Dear VetBabble: Why is My Dog Constantly Chewing on Herself and How Can I Help Her?
As a loving pet owner, it’s natural to be concerned when you notice your dog constantly chewing on herself. This behavior is often a sign of itchiness, which can be caused by various factors such as fleas, mites, ringworm, or allergies. In this article, we will explore some possible causes of your dog’s itchiness and provide recommendations on how you can help relieve her discomfort.
Section 1: Possible Causes of Your Dog’s Chewing
One of the most common causes of itchiness in dogs is a flea infestation. Fleas can lead to irritated skin and constant chewing. If your dog has fleas, it’s important to treat both your dog and her environment to fully eliminate the infestation.
Mites are another potential cause. Mange is a skin condition caused by various types of mites, and it can be extremely uncomfortable for your dog. If you suspect that your dog has mange, a visit to your veterinarian is essential for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Ringworm, a fungal infection, can also lead to itchiness, hair loss, and skin irritation in dogs. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose ringworm using a special lamp called a Wood’s lamp or through lab tests.
Lastly, allergies can be a potential culprit. Dogs can have allergies to certain foods, environmental allergens, or even fleas. Your veterinarian will be able to help identify the cause of your dog’s allergies and recommend appropriate treatments to manage her itching and discomfort.
Section 2: Initial Steps to Alleviate Chewing and Itchiness
First, ensure that your dog is up-to-date on her flea treatments. If she isn’t, one option is to administer Capstar, a one-time pill that starts killing fleas within 30 minutes. Then, follow up with a spot-on treatment like Advantage or Revolution, which must be applied once a month. To tackle fleas in the environment, wash your dog’s bedding in hot soapy water, vacuum furniture and carpet surfaces, and use a spray like Indorex or a flea bomb to kill fleas in your home. For more information on flea and tick control, check out this informative article on Flea and Tick Control for Dogs.
Section 3: Seeking Professional Help for Persistent Itching
If your dog is up to date on her flea treatments and continues to chew on herself, it’s essential to seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and may conduct blood tests, skin scrapings, and utilize a Wood’s lamp to diagnose the cause of your dog’s itching. Once the cause has been identified, your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate treatment to help your dog find relief.
In conclusion, itchiness and chewing in dogs can be caused by various factors, and determining the underlying cause is crucial to providing the necessary relief. Ensuring that your dog is up to date on her flea treatments and seeking professional help when needed are essential steps in helping your beloved pet. For more information on parasites and prevention, this article on Fleas, Ticks & Worms: What You Need to Know provides valuable insights.