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SiG MT 125 What's Up with That DOG-Gone Itch Skin Irritations that May Need a Second Look e sound of your dog constantly scratching or licking can be as annoying as nails on a chalkboard. Many dogs lick and scratch because of itching. In some cases, the itching may be the result of a skin condition. While there are a wide variety of possible causes ranging from parasites to allergies to underlying illness, here are some of the most common canine skin problems that need to be diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian. Allergic Dermatitis Dogs can have allergic reactions to grooming products, food, and environmental irritants, such as pollen or insect bites. A dog with allergies may scratch relentlessly, and a peek at the skin oen reveals an ugly rash. Corticosteroids or other, newer medicines can help with itchy rashes. But the most effective treatment is to identify and avoid exposure to the allergens. Yeast Infection If your dog can't seem to stop scratching an ear or licking and chewing their toes, ask your veterinarian to check for a yeast infection. Symptoms include irritated, itchy, or discolored skin. e infection usually strikes the paws or ears, where yeast have a cozy space to grow. Yeast infections are easy to diagnose and oen respond well to a topical cream. In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe oral drugs, medicated sprays, or medicated baths. Seborrhea Seborrhea causes a dog's skin to become greasy and develop scales (dandruff ). In some cases, it's a genetic disease that begins when a dog is young and lasts a lifetime. But most dogs with seborrhea develop the scaling as a complication of another medical problem, such as allergies or hormonal abnormalities. In these cases, it is vital to treat the underlying cause so symptoms do not recur. e seborrhea itself typically can be treated with certain medicated shampoos. Ringworm Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm, but by a fungus. e term "ring" comes from the circular patches that can form anywhere, but are oen found on a dog's head, paws, ears, and forelegs. Inflammation, scaly patches, and hair loss oen surround the lesions. Puppies less than a year old are the most susceptible, and the infection can spread quickly between dogs in a kennel or to pet owners at home. Various anti-fungal treatments are available. PET HEALTH 101 TEXT BY DAWN MILLIGAN

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