Dog scratching is one of the most common causes for veterinary examinations according to many veterinary resources. The causes of dog scratching can be parasites or a skin condition.
Fleas are one of the most noticeable causes of dog scratching. The dog owner may be alerted to the presence of fleas by seeing the fleas or flea dirt on the dog or flea bites on people in the household.
A severe flea infestation can cause hair loss and sores on the dog’s skin due to scratching. Dogs may be allergic to flea saliva that can make these symptoms significantly worse.
Flea allergies are not the only type of allergies that can cause dog scratching. Dogs can have allergies to medication, dog food, vaccinations, and substances in their environments.
The cause of a dog scratching its ears is often ear mites. A dog with ear mites may also shake its head.
Mange is a parasitic infection from mites that can cause intense itchiness. Tick bites and infestations of hookworms or lice can be causes of dog scratching.
A common cause of dog scratching are hot spots. Hot spots are a severe, prolonged reaction to a skin injury or irritation from infections, allergic reactions, or poor grooming. Hot spots can also cause hair loss and severe skin irritation.
Itchiness in dogs can be caused by infection of hair follicles by staph or hypersensitivity to staph. Sebaceous adenitis is a skin condition that causes destruction of the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous adenitis causes dog scratching and hair loss.
Two less common causes of itchiness than some of the previous causes are calcinosis cutis and pelodera dermatitis. Often a symptom of Cushing’s disease, calcinosis cutis causes mineral buildups of the skin. Pelodera dermatitis is caused by larvae from a worm that is not normally parasitic.
Some types of cancer can cause itchiness in dogs. Lymphoma and epitheliotropic lymphoma are two types of cancer that can be causes of dog scratching.
Mosquito bites and stings from bees or wasps can cause itchiness. In severe reactions to insect stings, ulcers or hives may develop. Since itchiness is a uncomfortable symptom of many different conditions, dog owners should have their dogs examined by a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.