Is your pet keeps on scratching up all night? or licking his feet and scratching his ears continuously. There are many causes of itchy skin in dogs, and sometimes seasonal allergies are one of the main reasons. Just like humans allergies tend to show as watery eyes, itchy, or even sneezing. Similarly, in dogs, allergies affect their skin, especially the ears, feet, and face.
Dogs can be allergic to many different allergens, such as mold, dust, pollen, or grass. From the late summer to early fall there is a significant increase in dogs suffering from irritated, red, and itchy skin. Licking the feet between the toes, and scratching the ears are all signs of seasonal allergies. Allergens can cause irritation from contact when a dog walks through the grass, or by inhaling the allergens. Once the allergens have made the contact, they cause a large release of a substance called histamine and this is the main cause of red, inflamed, itchy skin throughout the pet’s body.
While some dog breeds can get through these allergic seasons with just over-the-counter allergy medication, other dogs need additional anti-inflammatory medication, such as a steroid, to get them through their toughest times. However, this inflammation is too significant and a steroid would be prescribed instead to calm the red and inflamed skin.
If the dog has been licking and itching his feet or legs for a longer period of time, it is quite possible that the dog can develop a secondary bacterial infection. Once the skin becomes irritated, it results in the natural skin barrier to broke down and bacteria which is normally found on the skin can start causing the infection. In these kinds of cases, you need to see your vet for a course of antibiotics to help your pet from getting rid of bacteria and allow the pet’s skin to heal. Depending on how affected the skin is, your vet can even recommend an E-collar, or even called the cone of shame, to prevent your dog from continuous licking and itching of their skin.
Dogs who are prone to seasonal allergies are more prone to ear infections as well, the ear inside is lined with skin that can sometimes be affected by histamine release as well. Once the skin on the inside of the ear is irritated and inflamed, the bacteria that is found in the ear results in infection. The ear is an excellent place and the number of bacteria multiplies since it is a warm, dark, and moist area. If the dog is itching his ear constantly, it is important to bring your pet in to see your veterinarian so that a vet can perform ear cytology. In the process of ear cytology, the vet takes a cotton swab of the inner ear, stains it, and then looks it under the microscope to see if the infection is caused by either bacteria or yeast. Once the vet knows what is growing in the ear and causing the infection, the vet can choose the appropriate ear medication to cure the infection.
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