When your otherwise happy and healthy dog suddenly seems to become extremely itchy and is constantly scratching or biting at their skin, you may find yourself wondering what is going on. While you may want to just jump to the obvious cause of itching in dogs (fleas), there are many possible reasons that your dog is experiencing itching and discomfort. Get to know some of the possible causes of your dog's itchiness so that you can get them the treatment and medications that they need in order to get them feeling better as soon as possible.
Hypothyroidism is a difficult condition for veterinarians to diagnose because the symptoms can often be confused with something else. One of those confusing symptoms is itchy skin, particularly on their back near their tail. Many dogs who suffer from this symptom of hypothyroidism will chew at the fur on their backs, pulling much of the hair out in certain spots.
To find out if your dog is suffering from this condition, your dog's vet can run a blood panel test to check for thyroid hormone deficiencies. If their levels are low, a daily hormone replacement pill is the usual course of treatment. This inexpensive medication is available at a pet pharmacy and will get your dog feeling more like themselves as soon as their hormone levels even out again.
Contact or Food Allergies
Another possible cause of your dog's itchiness is some form of allergies. There are two possible types of allergies that can cause persistent itchy skin. These are contact allergies and food allergies.
Contact allergies refer to something that comes into direct contact with their skin and fur. This could be pollen in the air, an allergy to an ingredient in their shampoo, or even an allergic reaction to flea and tick treatments. If you suspect a contact allergy, talk to your veterinarian. They may prescribe an antihistamine or a steroid medication to help relieve allergy symptoms, or they may recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine. If you are using any dog shampoos or other skin treatments, they may also recommend that you quit using those or change the products you use to see if their itching reduces.
Food allergies, on the other hand, can be a bit more difficult to diagnose. Dealing with food allergies tends to depend more largely on trial and error. When a dog has food allergies, it is often to the grains in the dog food they are eating. The first step to reduce itching and allergy symptoms in your dog will be to switch to a grain-free food. Your dog's vet may also recommend that you go to a chicken-byproduct or chicken-free dog food. This eliminates the most common food allergens from your dog's diet to try to get the best results.
Now that you know a few of the possible causes of your dog's itchy skin, you can be sure that you take the necessary steps to determine why your dog is so itchy and help them get better as soon as possible.
For a veterinarian or a pet pharmacy, contact a clinic such as Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic.