How To Stop Dogs Scratching In 8 Not-So-Easy Steps

why dog scratching

If you’ve got an itchy dog, it gets very frustrating very quickly. Nothing seems to help for long, and everyone tells you something different. Is it the food, is it grass, is it mites?

I’ve been seeing itchy dogs for nearly 30 years and I’ve yet to see one who can’t be helped. Here I’m going to boil down all the conflicting advice into a simple step by step approach.

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Help! My Dog’s Head Is Tilted To One Side

dog head tilt

Some dogs you never forget. They’re the ones you know you failed. Like Holly.

She came to me late one night for vestibular disease. And she certainly had all the classic signs:

  • a head tilted to one side
  • loss of balance and inability to walk
  • rapid eye flicking called nystagmus
  • even nausea and vomiting

It had been happening for two years, on and off, and she needed more of her medication. Except she really needed a whole lot more than that.

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Dog Baiting In Adelaide: What To Know

meat dog bait

In 2020, Adelaide has been awash with stories of dog baits being found in parks. Just this month we’ve had:

  • green pellets found in a Thebarton park
  • meat with pellets at Shepherds Hill
  • kidneys stuffed with bait on the Torrens linear park
  • and yesterday suspicious mince found in Bennett Reserve on North East Road (pictured)

Leaving aside the twisted motives of why anyone would do this, it’s important to understand the risks and what you can do if it happens.

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Help! My Cat Attacks Me Without Warning

cat being held

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious. Look for answers on why your cat bites or scratches you and you’ll find people telling you it’s all about a competition for dominance.

As any genuine cat lover knows, our cats always dominate us. Most of us have enough humility to love them for it. 

It’s stopping them biting and scratching that we’re after. That’s a whole other story with a wholly different explanation. One where aggression is just a symptom of a problem in the cat-human relationship.

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Help! My Dog Has Collapsed

dog fallen over

Emergency facts (details below):

When a dog suddenly falls over or can’t use their back legs, it’s usually an emergency. You should travel to a vet.

On the way, take a video if you can. Here are some things to look for:

  1. Is there muscle movement? This is common in seizures or poisonings.
  2. Is the dog unconscious? Look for a lack of response and passing urine or faeces.
  3. Are the eyes moving? Vestibular disease causes nystagmus or eye flicking.
  4. Is the heart rhythm normal? Place your hand on the chest and try to feel it.
  5. How long does it last? Fainting and airway issues usually only last for seconds.
  6. Is recovery quick? After seizures, dogs commonly appear incoordinated for some time.
  7. What was the dog doing beforehand? Cardiac, respiratory and thermal problems are more common after exercise.

Cardiac arrest is an extremely uncommon cause, and therefore it is not recommended to try CPR. You will see that most causes either recover by themselves or require treatment that only a vet can give.

Now let’s dive deeper into each of these causes…

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