If your dog is scratching and licking his or her paws, then you want to know why so you can make them feel comfortable. The problem with skin reactions is they are often caused by different issues. Plus, your dog may have more than one cause. Here is more information about the way skin problems manifest themselves and their common causes.
Common Skin Problems
Skin problems come in multiple forms depending on your dog's health and condition. Here is a list of some common skin reactions that might indicate something wrong.
- Itching: Some itching and scratching are normal, but it should only happen occasionally. An afflicted dog will use every possible moment to scratch when there's a problem.
- Missing Fur: Excessive scratching and rubbing may eventually lead to missing fur in the problem area.
- Excessive Chewing and Licking: Some dogs constantly chew at and lick their paws or base of the tail when they have certain skin issues.
- Scabs and Rashes: Scabs and rashes in any form are not normal. They are a sign of an irritant or health concern that needs addressing.
- Dandruff and Dry Skin: Dry skin is not uncommon under certain circumstances. However, dogs should not have a major problem with dandruff.
Common Skin Problem Causes
Pet owners should aware of the following issues.
- Allergies: Allergies are a major cause of skin problems, especially when the problem is around the mouth and paws. Dogs can be allergic to parasites, grooming products, and even food. Your dog will likely suffer other issues such as watery eyes and even sneezing.
- Parasites: Parasites often cause major skin problems, especially if your dog has an allergic reaction to them. Fleas, for example, can cause hives, scabs, and rashes.
- Nutritional Imbalance: Nutritional problems can contribute to dandruff and poor coat condition. Chances are your dog will also have other problems such as stomach issues and vomiting.
- Bacteria and Fungi: Some bacteria and fungal infections cause itching and fur loss. Ringworm, for example, is a common fungal infection that can spread quickly if not treated.
- Systemic/Hormonal/Autoimmune Diseases: Certain autoimmune issues, like lupus, can cause problems with skin healing and infections. Thyroid and adrenal issues are also a cause of severe dandruff and skin flakiness.
If your dog is very uncomfortable and scratching frequently, then take them to a veterinarian right away. Some skin problems can worsen and become severe if not treated promptly. Your veterinarian will do tests to determine why your dog is itching and what treatments are available. That way, both you and your dog will feel healthy again as soon as possible.