Pet Symptom Checker

Desire to scratch, chew, lick, rub itchy skin

Medical name: Pruritis


  • Hair loss
  • Inflammation
  • Itchy skin
  • Biting or chewing self
  • Reddened skin


Pruritis in pets refers to a condition in which your pet exhibits the strong desire to scratch, bite, or chew at his itchy skin. Your pet may also show signs of hair loss, or shedding beyond normal. The condition can be caused in dogs by canine atopic dermatitis, which starts when an allergy-prone dog inhales dust, pollen or other allergens. Fleabite dermatitis is caused by oversensitivity to chemicals in the saliva of the flea (even just one in some dogs). More itching, scratching, oozing, and crusty skin can follow. Irritant contact dermatitis comes from contact with substances like carpet-shampoo residue or other cleaners, plants, certain fabrics (yes, dogs can be allergic to wool) or even chemicals in flea collars. Other symptoms of pruritis may include skin inflammation or reddened skin. If you suspect your pet is suffering from pruritis, your vet can help to determine the underlying cause in order to treat accordingly.

Zootoo does not provide veterinary medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition.
If you think your pet may be experiencing a medical emergency, call your veterinarian or an emergency animal care facility immediately.

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