It is not uncommon for your dog to scratch itself from time to time. However, if you are noticing your dog is constantly itching, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. It is especially important to determine the underlying cause of your dog's constant itching if your dog is beginning to lose fur or scratches to the point where your dog's skin is raw and bleeding. Here are a few common reasons why your dog is constantly itching.
Fleas, Ticks, or Mites
One of the most common causes of chronic itching is the presence of an external parasite. Typically, the parasite will be a flea, tick, or mite. If your dog is itching several parts of its body, the issue could be fleas. The best way to determine if fleas is the culprit is to check your dog's skin and look for small insects. A tick will typically cause the dog to itch only one area, which is the area where the tick is present.
Mites are very small and have eight legs, much like a spider. Mites are the cause of a common condition called mange, which typically leads to small patches of missing fur. There are two different types of mange: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. If you find an insect or arachnid on your dog's skin, contact your veterinarian to determine a course of treatment.
Food or Environmental Allergies
In addition to insects, which can cause itching through an allergic reaction, there are several other types of allergic responses that can cause chronic itching in dogs. For example, beef, fish, rabbit, pork, soy, egg, and chicken are all ingredients in your dog's food that could be triggering an allergic reaction. One way to determine the culprit is to exclude certain ingredients from your dog's diet until you isolate the cause of the itching.
Just like you, your dog can also suffer from seasonal allergies. If your notice your dog is itching during the spring or summer, contact your veterinarian to determine if there is a seasonal allergy causing the issue. Your vet will also provide recommendations to ease the itching associated with seasonal allergies.
For example, frequent baths can help remove pollen and dander from your dog's skin. A prescription antihistamine might also provide your dog with some relief.
If your dog is constantly itching, there are several possible causes, including seasonal allergies, insects, or a food allergy. The best way to determine the cause of your dog's itching is to talk to your vet. Visit a website like http://www.murrellsinletvethospital.com for more dog care tips.