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How to Tell if Your Dog Secretly Itches

January 20, 2010

This little shih tzu pretzeled himself when Doc Truli scratched his tail base.

7 Signs of Canine Discomposure

How can you interpret if your dog itches?

These signs commonly mean itchiness. Get it checked out!

  1. Scratching body or face with hind paw (standard itch)
  2. Rubbing ears or face on furniture, floor, carpet, or something scratchy like matting or indoor-outdoor carpeting
  3. Licking paws, toes, forelegs, or sides obsessively
  4. Reddish-brown stains on toes, paws, body…even if you do not see your dog licking (the saliva turns color when UV light hits it)
  5. Chewing at tail base, legs, etc. Especially when your dog digs his or her nose in and chews and nibbles so hard the skin on the nose crinkled up (they look as if they were chewing corn on the cob when they do this)
  6. Pinnal (ear flap)-Pedal (foot) Reflex: When you rub the edge of your dog’s ear and the hind leg automatically comes up to scratch. With scans and crusts on the ears, this often means sarcoptic mange. This mange is contagious. See your vet!
  7. When you scritch the tail base and your dog tries to nibble where you’re scratching (picture above.)

Itchy Flea Facts

Tru Tips:

  • itchiness and hair loss at the base of the tail means fleas in 95% of cases
  • fleas spend 5% of their entire life cycle as biting adults, the other 9.5/10 fleas survive in the form of larva, eggs, and cocoons that resemble dust in your environment
  • flea cocoons can survive at least 7 years in between blood meals. This means if you move into a place that used to have pets, you may have inherited fleas!
  • fleas do not die outside until the ground freezes for ten days in a row
  • 50% of veterinary skin specialist consults result in a diagnosis of fleas, even after the family vet has already addressed the case

Doc Truli advises, “Don’t be proud or in denial about fleas. If your cat or dog itches, especially by the tail and hind legs, think fleas first! Talk with your local vet hospital about the best, most effective flea control recommendations. Do not waste your time and money suffering from amateur advice and supermarket products!

Tru Tip:

Any shampoo will kill adult fleas; you do not need “flea shampoo” to kill fleas. Flea shampoo might repel fleas for a few days, but it will also weaken your topical product you bought at the vet’s office.

Geek Factoid:

Shampoo with lather breaks the surface tension of water over the breathing sphericals that line the flat sides of a flea’s body. The lather allows the water to pour into the flea’s breathing system and drown the flea! You don’t need chemicals to enhance the shampoo!

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 8, 2010 5:00 am

    Nice post…good info about dog itchiness and nice tips.
    This will surely help the dog owners.


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