Dog Scratching Ears then Licking Paws: 7 Common Reasons and What to Do About Them
Itchy ears in dogs are extremely unpleasant. Ears can itch deep inside, and no matter what the dog does, the discomfort doesn’t go away. Dogs might scratch their ears with their front and back paws, rubbing their head on the carpet, furniture, and people. If you see your dog frequently and intensely trying to “help” you scratch them, twitching their hind legs as you rub their ears, time to see your vet. Severe itching can result in your dog scratching their ears until they bleed. It’s best not to let it get to that point, and take action at the first sign of illness. It’s always easier to prevent than to treat.
My dog is always scratching but doesn’t have fleas: 7 common reasons why
Dogs itch, lick or bite themselves, lick paws and tails for a variety of reasons, from boredom to serious illness.
There are a number of different causes for canine itching, but one that often goes unnoticed is parasites. Ticks can cause quite the infestation if they’re not detected early enough – so don’t assume your dog hasn’t got anything wrong with them just because you cannot see any symptoms!
Dogs are often itchy because they have food allergies or environmental exposure such as mold and pollen in their environment. A skin irritation called “contact dermatitis” can also develop when the dog comes into contact with substances like pesticides or soaps which cause a burning sensation on its epidermis (the topmost skin layers).
Boredom or anxiety
Dogs can be just as anxious and obsessive-compulsive in their behavior patterns as we are. The condition manifests itself through constant scratching or licking, which causes serious damage if left unchecked.
Dry skin in dogs is often caused by a number of factors, including vitamins and fatty acid deficiency. Your pet may respond to the discomfort by scratching or licking their coat.
Your dog’s skin is more delicate than most people realize. If the hormone cortisol isn’t in balance, it can lead to superficial infections and allergies.
When you think about why your dog is excessively licking and chewing themselves, be sure that there’s something in their environment causing them physical discomfort. For example, if pooches are constantly biting at paw, it could mean they have a thorn or sharp rock inside of it which will cause pain. Compulsive paw licking can also happen as an allergic reaction due to orthopedic problems including arthritis and hip dysplasia
A dog isn’t a child and can’t stick a foreign object in its ear. But it’s not uncommon for grass or tenacious plant seeds, burdock or an insect to get accidentally lodged in the ear. A foreign body causes discomfort and dogs persistently rub and scratch their ears with their paws and whine. You should take your pet to the vet or have it examined as soon as possible. A prolonged presence of a foreign body in the ear may result in serious inflammation, which will require long-term treatment.
Preventing ear problems in dogs
The best way to fight the disease is prevent it. To prevent your pooch from getting an ear disease due to parasites, treat your pet for fleas and ticks in time.
Keep an eye on your pet’s ears: clean them regularly with lotion and a cotton pads. Don’t clean their ears with cotton swabs as this can cause inner ear damage. To do it, pour a small amount of lotion into their ear canal, and massage it in at the base. Excess wax will end up on the outside of the ear drum, from where it can easily be wiped off with a cotton pad.
If you know your dog is prone to food allergies, make sure they’re on a proper diet and talk to everyone in the family about not feeding them human food. For allergic animals, this is extremely important. For other types of allergies, at the first sign of aggravation, see your veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent rashes.
How can I help my dog with itching and moist dermatitis before basic treatment?
Since compulsive behavior can cause serious damage and affect your pet’s quality of life, it’s important to do everything possible to keep them from scratching, chewing and licking themselves too much:
- Use a bitter spray. Applying a bitter spray to the inflamed area will prevent it from licking.
- Wear a bandage soaked in bitter liquid. Moist dermatitis can be protected from licking and scratching with a special bandage.
- Wear a cone collar. A protective cone collar is a real deterrent for your pet when they try to scratch or lick themselves. Collars are available for all pet sizes from miniature to large.
- Give them medication for itching.