Being constantly itchy can be incredibly frustrating; both for the dog experiencing it and their owners watching them!
Being itchy can impact your Corgi’s quality of life and make it difficult for them to focus on other things such as eating, playing, and resting. For some Corgis, they may be so itchy that it keeps them awake at night.
Common causes of itchiness in Corgis:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Skin mites
- Harvest mites
- Bacterial infection
- Yeast infection
Frustratingly, it isn’t always easy to determine why your furry friend is itchy and what needs to be done.
Similarly, for many Corgis, itchiness is an ongoing issue that can wax and wane over many years. This article will cover what’s normal, the signs to look out for, the causes, and what to do.
Is It Normal For Your Corgi To Itch?
We all scratch an itch from time to time. Theoretically, dogs shouldn’t be itchier than us. So a quick scratch or lick every so often is only to be expected.
You may find that your dog gets a little itchier when the weather is warmer.
However, if your Corgi seems to be scratching or licking excessively, this calls for further investigation.
Signs To Look Out For
Whether or not your corgi is constantly itchy isn’t always so obvious. It’s easy for us to get accustomed to our own dog’s behavior and brush certain behaviors off as nothing.
Signs to look out for that all indicate itchiness:
- Scratching their skin with their claws
- Chewing their skin and fur
- Rubbing a body part (on e.g. carpets and furniture)
- Licking (especially of the paws)
- Skin tremors
- Pinnal-Pedal Reflex (when we touch the dog’s ear, their hind leg starts to scratch involuntarily)
Of all of these signs, paw licking is the least recognized by owners. Dogs lick their paws because they are unable to scratch them. Paws are a very commonplace for dogs to be itchy.
While licking them infrequently can be seen when a dog is grooming themselves or bored, repetitive paw licking almost always means your dog is itchy.
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6 Reasons Why Your Corgi Is So Itchy
Sometimes, determining the cause of itching can be difficult. This is because there are quite a few potential culprits and it isn’t always easy to differentiate between them without running some tests.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common causes:
1. Atopic Dermatitis
When a dog is atopic, they can react to things in their environment (such as pollens or grasses) or that they ingest (such as chicken, dairy or peas). For most Corgis, symptoms start between the ages of one and five.
As well as being itchy, affected dogs may have red skin and will be prone to skin infections, ears infections, and infected anal glands. It can be useful to run allergy tests to determine what your Corgi is reacting to.
For most, they will be managed long-term on a combination of anti-itch medicine, medicated shampoo, skin supplements, and a prescription diet.
2. Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Some dogs are allergic to flea saliva. When these dogs encounter a flea or two, their bodies over-react. Dogs become incredibly itchy and may scratch and pull at their fur. They can be so irritated that they cause open wounds that bleed. In general, the skin above the rump is worst affected.
3. Skin Mites (Sarcoptes or Demodex)
Mites are microscopic parasites that are not visible to the naked eye. Mites cause mange, which can be infectious to other dogs and people. Sarcoptic mange is notorious for causing extreme itching and we may also see fur loss and scabbing on the ears, elbows, and paws.
4. Harvest Mites
Harvest mites are tiny orange mites that tend to live on the paws. They are most prevalent in the Autumn months and can be seen without a microscope. As the Corgi doesn’t have especially furry paws, we should be able to see these little mites quite easily.
5. Bacterial infection
While it is normal for there to be some bacteria living on a dog’s skin, excessive bacteria levels or the wrong kind of bacteria can cause an infection. Signs will include itching, red skin, and possibly a discharge.
Some bacterial infections may also cause bright red rings of skin to appear; these are known as ‘target lesions’. Deep bacterial infections are difficult to treat and it may take several weeks of antibiotics and medicated washes before we get on top of things.
6. Yeast infection
Unlike some other breeds (such as the Pug and Frenchie), the Corgi isn’t especially prone to yeast infections. However, they can certainly occur. They tend to be secondary to an underlying issue such as atopic dermatitis. Affected Corgis may have greasy skin and a musty odor.
Keep in mind that there are quite a number of health conditions that don’t directly cause itching but can lead to an itchy dog. This is due to them causing secondary bacterial or yeast infections. Diseases like Cushing’s Disease and Hypothyroidism would be typical of this.
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When Should You Be Concerned?
While an itchy dog is unlikely to be very sick, they are probably in some discomfort. If your dog seems itchier than usual, it’s time to take a closer look at things.
Check for signs such as:
- Thin fur
- Bald patches
- Pink or red skin
- Skin that is broken and scabby
- Ooze or discharge
- A bad smell
- Dry or flaky skin
When examining your dog for these signs, focus on areas such as their ears, muzzle, belly, paws, and above their tail.
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How Can I Treat My Corgi’s Itchiness
Of course, if your Corgi is itchy, your instinct will be to try and relieve them of this discomfort.
However, there isn’t always a quick fix. Treatment will depend on what is going on and will likely need to be prescribed by your dog’s vet.
The treatment plan will be determined once we have established a diagnosis and may include:
- Anti-itch medicine such as Apoquel, Cytopoint or Prednisone
- Topical corticosteroids
- Anti-parasite Treatment
- Medicated shampoo
- Allergen avoidance
- A prescription hypoallergenic diet
- Skin supplements
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How To Prevent Your Corgi From Itching In The Future
How we move forward will depend on what is going on with your Corgi. Those who have suffered from itchy skin in the past may well experience future episodes of itching.
Try to keep their skin and fur in tip-top shape and keep a close eye on how they are looking. At the first sign of anything abnormal, take a visit to the vet.
Groom your Corgi regularly. While bathing your Corgi is advised, it should not be done more than once every few months. Bathing too often can strip the natural oils and lead to dry skin. Remember to always use a mild natural shampoo designed for your dog.
- This is a natural option that also works to reduce itchiness.
For many, feeding a good quality diet with minimal ingredients can help. It is also advised to offer a skin supplement containing plenty of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to strengthen the skin barrier.
Ensure your Corgi is kept up to date with their external parasite prevention. There are plenty of products (such as tablets and spot-ons) available from your vet.
Itching is not always straightforward. There are many potential causes and the treatment plan will differ from dog to dog. If your Corgi is suddenly scratching more or licking their paws, have them seen at your local vet clinic.
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