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Dachshund Scratching – How To Stop Your Dachshund From Scratching

When you think of Dachshund health problems, back problems and obesity are probably the first things that come to mind, but they aren’t the only problems Dachshunds have. Along with many other breeds, Dachshunds have skin problems, their owners desperately want to keep their Dachshunds from scratching.

What causes dachshund scratching?

It’s important to find the cause of the scratching and treat the underlying problem, as failure to do so can result in costly problems in the long run. Common causes of Dachshund scratching are:

parasites – Parasites, including fleas and ticks, can cause itching and lead to scratching. Owners should use monthly flea and tick prevention and should regularly check their Dachshund’s skin for ticks and signs of fleas (either the fleas themselves or black “flea dirt”), treating them if necessary. Even Dachshunds that have received prevention can sometimes get fleas and ticks. Other parasites include chiggers, gnats, and mites, some of which cause intense itching, skin inflammation, and hair loss.

Infection – Skin infections are caused by bacteria, fungi or yeast. If your Dachshund’s skin looks red, has sores, lumps, or bumps, or is greasy and smells bad, you should have it checked out by your vet.

allergies – Allergies cause many Dachshund scratching problems. Allergies are commonly to something in food, in the environment (dust, pollen), or to fleas. A visit to your veterinarian is recommended to find the cause of the scratching. This often involves parasite treatment, a change in diet, and possible allergy testing and medication if the scratching continues.

neurogenic – Dachshunds may suddenly start licking, chewing or scratching at one part of their body. The cause of this is often unknown, but it is thought to possibly be the result of boredom, anxiety, or some minor abrasion that has caught their eye. They will lick, chew, and scratch endlessly, causing lesions that will never fully heal. The classic example of this is a lick granuloma, which is often found on the lower leg. Owners can try increasing their Dachshunds’ exercise and mental stimulation, but may need to seek the help of a veterinary behaviorist.

nutritional – A dog’s coat should be smooth, shiny and not thinning or balding. Dachshunds whose diet is not complete can have rough and brittle coats, and their skin becomes dry, scaly, red and irritated. Supplements can be added, but it may be more worthwhile to seek out a higher quality food.

Environment – Dachshunds that spend a lot of time outdoors, either in the water or digging in the dirt, can scratch a lot. This is because dirt and water dry out and irritate your skin, including your ears, which can retain water and lead to ear infections. If your Dachshund spends a lot of time outside, you should give him a bath when you return home and clean his ears to remove any water.

Veterinary visits

If simple home care doesn’t stop your Dachshund from scratching, you’ll need to take them to the vet. They will examine your dog and find the underlying cause and treat it appropriately with medications, baths, or dietary changes. If your Dachshund has neurogenic scratching, the solution may be more difficult to find. Initially, your vet may have your dog wear an Elizabethan collar (plastic cone) to prevent it from reaching the area and break the chewing habit. Ultimately, your Dachshund may need to be referred to a veterinary behavior specialist for specialized treatment.

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