Is it a Cause for Concern If the Dog Scratches Its Back More Often than Usual?


In a photo album of almost every owner there is a picture of the pet twisted into a funny pose and scratching vigorously its sides and back. The love of animals for scratching the abdomen area and in places behind their ears is one of the reasons we see them as cute and funny. But sometimes we miss the moment when all the pleasant fun turns into an obsessive habit and the pet begins to show signs of discomfort. A loving guardian, the one who knows well usual behavior of his or her pet, will see at ones when the dog obsessively scratches its back.

What Diseases Can Be Manifested Be Scratching?

The animal may scratch itself due to itching in different areas of its body and therefore various diseases can be suspected in accordance with the localization of irritation. If the dog scratches its back near the tail and above, this may be one of the symptoms of the following diseases:

  1. dog scratches his backAllergic response. Dogs scratch themselves to blood in case of a flea infestation not due to the bites themselves, but because of an allergic reaction to those bites. So, even a single flea can lead to allergies. Therefore, it is recommended to practice preventive measures. Also, such allergies can be due to food intolerance or malnutrition. It often occurs when the pet was fed by jumbo oats (in natural diet) or cheap low-quality dog chow.
  2. Sarcoptosis. Quite often, subcutaneous tick manifests itself by itching around the muzzle and on it. The most difficult for diagnosing are those conditions manifested by scratching of the back. Not every veterinarian will readily suspect sarcoptosis. One of the signs is the hair shedding at the site of the injury and appearance of scabs.
  3. Neurodermatitis. In other words, the disease is known as atopic dermatitis. It may have various causes, but without determining the particular reason it is impossible to prescribe effective treatment. Often, atopic dermatitis acts as a general diagnosis for allergies and other skin irritations.
  4. Ringworm. The disease is characterized not only by severe itching, but also by shedding of the area, its reddening and peeling of the skin at the edges of the bald patches. The affected area usually has a clear rounded shape. The ringworm is easily treated; just do not neglect the problem until the moment when there is a wound from scratching, which can easily develop an infection.
  5. Burn wound. Both thermal and chemical burns bring severe discomfort to the pet. If the latter is the case, an allergic reaction may also develop, thus worsening the condition. Deep burns are very dangerous for animals, so they need to be immediately treated with appropriate means, and do not hesitate to visit your vet for relief of pain.

Most of these reasons may seem obvious, but quite often dangerous diseases are masked by seemingly common body reactions. Therefore, if the problem lingers in a dog for 3-5 days, it is imperative to visit a veterinarian.

How to Treat Badly Scratched Dog’s Back?

If the dog scratches its back with uncharacteristic enthusiasm and there are other concomitant symptoms like shedding dog scratches its back alwayshair at the wound site, the first thing that should be done is disinfection. You should better be wearing gloves in the process, as in some cases (for example, with lichen) you can become infected or (as with an open wound) make it worse by infecting it. Chlorhexidine is an ideal medication for this task. It leaves no burning sensation in dog and there are no allergy-causing components in it. Disinfection should be performed in soft, sponging motions. No need to rub the irritated area aggressively or try to remove the dry scabs. Deeper cleansing of the sore place is better be left to the veterinary.

It is advisable to restrict the dog’s access to the sore area. To achieve this use postsurgical collars, blankets, loosely knotted bandages. The irritated skin can get into sweat under too tight dressings, and this in most cases leads to complications, not to mention discomfort for the pet. No ointments are required, if you do not know real causes for itches in dogs. You just need to take the animal to the veterinarian for examination, so that the doctor could perform scraping, take a probe, maybe even get a blood sample. All this is not a whim, but way to eliminate possibility of a more serious illness or get timely treatment prescribed. Regardless of the nature of the condition, carry out regular sanitary dog scratches its back constantlyand hygienic cleaning of the house, which includes removing all bedding and bedspreads from dog’s favorite rest spots, changing the bed linen and the capes on the furniture. It is also recommended to process the floors and skirting-boards against parasites (there are all-in sprays that affect their various types), and if there are other animals, carefully examine their coats, and drop on it some anti-flea solution.

When the dog begins spotting uncharacteristic enthusiasm for scratching its back on the sofa, you should not immediately give in to panic and suspect flea infestation and food allergies en masse. It is more likely that the pet merely needs attention or it has gone numb on one side and is now trying to ‘get its blood going’. You should examine the pet without panicking  and keep watch for a while. Even if there are no reddish spots yet, but there is noticeable obsessive desire to constantly scratch and lick the area, you should inspect it closer and at the first appearance of suspicious signs contact a veterinarian.

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