Anonymous

My Westie dog keeps scratching the base of her tail and the skin in that area is flaky, what could it be?

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Angela Anthony Profile
Angela Anthony answered

It could be an allergy to something, places like that are called "hotspots". They make a spray you can get at any pet retailer called hotspot spray. Keep the area clean, spray it with the spray which helps with itching and put some antibiotic ointment on the area.

Beth Leivers Profile
Beth Leivers answered

If your dog is scratching the base of its tail and the skin appears flaky or dry, then it could be that your dog has dandruff. Dandruff is a dry skin conditions, and it is actually quite a common aliment for the Westie breed.

What causes dry skin in dogs?

  • Allergies - your dog may be allergic to a product which you are using on it, something in your house, like a plant, or even the food you are feeding it
  • Diet - if you dog is deficient in certain vitamins, or does not have sufficient fat in its diet this may manifest as a skin complain.
  • Mites - mites can irritate the area, and also cause a dog to itch making the skin flake more
  • Humidity - if your dog is exposed to a lot of dry heat its skin may become dry, and flake

Infection or an internal issue - dry skin can be a sign of a bigger problem, and it may indicate that your dog has some internal health issue

You should definitely see a vet to help determine what is causing the flaky skin. In the mean time you can try changing the shampoos you use to wash your dog to ones specifically for dandruff, and also make sure your dog is getting everything it needs from its diet.

Many pet owners whose dog suffer from dandruff actually add a table spoon of olive oil directly to their dogs food a couple of times a week, and have found that this greatly improves their dogs skin and coat

However, you should first try and address the issue at the cause. It's worth going to the vets as they may prescribe a treatment or antibiotics, and they can provide you with appropriate advice.


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