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HomeDear VetBabbleCould Dog Scratching and Missing Hair Indicate Mange While Dog Sitting?

Could Dog Scratching and Missing Hair Indicate Mange While Dog Sitting?


Dear VetBabble,

I’m dog sitting for a friend, and I’ve noticed that the dog keeps scratching and has hair missing from certain areas. Could it be mange? What could be causing this issue, and how can it be treated to relieve the dog’s discomfort?


It’s so lovely to see that you care for your furry friend’s well-being! There are several possible reasons for the excessive scratching and hair loss, and we’re here to help you address the underlying concerns for this issue. We’ve broken down the answer into three sections:

Possible Causes for Scratching and Hair Loss in Dogs

When a dog excessively scratches and loses hair, it’s usually an indication of some sort of skin irritation or issue. The most common reasons include:

  • Mange: A skin disease caused by mites. In the case of mange, you would notice your dog’s hair falling out in a patchy way accompanied by severe itchiness. To learn more about mange, check out our article Does My Dog Have Mange?
  • Allergies: Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from different types of allergies. This might be due to food, pollen, dust, or other environmental factors. If you think your dog might have allergies, our article Dog Allergies is a great resource for understanding and identifying allergies in dogs.
  • Alopecia: Hair loss in dogs can also be caused by a medical condition called alopecia. It has various causes, such as hormonal imbalances, infections, or even stress. We’ve covered the topic in-depth in the article Why is my dog’s hair falling out? Alopecia, allergies, and other causes of hair loss in dogs.

Consulting Your Local Vet for a Proper Diagnosis

Given that there are several potential causes for your dog’s discomfort, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian who can provide a proper diagnosis. They might perform a physical examination, skin scraping or allergy tests, and will then recommend a treatment plan according to the specific issue affecting your dog.

Treatment and Relief for Itchy Dogs

Once your dog has been accurately diagnosed, relieving its discomfort becomes the top priority. Depending on the issue, treatment may consist of:

  • Medications: Your vet may prescribe medications such as antibiotics, antifungal creams, or corticosteroids to directly address the issue.
  • Topical therapy: Medicated shampoos or creams can be effective at alleviating itchiness and promoting skin healing.
  • Dietary changes: If your dog is suffering from a food allergy, a special hypoallergenic diet may be recommended.
  • Environmental modifications: Addressing the allergens present in your dog’s environment can help to reduce or eliminate allergic reactions.

Regardless of the treatment plan, it’s essential to maintain open communication with your vet and follow their instructions closely to ensure your dog’s recovery.

For more general advice on easing discomfort for itchy dogs, our article Simple Tips for Itchy Dogs is a great resource with helpful suggestions and recommendations.

In conclusion, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to accurately diagnose the cause of your dog’s excessive scratching and hair loss. With their guidance, you can help treat the issue and ultimately provide relief for your furry friend.

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