Itchy Skin in Dogs

What causes Itchy Skin in Dogs?

Dogs with ‘problem skins’ are a very common sight at veterinary clinics and a source of much frustration to dog owners. When we go back and look at the clinical history of many of these cases, we see that over the years these patients are periodically being treated for itchy skin. So what causes this and how can we treat it?

Some of the potential causes of itchy skins include: infections, parasites, allergies, immune mediated disease, keratinisation disorders, miscellaneous skin diseases and even certain types of cancer! Once the skin has become inflamed and irritated the dog then starts scratching. This often results in a seemingly never ending cycle of itching-scratching-itching and scratching.

This often presents vets with a challenge; owners understandably want their dog to stop scratching and want the skin ‘fixed’. Unfortunately there are often multiple contributing factors that can cause the skin to become inflamed and irritated and a ‘quick cure’ is usually difficult to achieve. Traditionally these dogs have received symptomatic treatment, which works in the short term, but they then have a skin flare up some months later.

Itchy skins often have an allergy as the primary cause of the disease – in many cases it can be challenging to identify and eliminate the cause of the skin irritation. In these cases, controlling the things we can (fleas, worms, infections, diet etc.) and improving the quality of the skin we can reduce the frequency and severity skin flare ups.

At Alphen Vet we are continually looking at ways in which we can provide the best care we can. When it comes to skin disease, we are looking at how we can possibly identify the cause of the itchiness so that we can find the best course of treatment. Unfortunately curing ‘Itchy Skin Disease’ is not always possible and in these cases we have some exciting and innovative products that help us manage the condition.

If you are interested in how we may be able to help your dog, give us a call to book an appointment on 021–794-1522.