My Dog Won’t Stop Scratching!

Taken from Pet Sitter’s World Jan/Feb 2017 magazine

Common Dermatology Problems

Dr. Karen L. Campbell, veterinary dermatologist and clinical professor of veterinary dermatology at University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine:

Skin and ear diseases are two of the most common reasons for dogs and cats to be taken to veterinarians. Symptoms of skin and ear disease are readily apparant. Owners become very concerned when their pets are miserable – scratching, chewing or shaking their heads or smelling or looking bad.  Unfortunately, many diseases affecting the skin and ears look similiar; therefore, making the correct diagnosis is sometimes difficult.  Additionally, many diseases affecting the skin and ears are controllable but not curable, and this can be frustrating to owners. Veterinary dermatologists are skilled in the diagnosis and management of skin and ear diseases and can help primary-care veterinarians and general practitioners with their more difficult cases and clients.  Information on locating veterinary dermatologists can be found at

There is a wide variety of hereditary, parasitic, infectious, metabolic, immune-mediated and neoplastic diseases affecting the skin and ears that can be diagnosed and managed by veterinary dermatologists. Allergies and recurrent infections of skin and ears are the most common reasons for pets to present for evaluation.

Many new treatment options for itchy pets and those with parasitic diseases have become available over the past decade. Diagnostic testing for infectious and other diseases has also improved.  However, an important concern in both human and veterinary medicine over the past decade has been the increasing frequency of multidrug resistant infections.  New options are needed for improving skin health and treating antibiotic-resistant infections.

Owners can help ensure their pets have healthy skin by consulting with their veterinarians to obtain advice regarding the best diet to promote healthy skin and for recommendations on proactively using flea and tick preventative. They should also ask thier veterinarians for advice regarding shampoos and ear cleaners.

Presented by the American Veterinary Medical Association:


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