Q:

What can you do to help a dog with itchy skin?

A:

Quick Answer

Managing a dog's coat, regularly brushing a dog and ensuring it gets proper nutrition help to relieve some cases of itchy skin on dogs. Determining the cause of a dog's itchy skin helps in the treatment of it.

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Full Answer

When bathing a dog, owners must make sure to completely rinse off all shampoo. Shampoo residue left on a dog can cause itchy skin. Owners also should avoid frequent baths because this takes necessary oils out of a dog's skin, causing itchiness. Hair dryers should be avoided to dry a dog because they dry skin out and irritate it. Instead, owners should towel-dry a dog, patting its coat until dry. Brushing a dog helps spread the natural oil throughout a dog's coat. Brushing also helps relieve any allergy symptoms causing itchy skin, by removing pollens from a dog's fur.

Improper nutrition wreaks havoc on a dog's immune system. Without a fully functioning immune system, a dog cannot ward off viruses, like mange, and many allergies that might affect it.

When special care does not relieve itching, owners must look to remedies. There are two types of remedies available: topical and oral. Topical remedies relieve symptoms related to allergies, such as an allergy to fleas or hives. Oral medication relieves other symptoms causing the itching, such as a low immune system, stress or emotional problems. Once fleas, hives and other common sources of itching have been ruled out, a vet helps owners properly determine the cause of the itching and the proper course of oral treatment.

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    In dogs, mange is a skin disease caused by external parasites called mites that are found on the dog's skin and hair follicles. Dogs typically play host to a number of mites, although mange occurs when the number of mites on a dog's skin multiply rapidly.

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    To cure itchy skin, take certain medications, undergo phototherapy, avoid stress, apply a cold compression and avoid scratching the skin, explains Mayo Clinic. Wear soft, cotton clothing to prevent irritation. If itching results from internal diseases, including thyroid or kidney problems, treat the underlying diseases.

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    How do you know if your dog has lice?

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