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Dog Skin Problems: Dog Scratching, Itching, & Other Skin Conditions

Itching, scratching, and licking can not only be annoying for your dog, but they may be signs that your dog is suffering from a skin condition. Today, our North Fort Myers vets discuss some causes, signs, and treatment options for some common skin conditions seen in dogs.

Skin Conditions Causing Itching & Irritability

It's normal for most dogs to be a little itchy at some point. It can often be annoying for your dog but not necessarily cause for concern. Some conditions can be serious and require a trip to the vet for treatment and to prevent them from becoming worse.

    Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

    There are several reasons to consider if you've caught yourself wondering "why is my dog scratching so much?" Some of the more common ones include:

    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, blisters, rashes, swelling, or redness.

    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.


    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. Bathing with Hypoallergenic shampoo can help relieve your dog of uncomfortable symptoms. A hydrating leave-in conditioner may also help. Ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.

    Nutritional Dermatitis

    Sometimes issues can originate from allergic reactions to ingredients 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 book an exam with your vet.

    Parasitic Bites

    One of the most common reasons your dog is itching is bites from fleas and mites, thankfully they are also one of the easiest to treat. Your vet will prescribe medication to resolve the issues. Preventive solutions are also available for these types of parasites so they don't become a problem in the first place.

    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, rashes, watery eyes and sneezing, 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.

    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-inflicted injury. This can become serious if left unchecked. 

    Is your dog showing signs of a skin condition? Contact our North Fort Myers vets to have your pup's skin condition diagnosed and treated.

    New Patients Welcome

    We are accepting new patients at Van Roekel & Associates! Our veterinary team is dedicated to the care of North Fort Myers dogs and cats, horses, and farm animals. Reach out today to book your animal's first appointment.

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