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Common Causes for a Dog's Incessant Scratching

There are many reasons why a dog may scratch; some require the intervention of a qualified veterinarian while others do not. This article only scratches, if you will forgive my play on words, the surface.

1. Nutritional Dermatitis An imbalanced diet can lead to uncontrollable scratching, licking, and more serious, even life-threatening problems. Many pet owners unknowingly cause their pet’s problems by buying less expensive store brand foods. Every one is subject to making this error because all store brand product guarantee states that it will meet your pet’s dietary need 100 percent. The truth is that they do not, so the money you save by buying store bran foods over veterinarian-approved brands will cause you pet harm and will cost you even more money in the end. I have been a pet owner-both dogs and cats-for over fifty years and even I fell into that trap for a while. 2. Parasitic Dermatitis Some of the more common parasites that cause canine skin problems are fleas, ticks, chiggers, deer flies, and gnats. Fleas are one of the most common problems. Your best friend can have fleas even if he spends all or most of his time indoors because fleas enter every home by many avenues of ingress. They hop in from the yard when you open a door or window. They ride in on your clothes. The wind carries them in in larvae form and they hatch on your carpet. Ticks are another common but much more serious cause for never-ending scratching. There are two types of ticks-hard ticks and soft ticks. Ticks are carriers of many disease vectors, many of which are life threatening, so if you discover that your best friend has them it is time to call the vet. Ticks burrow under the skin and if you attempt to remove them on your own and only get part of a tick leaving part of it still under the skin of your pet a serious infection can set in. Mites such as ear mites are still another common cause for scratching. If your’ pet has mites it is time for a trip to the vet. If you have other pets in the home-cats or dogs-this disease can be passed from the infected animal to the other animals in a heartbeat. 3. Infectious Dermatitis Our canine friends are subject to bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections the same as we humans are and they cause the same reactions in canine as they do in us humans, they cause their victim to itch just as if they had rolled in a patch of poison ivy. 4. Allergic Dermatitis Animals are subject to develop allergic reaction to a myriad of antigens just as their masters are and there is no easy way to determine what antigen is causing their problem. Animals are tested for antigens just as we are and it is a long, drawn out and costly process but it is a price we will gladly pay to alleviate our beloved companions suffering. 5. Neutrogena Dermatitis This is extremely hard type dermatitis for even the most experienced veterinarians to diagnose but when they have eliminated all other possible causes for your companions suffering, they are usually faced with neurological dermatitis. 6. Environmental dermatitis Last but not least, environmental dermatitis can be caused by just about anything found in nature-grass clippings, ragweed pollen, poison ivy, poison sumac, etc. Once again, a veterinarian can test your pet to determine what environmental antigens are causing the problem

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