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Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Skin Conditions

Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Skin Conditions

It can be unbearable when your dog is suffering from dermatitis. Here we have our Bakersfield vets explain what causes your dog's skin problems, itching and scratching, and what can be done. 

Skin Conditions That Cause Itching & Irritability

At any point in a dog's life, they may experience itching. Generally, the itching they encounter will be irritating but will resolve itself on its own. There will occasionally be situations where the itchiness may be caused by an underlying skin condition that will require medical intervention and treatment from your vet. 

    Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

    There could be any number of causes for skin problems in your dog, some of the most common causes are:

    Parasitic Bites

    One of the most common causes of itching in dogs is bites from fleas and mites, and also happens to be one of the easiest skin problems to treat. Your vet can prescribe medication to resolve the parasite issue. There are also medications available that can be used as preventive care for your dog to avoid fleas, mites, or ticks in the first place. 

    Environmental Dermatitis

    Some dogs suffer from skin irritation caused by environmental factors, such as grass, dirt, and plants. Some of the symptoms that your dog might experience include itchy/dry or cracked skin, rashes, blisters, redness, or swelling.

    Some ways that you can alleviate these symptoms at home include antihistamines or oatmeal baths. After an examination from your vet, they may recommend a cortisone cream or other alternative depending on the severity.

    Nutritional Dermatitis

    Although it is uncommon there is the chance that your dog may have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in their food. Typically, nutritional dermatitis most commonly presents itself with skin irritations and scratching, but digestive issues are possible as well, such as diarrhea or vomiting. If your dog is displaying either type of symptom, it's best to make an appointment with your vet.

    Skin Allergies

    Just as in humans, some dogs endure the symptoms of allergies. This can be a very common reason for visiting with your vet as no one wants their dog to suffer.  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, watery eyes and sneezing, rashes, and inflamed skin.

    Having your vet perform a thorough examination and diagnostic testing can help to determine the cause behind your dog's allergies and skin problems. Your vet will then be able to recommend treatment as well as ways to prevent future allergic reactions. 


    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 causes the dog's fur to stick out.

    Occasionally, hives will present with swelling near the eyes. Using a hypoallergenic shampoo and hydrating leave-in conditioner may also help alleviate the symptoms for your dog. Ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.

    Emergency Cases

    If your dog's itching persists for more than a few days, it is highly recommended to make an appointment so your vet can diagnose the issue and treat the condition appropriately.

    Prolonged itching can cause excessive scratching and biting at the itch which can create a self-inflicted injury that could leave your dog susceptible to infection if left untreated.

    Book an appointment with our Contact our Bakersfield vets to learn more about skin problems in dogs, or to seek treatment options

    New Patients Welcome

    Stine Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vet is passionate about improving the health of Bakersfield companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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    (661) 398-7121