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Dog Skin Problems: Scratching & Other Conditions

Dog Skin Problems: Scratching & Other Conditions

Is your dog scratching, itching, and licking at their fur? They might have dermatitis, a skin condition seen in dogs. Today, our Grand Prairie vets discuss some of the most common skin problems in dogs and how they can be treated.

Skin Conditions That Cause Itching & Irritability

At some point in their lives, almost all dogs will encounter itching. Generally, this will just be annoying for your pooch and nothing severe. Although, some skin issues have to be addressed by a veterinarian and need treatment to keep them from getting more serious.

    Common Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options

    There is a handful of potential causes that could be making your dog itch and scratch, a few of the most common are: 

    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 occurs when dogs encounter certain substances, such as plants, dirt, and grass. Symptoms can consist of dry, itchy, or cracked skin, as well as blisters, swelling, rashes, and redness.

    Some ways we suggest alleviating this condition is with oatmeal or antihistamines. Depending on the severity your vet may recommend a cortisone cream or other alternative.

    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 exhibiting any of these symptoms call your vet to schedule an appointment.

    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 other symptoms besides itching include excessive grooming or licking, watery eyes and sneezing, rashes, and inflamed skin. Your vet might be able to diagnose the cause of the allergy and will recommend treatment, as well as ways to prevent future allergic reactions.


    Hives are another kind of allergic reaction and can be caused by many things such as medications or bites. Symptoms will appear as a raised bump that makes a dog's hair stick out.

    Sometimes, hives will appear with swelling near their eyes. You can use a hypoallergenic shampoo designed for dogs, which usually helps relieve this condition. A hydrating leave-in conditioner might also help. Ask your vet which treatment they recommend for your pooch.

    Emergency Situations

    If your dog continues itching for more than a few days, schedule an appointment with your vet so they can diagnose and treat the problem. Prolonged itching can cause excessive biting and scratching at the itch which can cause a self-inflicted injury. If this problem goes without treatment it can become serious.

    Contact our Grand Prairie vets today for more information about dog skin problems or to schedule an appointment for your pup's itching and scratching. 

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