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Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Skin Conditions

Dog Skin Problems: Scratching, Itching & Other Skin Conditions

Itchy, scratchy, and licking habits in your dog aren't just annoying; they're signs that your dog may have a skin condition called dermatitis. Our Lincoln veterinarians identify the cause of these skin issues and provide effective treatments.  

Skin Conditions That Cause Itching & Irritability

Many dogs get itchy at some point, and while it can bother your furry friend, it's usually not a big worry. However, some conditions can be serious and require a trip to the vet for treatment and to prevent them from becoming worse.

    Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

    If you've ever asked yourself, "Why is my dog scratching so much?"  There are many reasons to consider. Some of the more common ones include:

    Parasitic Bites

    If your dog is itching, it's likely due to flea and mite bites, which are quite common. Fortunately, these issues are also relatively easy to treat. Your vet can provide medication to solve the problem, and there are preventive options to stop these parasites from causing trouble in the first place.

    Environmental Dermatitis

    Skin irritation can happen when you touch certain things like grass, dirt, and plants. Symptoms include itchy/dry or cracked skin, blisters, rashes, swelling, or redness.

    To make it better, you can try antihistamines or oatmeal baths. Your vet may recommend a cortisone cream or other alternative, depending on the severity.

    Nutritional Dermatitis

    Sometimes, issues can originate from allergic reactions to ingredients in their food. Typically, nutritional dermatitis results in skin irritations and scratching, but digestive issues may happen 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

    Certain dogs often develop 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.

    Symptoms of these allergies, besides itching, involve increased grooming or licking, rashes, watery eyes, sneezing, and irritated skin. Your vet can identify the allergy's cause and suggest treatment options along with ways to prevent future allergic reactions.


    Another type of allergic reaction is hives. Hives can be a reaction to many things, from bites to 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. Bathing with Hypoallergenic shampoo can help relieve your dog of uncomfortable symptoms. A hydrating leave-in conditioner may also help. Ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.

    Emergency Cases

    If your dog keeps itching for more than a few days, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with your vet. They can figure out what's causing the itch and provide proper treatment. If your dog keeps scratching or biting the itch for a long time, it might hurt themselves. This could turn into a serious problem if you don't get it checked.

    If you're tired of your dog's excessive itching and biting, contact our Lincoln vets and let us help treat your dog's skin problem, allowing them to return to a more comfortable state.

    New Patients Welcome

    Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of pets in Lincoln and the Greater Sacramento Area. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

    Contact Us

    Contact (916) 408-0201