why does my dog scratch her ears all the time
External parasites in dogs are one of the most common reasons why dog scratch their ears a lot. These are easily spread and make our furry friend excessively scratch and rub themselves on the floor. Due to
bites of ticks, mites and fleas, dogs can spend the day trying to relieve itching and pain. Some may even suffer allergic reactions. They are usually in the dog's ears because this part of the body is easily accessible for them to bite and feed. So if your faithful companion is scratching their ears non-stop, they may have some of the following parasites: There are many species of but these are mainly divided between hard and soft ticks. Some of these species are Ixodes, Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma and Dermacentor. It is important to remove ticks and to do so properly to avoid damage to your dog's ear. You need to use special products recommended by your vet or use tweezers carefully. Take the parasite as close as possible to its mouth and pull it out slowly, without turning or sudden movements.
Fleas are one of the most common parasites in dogs and these are usually spread throughout their body. So if you notice that your dog scratches their ears a lot but also scratches other parts of the body then they probably have fleas. In this case, consult your veterinarian as to which product is best to help you. Be careful with the dosage indicated set by the weight of the animal. Amongst mites found in dog ears there are two particular species that prefer to be in the ears. Particularly Otodectes cynotis mites which cause ear scabies and the Demodex canis mites which cause localized demodectic scabies. If your dog has ear mites you will notice lots of dark ear wax and see them shaking their head abruptly. You may also see some sores or scabs on their ears due to intense scratching. In this case you should go to your vet to diagnose what type of mite it is and they will prescribe the best treatment.
No flea dirt? The problem may be tougher to diagnose, but can definitely be solved. Other common causes of excessive scratching include: Mange: If she seems to itch so badly that she cannot even sleep, you need to consider mange. The most common type of mange is sarcoptic mange, which can also affect people. (You might notice small, itchy bites around your waist. ) You will have to take her in for a diagnosis by a veterinarian, but there are several good alternative therapies you can try. The other type of mange, demodectic mange, does not cause the intense itching that is seen with sarcoptic mange. With demodectic mange, you will notice hair loss which is sometimes accompanied by a secondary bacterial infection and mild to moderate itching. Contact Allergies: If she licks and chews at her feet all of the time, there is a good chance she has a contact allergy.
Contact allergies to a food dish will cause the dog to have redness and itching around the mouth, and contact allergies to a shampoo will make the dog itchy wherever the shampoo is used. Contact allergies are a lot less common than fleas or mange, but if you want to try and rule out this problem, you need to get rid of everything that the dog comes into contact with. Once the trigger is identified, the problem can be solved. Food Allergies: If she itches all over, has swollen ears and GI issues, she may have food allergies. Several types of food can cause allergies, and the only way to find out which ingredient is triggering the allergy is by eliminating all of the potential allergens and feeding something totally new. It is not sufficient to just switch brands of commercial kibble since many of them use the same fillers and the dog may continue to have problems. Once a good diet is found, you can keep the dog on that food or start adding the old components back in slowly until you have found out what she is allergic to. (This is called a challenge diet. ) Environmental Allergies: Allergies to environmental allergens (pollens from trees, grass, weeds, etc. ) will also cause dogs to itch.
Dogs with inhalant allergies might present with problems the same time every year, or the allergen might be something in the house and cause year-round problems. The only way to find out what is causing the problem is by allergy testing. The results are not very reliable, but it is the only test available. Fungal and Bacterial Infections: Itching and scratching may not be the main signs you notice when your dog has a fungal or bacterial infection. The itching may be pretty mild compared to the hair loss and the nasty smell. The dog might have patches of infected skin (hot spots) or have a generalized infection.
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