Causes of Itchy Skin in Dogs

Causes of Itchy Skin in Dogs

To relieve your pet canine from itchy skin, it is essential to know the exact cause behind the problem. This DogAppy article walks you through the most common causes of this skin problem as well as some treatment options and preventive measures for the same.
DogAppy Staff
Itchy skin is one persistent problem that many dogs suffer from. There are certain causes, precautions, and cures for this ailment. Itchy skin is caused by a variety of reasons, and is curable with the help of simple and timely remedies. The symptoms, causes, and appropriate remedies for such conditions have been discussed in the following paragraphs.

The Main Causes

Infection
Infection is a common cause for the itchiness that dogs experience on their skin. Skin, fur, and hair of the canine is prone to be contaminated by many microbes, like bacteria and fungi. Staphylococci, which is also known as Staph Bactria, infects the hair and fur of dogs. An early symptom of this infection is an itchy skin, and appearance of yellow pustules in the fur. In the later stages, infected rashes, loss of hair, and reddened skin is also observed. If it is not treated in time, Staph bacteria is capable of entering the blood flow, making your dog ill. The best precaution that you can take is cleaning the fur with a comb regularly. Increased number of baths per week is also advisable. If you spot any lesions or yellow pustules, rush your canine friend to the vet. This bacteria can be eliminated with the help of certain measures, like, vaccination, antibacterial shampoos, and powders. In some cases, bandaging of rashes and lesions, also becomes necessary in order to stop the spread of infection.

With the bacteria invading your dog's fur, the fungi are not left far behind. There are primarily two types of fungi, Microsporum and Trichophyton, which are classified as ringworm fungi. Fungal infection is commonly observed in young dogs. Dry, itchy skin, characterized by dead skin tissues, is the first symptom of this infection. It is soon followed by hair loss. The hair loss occurs in circular patches, and has a dry and crusty appearance. Fungicidal shampoos and topical lime sulfur are used by vets as remedies for the fungal infection.

Allergies
Itchy skin does not necessarily mean that your pet has been infected with bacteria or fungi. Sometimes, allergies are also a cause of itchy skin. Pet dogs are sometimes allergic to some or the other substances, like, pollen, dog fleas, dust, etc. Out of all the allergens, many dogs are allergic to flea saliva. The skin of such dogs is sensitive to flea saliva to such a large extent, that a small flea bite sets the dog off on a frantic scratching spree. This kind of allergy is also known as Flea Bite Dermatitis. There is no concrete cure to this allergy, but keeping the fur of the dog clean, and giving him a bath on a regular basis, is a great method of prevention.

Atopy or Atopic dermatitis is an allergy-related skin disorder that occurs as a result of inhalation of allergens such as pollen or dust. In some cases, dogs suffering from Atopy, are also allergic to substances, such as, wax, soap, cloth detergents, etc. Itching is the basic symptom of such allergies. The itching can also lead to other skin-related ailments, such as red patches (also known as hot spots), rashes, and skin infections.

There are several other causes of itchy skin in dogs, such as parasites, unhygienic conditions, and lack of nutrition. The best preventive measure against such ailments is to keep the fur and hair of your dog clean. In case, you see anything abnormal about your dog's itching, take him to the vet, as it might also be a result of an unknown allergy, parasite, or infection.