Is your dog itching and scratching? Are they off their food? Depressed? Or perhaps they've got mites, mange, or worms? Whatever the issue, we've got a range of articles to suit, in our Itchy Dog Blog!
Where's the Itch?
36 CommentsWednesday, 18 November 2015 | Kate
Dogs rubbing and scratching their face can be due to moulting, fungal problems, parasites, dry skin and poor diet.
Hot environments can actually dry out a dog's skin in some cases. Dogs moult twice a year: once in spring for their summer coats and once in autumn for their winter coats. Environments that are warmer than usual can cause dogs to moult year round. Turn down the heating and give Yumega Plus to help with the moulting and clear up dry, itchy skin.
If you wash your dog, especially when getting rid of parasites make sure you wash their face too (avoiding the eyes and muzzle) because the face is a parasite life raft after a wash as it's the only place left untouched!
In some cases what can look like dandruff on a dog's head can actually be parasites such as mites and ticks. Skinny Dip Shampoo will help to get rid of any parasites if you lather it into your dog while bathing (avoiding the eyes and muzzle). Skinny Cream can also help to heal the skin.
A poor diet can also contribute to problems on the face, visit our sister site www.thedogdiet.co.uk for more information.
Ear problems in dogs are usually caused by one of three things: a fungal or yeast overgrowth, ear mites, or they may simply be really dirty and just need a good clean. Fungal problems are caused when the natural balance of yeast and bacteria in a dog's ears is upset. This means that the bacteria or the yeast can grow in abundance, resulting in itchy ears.
When this happens your dog's ears can become extremely irritated and itchy. It is important to be able to recognise when your dog has an ear infection. Common symptoms include: scratching of the ears, swelling or inflammation inside the ear, discharge inside the ears, strong odour in the ear, shaking of the head and irritability.
Alternatively the problem could be caused by ear (otodectic) mites, which are extremely contagious to dogs and cats. These mites should not be confused with Sarcoptic mange which is a completely different disease affecting the whole body.
It doesn't take a lot of mites to cause an intense infestation, which then leads to severe irritation. Ear mites are white, approximately the size of a pinhead and they move. If your dog has mites you can identify them by swabbing some wax from your dog's ear with a piece of cotton, and looking at it against a black background, using a magnifying glass.
If you are not sure what the problem is consult with your vet so they can have a good look at your dog. In any case clean your dog's ears using Lintbells Silvercare Ear Cleaner. Silver contains antibacterial properties, which help kill off bacteria and certain yeasts.
Use the ear drops with the Lintbells Ear Cleaning Cloth, which is designed to aid the cleaning process and kill off bacteria present in the ear. Once the yeast, muck or parasites have been cleared out you can keep your dog free of ear mites with Billy No Mates Herbal supplement.
Itchy Down the Back
If your dog appears to be itching and scratching mainly on their back and towards the base of the tail, or up to the neck area then it's likely that your dog has some kind of parasitic invasion. Equally, they could be suffering irritation brought on by the application of a conventional flea treatment applied to the back of the neck.
Alternatively, they may be suffering from dry, scurfy skin as a result of moulting which is aggravating and itchy. Yumega Plus, and turning the heat down a little if need be will really help here.
As for the parasites, bathing your dog with CSJ's Skinny Dip Shampoo or the Ekoneem Shampoo Bar will eradicate any mites, fleas or mange. These products contain Neem Oil a natural anti-parasitic agent that exterminates mites.
Wash your pet's bedding, if they have picked up fleas or mites they will become infested again if the mites have made a base camp in your dog's bed. Once the parasites are all gone supplement your dog's diet with Billy No Mates Herbal or Tincture as a good way to keep the parasites away, and you won't need to use a conventional flea treatment again, which will put paid to any neck irritation.
Base of the Tail
Problems at the base of the tail are usually a sign of parasites such as fleas and mites. These can be hard to spot but if your dog is itching and scratching the base of their tail it is a good idea to check anyway.
Lather your dog with the Skinny Dip Shampoo, leave in for up to ten minutes if they will stand it then rinse out. Don't forget to wash your dog's bedding as well so if there are any fleas there you can get rid of them.
If your dog scoots across the grass on his backside it could be a sign of worms or blocked anal glands. Dogs have two anal glands (or anal sacs) located either side of the middle of the base of the anus. Dogs brand their stool with an odour so they can mark their territory, and be identified by other dogs. This is why dogs say hello with a friendly bum sniff.
When dogs poo, the pressure of the stool passing through the anus empties the anal glands. The anal glands become blocked when they are not emptied properly through defecation. If a dog's anal glands become blocked they will need to be emptied manually.
You can ask your vet or groomer to do this. Poor diet is often the cause of blocked anal glands. A diet with a good source of fibre will benefit your dog and give them strong and consistent stools. Take a look at our sister site www.thedogdiet.co.uk for more information.
Check for worms too. If your dog hasn't been wormed in a while a conventional worming treatment from your vet is a good idea, then you can move over to Verm-X Herbal Worming Liquid or treats to keep the worms away and stop the scooting.
An All Over Itch
If your dog appears to be itching and scratching all over it could be down to atopic allergies, parasites, moulting and/or a poor diet.
Atopic allergies (hyper sensitivity to pollen for example) can cause a lot of skin problems that are not localised to any one area of the body. Allergies usually show through skin conditions such as rashes, constant scratching, paw licking, dry, scurfy skin and eczema.
When the pollen count is high keep your walk to the beach or pavement, and give your dog a wipe down with a damp cloth when you get back from a walk to remove pollens from your dog's fur. Yumega Plus is also an effective treatment for sensitive and itching skin, especially effective against allergies and moulting.
Parasites, which are picked up through contact such as brushing against bushes, leaves and grass during walks can be swiftly dealt with using Skinny Spray. Simply spray on your dog before a walk, they will not pick up any critters, and anything that does jump on won't last long! Also, use Billy No Mates instead of Frontline or Advocate to keep fleas, ticks, mites and mange at bay.
Poor diet can also affect a dog's overall health so only give them the best food possible so you can minimise any possible maladies. Visit www.thedogdiet.co.uk for more information.
Sore Paw Pads
Your dog's paw pads can become dry and damaged from time to time. The main reasons will be the use of common floor cleaners, many of which contain allergens, spray on fabric and carpet sprays, ditto, and outside the culprits will be de-icing chemicals and road salt.
Inside it's easy to tackle, switch over to a natural floor cleaner or use a floor steamer instead as this will prevent harsh fragrances in cleaners from damaging your dog's paw pads. Ditch the fabric and carpet fresheners too.
Outside, rub Paw Balm onto their paws before a walk, it will keep them soft, moisturise cracked paws and save them from drying them out. Pawz make boots designed specifically for dogs to protect their paws during walks.
Make sure to wash their paws after walks to keep them clean and minimise the risk of damage. Pawz will also help protect against antifreeze.
If your dog has an itchy belly it is usually one of three things: an atopic reaction, probably to pollens and grasses (especially for low-lying dogs!), a fungal problem or parasites.
Atopy is usually caused by environmental factors and manifests principally through the skin; typically as a rash but may include other symptoms. Other common signs and symptoms of an atopic allergy are: skin rashes and infections, skin irritation, hair loss around the affected areas, redness, malodour, scratching and biting, scabs, bleeding, and skin crusting.
Fungal infections can be caused by a few different things: when an imbalance occurs in a dog's stomach (a disruption to their natural pH levels inside the gut), when they have too many carbohydrates or sugars in their diet or when their skin is exposed to warm and damp conditions.
The fungal yeast present on the skin and in the gut is sensitive to imbalance and even a poor diet can result in an infection.
Parasites could also be the cause of skin conditions on and around the belly so check and see if you can spot any chiggers. If you're unsure it's best to consult your vet.
Bathing your dog with Skinny Dip Shampoo by CSJ will help to eradicate most parasites while helping to improve skin and coat condition. Ekoneem Organic Neem Oil will get rid of the fungal element while helping to boost your dog's immune system so they can heal while preventing them from biting and scratching the affected areas.
Paw problems can occur from a few different things and it's important to correctly identify the cause. Itching paws can be caused by allergies, a good paw soak in organic apple cider vinegar mixed 1:1 with warm water should help alleviate itching and irritation.
Parasites can sometimes infest a dog's paws. These will usually be Harvest Mites (depending on the time of year) and can be identified by the naked eye as small orange dots. These mites are usually picked up from bushes and tall grass.
Apply Ekoneem Organic Neem Oil between your dog's toes to help get rid of harvest mites. It contains Neem Oil which is a naturally occurring parasite repellant and killer; neem oil doesn't smell great either, which means your dog won't want to lick it off.
Make sure to clean and dry your dog's paws after muddy walks to minimalise the risk of fungal infections or infestations. Using Skinny Spray on your dog before walks will also help to keep parasites away.
Relentless paw chewing is common and can be upsetting to watch. It can result in the fur turning brown too. It can be down to fungal problems, grass seeds or allergies as it's nice and warm in between those digits.
The best thing I've ever used to stop paw chewing is washing with the Ekoneem Shampoo Bar followed by a rub with a little Ekoneem Oil. After bathing rub the oil right in between the toes a couple of times a day and the itching should stop in a few days. Then use as and when.
Neem, a vegetable oil, fights parasites, is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and all round brilliant!
Itchy, Sore Armpits
Fungal (or yeast) problems in dogs usually occur in warm, damp areas like the armpits, ears, around the knees and can affect all dogs.
Common signs and symptoms of a fungal imbalance are: scratching, biting and licking of the affected areas, hot spots, red, sore, bald patches and malodour. Take your dog to the vet if you suspect they have a fungal infection and bear in mind that the easiest way to tell is the terrible smell an infection gives off.
Parasites may have also made your dog's armpits their new home, it could be ticks, mites or fleas. Ticks actually wait on leaves until a host walks by then they jump on. They love an armpit, or the underside of a chin!
Pollen may also irritate your dog's armpits as an allergic reaction. If there is pollen or foreign allergens in the air that your dog is allergic to then it will probably come out through the skin and perhaps around the armpits because they're warm areas. Whereas we would sneeze in response to allergies it principally shows in dogs through their skin.
Washing your dog with Skinny Dip Shampoo would certainly help to get rid of mites, fleas and ticks and other parasites as well as improving overall skin condition. Ekoneem Organic Neem Oil will help to sooth itching and irritating skin and your dog won't want to lick it off because of its smell, it helps to improve skin condition as well.
To deter parasites from jumping on your dog during walks use Skinny Spray, it's made with Neem Oil, which is a naturally occurring agent that exterminates mites, fleas and ticks.