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Dog Skin Problems: Dog Scratching, Itching, & Other Issues

In dogs, itching, scratching and licking are common signs of a skin condition called dermatitis. Our Greensboro vets list potential causes for your pup's skin problem and how you can help your pet feel better. 

Skin Conditions That Cause Dog Itching & Scratching 

At some point in their lives, most dogs will inevitably encounter itching. Though it will likely be annoying for your pooch, it will probably not be serious. However, depending on the skin condition your veterinarian will need to examine your pup and treat it so it doesn't develop into a more severe problem. 

Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

If you've noticed your dog has recently started scratching, biting or licking their fur, a skin condition could be the culprit. Some of the more common dog skin problems are as follows:

Environmental Dermatitis

This skin irritation develops due to contact with certain substances, such as plants, dirt or grass. Symptoms include redness, swelling, rashes, blisters and/or itchy/dry or cracked skin. 

To alleviate this condition, we typically recommend oatmeal baths or antihistamines. Depending on the severity, your vet may suggest a cortisone cream or other alternative. 

Nutritional Dermatitis 

While nutritional dermatitis is a relatively uncommon issue for dogs, it's possible that they may have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in their food. Typically, nutritional dermatitis leads to skin irritations and scratching, though digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea may also occur. IF your dog is displaying any of these symptoms, it's best to book an appointment with your vet. 

Parasitic Bites

Bites from fleas and mites are one of the most common sources of itching in dogs, and one of the easiest to treat. Your vet can prescribe medication to resolve the parasite issue. You can also proactively give your dog medication to avoid fleas, mites, or ticks in the first place.

Skin Allergies

Some dogs are prone to allergies, making this a somewhat common reason to visit the vet. 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. Your vet may be able to diagnose what is causing the allergy and will 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 would cause the dog's fur to stick out.

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

Urgent Cases

If your dog's itching persists for more than a few days, you should make an appointment so your vet can diagnose the issue and treat it. Prolonged itching can cause excessive scratching and biting at the itch which can create a self-inflicted injury. This can become serious if left unchecked.

Veterinary Allergy Treatment in Greensboro

Our veterinary professionals know that chronic recurrent skin problems, ear infections and allergies can be extremely irritating to your pet, and frustrating for pet parents.

With a range of tests available to us in-house, we look for the root cause of your pet’s skin disorder and offer a customized treatment plan to start the healing process.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

To learn more about dog skin problems or to seek treatment options for your pup, contact our highly skilled Greensboro vets to schedule an examination.

Dog Skin Problems, Greensboro Vet

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