Why does my dog keep scratching?

Your Labrador retriever Archie has developed an all-consuming scratching habit. When he wakes up, he starts furiously digging at himself, and continues until bedtime with only brief breaks for food and potty walks. You know Archie’s coat is clean, as you brush him daily and he gets bathed regularly. However, Archie could have a bacterial, fungal, or yeast infection. He might have a nasty skin parasite, or even a food or inhalant allergy. You don’t want Archie’s constant scratching to result in a secondary infection, so you’ve asked your Ludington veterinarian to resolve poor Archie’s scratching obsession.

Flea bite itchiness

Fleas might well be the culprit here, as fleas are the top cause of canine dermatitis. Fleas’ saliva contains lots of allergens, causing poor Archie to scratch constantly after he’s bitten. Archie’s scratching can lead to hair loss or raw spots, too. As an added bonus, fleas also distribute tapeworms. Fortunately, your vet can prescribe a monthly topical product that repels and kills fleas, flea larvae, and flea eggs.

Inhaled allergens

This one’s a bit tougher, as Archie might be inhaling allergens from the air he breathes to stay alive. These inhaled allergens can also complicate other skin ailments. After some allergy testing, your vet can prescribe appropriate treatment to give Archie some relief.

Ringworm infection

This misnamed disorder is actually a skin fungal infection that causes scaly red, itchy skin patches. If Archie suffers from a mild case, your vet might prescribe a topical anti-fungal medication. If Archie has developed a wider-ranging infection, your vet might recommend medicated dips or shampoos along with oral medications.

Yeast infections

Skin yeast infections are itchy, stinky, musty-smelling ailments that can also cause thickened-looking skin. These infections generally result from allergic dermatitis or an underlying hormone disorder. Archie’s vet will likely prescribe medicated shampoos, along with anti-fungal medications, to knock out this stubborn infection.

Scabies (sarcoptic mange)

This scary-sounding disorder is caused by a microscopic mite that digs under Archie’s skin, resulting in constant itchiness. Fortunately, your vet can use medicated dips and injectable medications to kill scabies mites.

Once your Ludington vet has diagnosed and treated Archie’s itching problem, your rambunctious dog can resume his fun-loving daily routine. After all, to your lovable Lab, life really is one big party.

Leave a Reply