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My dog won't stop scratching!

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Smelly ears with ear infections. Rub, rub, rubbing that gorgeous face and those eyes... those eyes. Nibbling, biting and licking her feet and stomach. Constantly scratching under his chin and the sides of his body. Tiny orange dots in between his toes. Pimples and skin discolouration. And oh-my-goodness... dandruff and hair loss!

You love your spouse, but you NEVER thought it would turn out like THIS!

Actually, we're talking about your dog. We're sure your spouse is just fine.

If your dog won't stop scratching, the good news is that in the UAE the causes of the itching are relatively few: parasites, infections and allergies. Parasites are usually ticks and mites (microscopic bugs that have to be identified on skin exams). Fleas, unlike in other countries thankfully, are very rarely seen here. On the skin infections front, there are bacteria, yeasts or fungi, and your husband's... oops... your dog's scratching, licking and biting promotes the growth of these organisms on and in the skin.

And then there are allergies - the most common cause of skin problems - which can start from pollens, fungi and moulds, food and dust, or even the bedding! (Have you put him out to the guestroom again!?) These problems develop over time (from as early as a few months of age, onwards), and indeed it is generally younger dogs which are affected, with certain breeds being more prone to allergies than others.

The more information you can tell your vet, the easier it is for them to help with the diagnosis. Think about what sort of foods your dog has been eating? Are there any tummy upsets? When during the day/night or time of year is it worse? How long has it been apparent.

As with human allergies, dogs' allergies don’t just go away. There is a lot you can do to combat the signs and identifying the problem early means better success!

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