Signs and symptoms of itchy skin in dogs
If your dog is scratching excessively, particularly around the tummy, hips and ears and they are pawing at their face or chewing their itchy paws, this is a sign they are experiencing skin irritation. The appearance of excessive dandruff (flaky skin) in their fur suggests dry and probably itchy skin too. Look out for areas of inflamed (red and sore) skin, scabs and bald patches.
If the itching (and scratching) continues, your dog may break the skin and get an infection, resulting in a weeping and smelly wound that needs veterinary attention. Chronic itching can lead to darkening and thickening of the skin. In lighter coloured dogs, you may notice reddish-brown staining under their eyes or around their mouth, which are an indication of skin irritation.
- Rodrigues Hoffmann A, Patterson AP, Diesel A, Lawhon SD, Ly HJ, Stephenson CE, et al. (2014) The Skin Microbiome in Healthy and Allergic Dogs. PLoS ONE 9(1): e83197
- Gedon, N.K.Y., Mueller, R.S. Atopic dermatitis in cats and dogs: a difficult disease for animals and owners. Clin Transl Allergy 8, 41 (2018).
- Anturaniemi Johanna, Zaldívar-López Sara, Savelkoul Huub F. J., Elo Kari, Hielm-Björkman Anna. The Effect of Atopic Dermatitis and Diet on the Skin Transcriptome in Staffordshire Bull Terriers Frontiers in Veterinary Science 7 2020 763