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Dog Skin Problems: Dog Scratching, Itching, and Other Skin Conditions

Dog Skin Problems: Dog Scratching, Itching, and Other Skin Conditions

Scratching, itching, and licking are signs that your dog has a skin condition referred to as dermatitis. Our Orlando vets discuss what may be causing your pooch's skin problem and how you can help your pet feel better.

Skin Conditions That Cause Dog Itching & Scratching

At some point in their lives, most dogs will experience itching. Typically, while the itching will annoy your pup, it won't turn serious. However, some skin conditions do need to be assessed by a veterinarian and will need to be treated to prevent them from developing into more severe issues. 

Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Your dog may begin scratching, biting, or licking their fur for many reasons. Some common dog skin problems include:

Environmental Dermatitis 

This skin irritation develops if your dog comes into contact with certain substances such as dirt, plants, and grass. Symptoms include cracked or dry/itchy skin, swelling, blisters, or redness. 

We sometimes recommend oatmeal baths or antihistamines to alleviate the condition. Depending on your dog's specific case and how severe the condition is, your vet may suggest a cortisone cream.

Nutritional Dermatitis 

This relatively uncommon issue for dogs can develop if they have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in their food. Generally, nutritional dermatitis leads to skin irritation and scratching. That said, digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea can also occur. If your dog is showing either type of symptom, it's best to book an appointment for a wellness exam with your vet. 

Parasitic Bites

Bites from fleas and mites are one of the most common sources of itching in dogs, and one of the easiest to treat. Your vet can prescribe medication to resolve the parasite issue. You can also proactively give your dog medication to avoid fleas, mites, or ticks in the first place.

Skin Allergies

Some dogs are prone to 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.

Some of the symptoms aside from itching include excessive grooming or licking, watery eyes and sneezing, rashes, and inflamed skin. Your vet may be able to diagnose what is causing the allergy and will recommend treatment as well as ways to prevent future allergic reactions.


Another type of allergic reaction is hives. Hives can be a reaction to many things, from bites or 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. Using a hypoallergenic shampoo for dogs will usually alleviate the condition. A hydrating leave-in conditioner may also help. Ask your vet what they recommend for your pet.

Urgent Cases

If your dog's itching persists for more than a few days, you should make an appointment so your vet can diagnose the issue and treat it. Prolonged itching can cause excessive scratching and bite at the itch which can create a self-inflicted injury. This can become serious if left unchecked.

Veterinary Grooming in Orlando

Our veterinary professionals, know that chronic recurrent skin problems and allergies can be extremely irritating to your pet, and frustrating for pet parents.

With a range of diagnostic tests available to us in-house, we look for the root cause of your pet’s skin disorder and offer a customized treatment plan to start the healing process. We also offer to groom services that may help to manage symptoms of skin conditions and allergies.

To learn more about dog skin problems or to seek treatment options for your pup, book an appointment with East Orlando Animal Hospital for your canine companion. 

Caring for Pets in Orlando

Caring for Pets in Orlando

East Orlando Animal Hospital is always happy to welcome new clients to our full-service animal hospital. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!

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Contact (407) 277-3497