But Doesnt Scratching Mean Your German Shepherd Has Fleas
Greencross Vets explains that a flea infestation is only one possible reason why your German Shepherd might be scratching.
It is true that fleas can irritate the skin to the point where other opportunistic bacteria, fungi, or parasites can get in and cause further irritation and itching.
But often a dog that is itching doesnt have fleas at all. The itching is caused by something completely different.
However, if your dog does have even a minor issue with fleas and has an allergy to the bugs, this can cause more intense itching. When this happens, it is called flea allergy dermatitis.
Flea allergy dermatitis is a specific type of allergy to flea bites.
While getting bitten by fleas will cause itching for any pet , in affected dogs the itching becomes severe and is often concentrated around the tail area.
For dogs with severe flea allergy dermatitis, all it can take is a single flea bite to set off the itching.
Change Your Household Cleaning Products
Commercially available cleaning products can cause your dog to itch. Many chemicals can trigger allergic reactions or respiratory issues in your dog.
There are lots of naturally formulated cleaning products available that will reduce the reactions in your dog.
Look for products that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Allow all surfaces that have had chemicals applied to them to dry completely before you let your dog near them.
Has Your German Shepherd Had The Same Food Throughout His Life
YES Most likely not a food allergy, as these will most often present only if there has been a significant change from your dogs regular diet.
NO If you have recently changed your dogs diet , then there is a good chance that your GSDs itching is due to a food-related allergy.
If this is the case, speak with your veterinarian. She will be able to help you identify what is in the food that is causing the allergic reaction in your dog, and will also provide suggested foods based on your dogs individual needs.
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Get Help If Your Dog Keeps Itching
The next time you see your dog itching and scratching, use the information outlined above to help you narrow down what the possible problems are. Remember, though, that you dont have to do this alone you can and should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice excessive scratching. This way, the vet can work with you to help figure out the underlying cause of the itching and choose the right course of treatment for your dog.
Although some pet owners feel like scratching is a normal part of dog ownership, remember that it shouldnt be excessive. Everyoneand every dogis itchy sometimes, but when your dog scratches repeatedly or frequently throughout the day, this is a sign that she needs some treatment. You and your vet are sure to find the source of the problem and figure out the best way to take care of your dog together.
At OrlandoVets, we work to find the reason why your dog keeps itching. Whether your pet needs treatment for dog allergies or treatment for a different cause, our veterinarians will work with you on developing the best possible way to help your dogs excessive itching.
Keys To Fighting Food
Giving your German Shepherd a fresh food diet is the best way to combat food allergies that cause skin allergies. Commercial dry kibble and wet foods typically dont have the same levels of nutrition found in fresh food because of the heating methods used in the cooking process, commercial foods often lose the essential nutrition that your dog needs to be healthy and allergy-free. Fresh food diets contain essential fatty acids and healthy fats that are often in sources like sunflower oil and fish oil. Critical minerals and vitamins are necessary to reduce inflammatory responses to allergens, and fresh food has those components .
The chart below includes some solutions to the variety of food allergies that German Shepherds may develop:
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What Are The Potential Signs Of A Serious Itching Problem
Your dog is constantly scratching themselves in some way
If your dog is consistently doing the following to get some relief from their itching, the itching problem might be more serious:
Scratching themselves with their paw nails
Chewing at themselves
Rubbing themselves against another surface
There are signs of damage or harm from your dogs constant scratching
Are there signs of damage or harm to your dog in the area they are scratching as a result of their itching?
For example, in more extreme cases, bleeding, hair loss, inflammation and secondary skin infections can all be caused by dogs itching and scratching themselves.
If you notice any of these things, it might be a strong sign you need to get a vet to check out what might be causing the itching so it can be treated and managed.
Could Your German Shepherd Be Scratching Because Of Mites
Yet another cause of a sudden outbreak of scratching that doesnt seem to have any cause is mites.
Mites are very tiny parasites that feed off the dead skin cells that your dogs skin sheds. While they sound like they are insects similar to fleas, they are actually more like spiders, just in parasite form.
If you see little white flecks on your dogs coat that appear to be moving, these are most likely mites carrying around their dinners of little skin flakes.
You definitely do not want to wait to get your dog treated for mites, because these parasites are what is called zoonotic. That means the mites can jump from your dog to you!
As well, the longer you wait to seek out diagnosis and treatment, the more likely a minor issue with mites will turn into sarcoptic mange, or scabies, a much more serious condition.
As Veterinary Partner explains, because the mites feed on dead skin, they like the more hairless areas on your dog like the ears, belly, or joints.
The adults mate and the females lay eggs in your dogs skin, which hatch and cause intense itching as the young mites begin to move around.
Unfortunately, sarcoptic mange is not easy to diagnose because the symptoms are quite a lot like other skin allergies and conditions that can affect a German Shepherd.
Your veterinarian may need to rule out other issues and do several tests.
Animal Allergy & Dermatology of Colorado presents some very disturbing before and after images of dogs being treated for atopy .
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Regular Itching Vs Problem Itching
Before you ask yourself why your German Shepherd is itching , ask yourself how serious it might be.
As mentioned above, if your GSD is scratching infrequently , and there arent any signs of harm or health damage on their body from the itching, the itching issue might be non serious.
However, if the itching is consistent, intense, doesnt go away, or leads to signs of a more serious health issue, then you as an owner might be concerned.
In the second scenario, you might have a serious itching issue on your hands.
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Yeast Overgrowth And Skin Infections
Hot and humid places can encourage yeast growth in GSDs and so does bacterial infections. They are more seen in skin folds. Yeast overgrowth encourages excess oil production. The oil build-up in skin may result to severe itchiness that will eventually lead to skin infection.
Untreated open wounds usually result in skin infections which are caused by bacteria. Their skin may appear to be red, moist and sometimes with pus. Depending on your GSDs immune system, it may worsen over time.
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How Often Should You Brush Your German Shepherd
The only way to reduce the amount of shedding is to brush your dog regularly. Every German Shepherd shed at different rates and in varying amounts as well. You need to figure out what brushing schedule works best for your dog.
Start by brushing your dog once a week and determine how much they shed after that. If you think there is too much fur everywhere, try brushing them twice a week. Keep doing this until you find out how often your German Shepherd needs to be brushed to keep things under control.
To maximize brushing efficiency, use the undercoat rake at least once a week. Be thorough about it and get rid of any loose fur that may have accumulated under the top layer.
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German Shepherd Itching A Lot Possible Causes:
You can detect a severe flea infestation yourself. Either you see a flea, or you find flea faeces by combing your dog with a fine comb. When you place the fine crumbly black-brown flea faeces on a white handkerchief and moisten it dissolves and you see a blood stain.
Evidence of a skin disease that is underlying the itching are, for example, reddened skin areas, rash , pimples, dandruff formation or hair loss. You should leave the more detailed search for the cause of itching to an experienced veterinarian.
For example, he can use clapping preparations or tissue samples to determine which bacteria, fungi or mites on the skin are doing their bit and find out what triggers the itching by means of allergy tests.
Sometimes it can be tedious to find the trigger of itching, as rehearsals must be taken again and again until the culprit is found, but it is worth sticking to it!
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Food Allergies Can Cause Skin Itching In German Shepherd Dogs
As WebMD for Pets highlights, food allergies in canines are becoming an increasingly common issue for dog owners today.
In fact, current estimates indicate as many as 10 percent of all dogs alive today may be suffering from some degree of food allergies.
Interestingly, food allergies in people are also on the rise.
While researchers are not completely sure what is causing this uptick in interspecies food allergies, there are several suspects, from GMOs to global toxins.
Certain foods are known to be more prone to causing food allergies in German Shepherds and other dog breeds.
Chicken, fish, beef, eggs, dairy, soy, wheat , rabbit, pig , and lamb are some of the most frequently cited food-based allergens.
However, a German Shepherd may also have sensitivities to additional foods. For example, peanuts are known to be more prone to fungus, which can cause intense allergies in some dogs.
It is important to identify which foods are triggering the scratching because you will need to make sure to eliminate these foods from your GSDs diet.
Veterinarians who specialize in allergies and immunology are not sure exactly why dogs have sensitivities to foods that might ordinarily be a big part of their diets such as chicken and lamb.
Even if your dog previously was able to eat the food item, over time sensitivity can develop and it may be necessary to remove that food from the diet going forward.
Why Would My Dog Need An Oatmeal Bath
Dermatological issues among dogs are fairly common â itchy, dry skin or other skin issues can be uncomfortable for your pup, and frustrating for you. These can be caused by anything from allergies or irritants to seasonal changes.
An oatmeal bath is one at-home remedy that can help calm minor itches. Though more serious issues will need a vets attention, you may be able to alleviate your poochs discomfort and save yourself some time and money with this method.
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Do Dogs React To Poison Ivy
Short answer: Dogs can get poison ivy, but its not likely. As always, wed advise using caution and avoiding the plant altogether. Also, note that while dogs rarely develop a rash from poison ivy, they may spread the oils to you if they roll around in the plants.
Id be lying if all this talk of fleas and dry skin hasnt left me feeling a little scratchy! Do you guys and gals get this? I guess now we know how the dogs are feeling!
We hope this article has answered a few questions and that you can soothe your pup with some of our tips. Be sure to let us know about your experiences with itchy canine skin in the comments and share any questions you may have too!
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How To Get Your German Shepherd To Stop Itching Itself
Below, I will show you a number of things that you can do about your German Shepherd itching itself a lot.
Take it to a vet
Often, a dog biting itself will be something that a vet will be able to deal with since a dog itching itself often has an underlying medical cause such as a rash.
If you are unsure of why your German Shepherd has been itching itself or you think that it might have a medical cause then the best option for you would be to take it to a vet.
Give it exercise
If the vet has verified that there is no medical issue then it would help to make sure that your German Shepherd is getting enough exercise.
You can do this by walking it for an hour per day, teaching it to play fetch or by getting a dog walker to exercise it for you.
Avoid negative reinforcement
Negative reinforcement training is where you give your German Shepherd what it wants in order to get it to stop misbehaving. The problem with this is that it will teach your German Shepherd that misbehaving will get it what it wants so it does it more.
If your method of getting your German Shepherd to stop itching itself is to give it things such as treats, toys or attention then it could be causing it to do it more.
Instead, you could try rewarding your German Shepherd when it does not itch itself. When it does itch itself you could try avoiding giving it what it wants if it seems to be doing it to get something from you. You could also try spraying it with a bitter spray to prevent it from wanting to do it.
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Fleas And Mites Can Make Your Dog Keep Itching
Fleas and mites are some of the most common causes of itchy dogs. Most of the time, if your dog seems to be scratching excessively, its because she has fleas.
She may also have mites, which are similar parasites but arent the same thing as fleas. Mites are more likely to infest a dogs ears or nose than the skin, but any part of the dog can be afflicted by an infestation of mites. You can usually see mites if you look closely they resemble collections of very small freckles but can sometimes be seen moving around.
Fleas are much more visible than mites, especially when you look closely at your dogs skin. You may need to part the fur to get a good look. Youll likely notice small black fleas crawling around or may see them hopping off of your dog as well. You might also see flea dirt, which is flea droppings left behind in your dogs fur.
Dogs can be treated for both fleas and mites with antiparasitic medication. Regular monthly flea treatments can prevent both of these problems from occurring in most situations. Your vet will let you know which options are best for your dog.
Avoid Using Room Or Fragrance Sprays
Some German Shepherd allergies are brought on or worsened by unnatural, chemical-laden room and fragrance or perfume sprays.
Avoid using these items, including the plug-in room fragrance models, if you suspect your German Shepherd has allergies or is itching constantly.
Remove any fragrance plug-ins and dont burn any candles or incense.
Your dogs nose is much more sensitive than your own and they can smell even the lightest of fragrance which can trigger allergies. Try forgoing your perfume and fragranced body sprays and deodorants to see if this makes a difference in your GSDs allergies and scratching.
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Why Are My Dogs Itching So Much
A: This is a common problem that many people experience with their pets. There are a few different causes for this, including fleas, mites and even allergies. If youre concerned about your pets health, it would be best to contact your vet.
The home remedies for german shepherd itchy skin is a topic that people often discuss. The discussion usually includes the use of oatmeal baths and other home remedies.
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How To Treat A German Shepherd Ear Infection
A German shepherd ear infection can be very uncomfortable for your faithful companion. Fortunately, its also relatively easy to diagnose and cure with a little good old-fashioned TLC of you, some antibiotics from your vet, and regular cleanings at home.
Here are some tips on how to identify the symptoms of a German Shepherd ear infection as well as the best ways to treat it.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Ear Hematomas
A hematoma forming from a German Shepherd scratching ears excessively is usually caused by an underlying problem. Bacterial or viral ear infections, allergic skin disease, or even ear mites may be the reason. In addition, German Shepherd floppy ears may increase your GSDs risk of contracting German Shepherd ear allergies in this sense, changes in anatomy make German Shepherds prone to ear infections.
When you find your German Shepherd scratching ears and shaking head incessantly, you will want to treat this as soon as possible these are common German Shepherd ear infection symptoms.