Scratch, scratch scratch.

There are lots of reasons that your precious pooch might be scratching the crap out of their skin, but none of them are good.

Mange, fleas, and genetic diseases are all factors. So is infection, which is a lot more straightforward in treating than some of the other causes. Here are some common infections that might be afflicting your dog, along with some info about how to treat them.


Dog scratching, Dog scratchs himself

Dog scratching—mksystem (


Yeast Infection

Yeast infections commonly appear in dog’s ears, and are easy to spot. They result in ear rubbing and tilting of the head, as well as waxy residue and scabbing on the outer ear. Yeast infections are easy to diagnose, and can easily be treated with antifungal ointment or a homemade vinegar solution. Learn more about treatments for ear infections here.

Folliculitis and Impetigo

Bacterial infections like folliculitis and impetigo may seem superficial, but can become life threatening if not treated. Impetigo is common in puppies and results in pus-fulled blisters on the abdomen. Folliculitis results from irritation between hair follicles and skin, and often accompanies other skin problems, such as mange, allergies, or injury. Oral antibiotics, antibacterial ointments, and shampoos can all be useful in treating both these bacterial infections. If you want to avoid antibiotics, which can increase your dog’s risk of infection, you can use a povidone iodine treatment. If you don’t catch the infection early, antibiotics might be necessary.


When it’s said that stray animals are likely to have worms, it’s ringworm that is being referred to. This is actually a fungus that forms in circular patches, often on dogs’ heads, paws, ears, and forelegs. Inflammation and hair-loss often surround the lesions, and it is extremely contagious. Luckily, antifungal ointments are super effective in treating ringworm.

Avoiding skin infections

These infections are pretty simple to treat, but they can cause a lot of trouble for your dog’s health if left unchecked. Of course, it’s better if you can prevent infection altogether. You can do this by regularly cleaning your dog, and even regularly disinfecting them with the povidone iodine treatment above. Some bacteria is normal and even necessary for all living creatures, so never rub the skin raw. Just rinse to discourage unhealthy bacteria from taking root.

In some cases, stress can cause infection. It’s best to keep your dog on a predictable routine and take precautionary measures when traveling so that they don’t cause themselves stress-related illness. Animal Couriers has some great tips for traveling with pets.

Have your animals suffered from skin infections? Did you use a specific medicine or home remedy? Share in the comments below!


*None of the above should be construed as medical advice. Your pet’s condition is unknown to the author and it is impossible to diagnose or offer case-specific advice without seeing the problem. Talk to your veterinary professional before taking significant medical action for your pet.


Filed under: Dog Care

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