and will recommend treatment as well as ways to prevent future allergic reactions.

    Hives

    Another type of allergic reaction is hives. Hives can be a reaction to many things, from bites or medications. Symptoms show as a raised bump that would cause the dog's fur to stick out.

    Occasionally, hives will present with swelling near the eyes. Using a hypoallergenic shampoo for dogs will usually alleviate the condition. A hydrating leave-in conditioner may also help. Ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.

    Emergency Cases

    If your dog's itching persists for more than a few days, you should make an appointment so your vet can diagnose the issue and treat it. Prolonged itching can cause excessive scratching and biting at the itch which can create a self-inflected injury. This can become serious if left unchecked. 

    To learn more about skin problems in dogs, or to seek treatment options, contact our Southeast Memphis vets to book an appointment today.

    Dog Skin Problems | Memphis vets

    Looking for a vet in Southeast Memphis?

    We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.

    Contact Us

    Related Articles View All

    Is it an emergency if my cat won't drink water?

    Staying hydrated is essential for your cat's health, but what if your cat won't drink water? In today's post, our Memphis vets share some reasons why your cat may not be drinking and what you should do.

    What You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis in Dogs

    Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative condition in dogs that becomes more severe over time. There's no cure for this painful condition, however, our Memphis vets can provide treatments that may help manage symptoms and allow your dog to enjoy a good quality of life as they age.

    How Often Should I Take My Cat to The Vet?

    You love your cat and want to do everything you can to make sure they live a long and healthy life. So how often do you take a cat to the vet to keep them looking and feeling they're very best? Here's what our Memphis vets recommend.

    What To Do With Your Dog When You Travel

    We understand that leaving your dog behind when you're traveling can be stressful, especially if your pet has medical needs. Here, our Memphis vets share tips to help lessen your anxiety about leaving your dog while on vacation and choose the best place to leave your dog while you're away. 

    What are the symptoms of laryngeal paralysis in dogs?

    Laryngeal paralysis in dogs is characterized by a failure of the windpipe to open correctly when your pup breathes in, instead the sides of the windpipe are sucked into the opening. In severe cases laryngeal paralysis can lead to suffocation, but when diagnosed early there are treatment options available. Our Memphis vets explain... 

    (901) 362-8321 Contact