Pruritus is the scientific word that includes any form of scratching, itching, biting or licking your dog. A dog has the right to show signs of scratching at times. However, when it becomes recurrent, skin lesions can appear and this becomes more worrying for owners. In general, when your dog scratches a lot, a vicious circle sets in and keeps the itching. Keep in mind that if your dog gets upset by scratching a lot, he also suffers! You can use effective medicine for itching like anti-itch medicine for dogs.
There are many causes of pruritus in dogs that we will detail here. In most cases, a treatment reduces the desire for scratching and therefore the associated lesions

The different causes of pruritus

External parasites

In the notion of external parasite, we mean all insects or mites that come into contact with your dog’s skin and cause pruritus. The main insect involved is the flea. This insect is unfortunately present everywhere in the environment and swarm very quickly. The dog is scratching because the flea stings to feed on blood, but the dog can also develop allergic reactions against the flea bite (against the saliva of the flea) and this will accentuate pruritus: we talk about DAPP (dermatitis by allergy to flea bites). You should know that when you see a flea on your animal, it can mean that the environment (home) also contains fleas. Indeed for a chip on your pet, there are about 90 times more eggs ready to hatch in the environment! Unfortunately, it often happens that we do not see the fleas on the dog while they are present.

Among the other parasites involved, mention may be made of scab agents, lice, fats, cheyletials, etc. All these parasites generally cause cravings for scratching.

Treatment: The application of pest control product is the most effective method to get rid of these pests. The products are mostly effective for fleas and other types of pests. It is advisable to treat the dog against fleas every month because it can catch it during a simple walk or you can bring eggs under your shoes that will then bloom in your home. Treatments come in various forms: tablets, pipette, necklace … It is also advisable to treat your house well when there is fleas on your animal because fleas / eggs are hidden in the carpets or floors and can -infest your animals. Also beware of cats that are flea tanks: so you have to treat them too.

In any case, your vet will be best placed to give you treatment and advice.


Skin infections

The dog has a flora of bacteria and fungus in a natural way on his skin. This one contributes to the protection of the skin. However, when the dog is scratching a lot (eg due to external parasites = primary cause) the skin is less protected because of pruritus-induced microlysis, and therefore these normally harmless bacteria and fungi can then proliferate abnormally. This causes an inflammatory reaction of the skin (dermatitis) which then increases the itching. The skin lesions become important with plates, crusts, raw skin and sometimes pus. Fungal infections usually cause less pruritus but also cause skin lesions.

Treatment: In most cases, antibiotic or anti-mycotic treatment is necessary. However it is also necessary to cause the primary cause of scraping (often fleas / external parasites) to stop the vicious cycle.

In any case, your vet will be best placed to give you treatment and advice.

The allergies

Allergies can be of all types and the allergen that is to say the element causing the allergy is unfortunately not always detected. Allergies are usually manifested by pruritus but other symptoms can be associated (diarrhea, depilation). We have already mentioned the DAPP which is an allergy due to flea bites.

–   Food allergy As the name suggests, this allergy is caused by diet. Indeed, the body of the dog can “react” abnormally vis-à-vis some constituents of his diet and this can cause pruritus. It is often an allergy or intolerance against certain types of proteins (beef, chicken, milk). It is sometimes difficult to find which constituent is the cause of the allergy. It is then necessary to set up, with the help of your vet, a predatory diet: it is a question of completely changing the ration of your dog for several weeks and to bring him instead a ration with proteins “new “That his body has never met (horse protein, sheep). Then
Treatment: if the process to identify the allergen of the food involved is sometimes complicated, when it is well identified, the treatment is very easy. Just avoid any food containing this allergen in your dog’s diet.