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Q:

My Westie is always itching and has really red skin. What could the problem be and what can I do?

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Skin irritations can be very common in dogs with many cases at the vets being dermatological. Breeds such as West Highland White Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, German Shepherds and Boxers can be susceptible to skin problems. Skin problems arise from an inflammation or dermatitis which causes irritation to the dog, making them scratch with either their claws or teeth. This can result in hair loss, more inflammation and more itching. If the itching breaks the skin, bacteria can invade the site and cause an infection. Skin diseases can be very difficult to diagnose and treat with the symptoms of many quite different skin problems having similar properties. Accurately pinpointing the root of the problem can be an expensive and time-consuming process with causes ranging from fleas and mites, wool, drug hypersensitivity, bacterial skin disease to a food allergy. You must initially try and identify what is causing the dog’s inflammation. Assuming that a trip to the vet has ruled out ... more
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