Dogs perceive the world through their sense of smell. For this reason, the muzzle is a very exposed part of the dog, perhaps most of all. whether to find food remains in the soil, socialize or locate prey, its snout is always in the “conflict zone”.
Anyone who owns a dog has seen how the animal often rubs the area near the nostril. We will give you a summary of the main reasons why dogs scratch their noses.
Allergies that produce itchy face
Surely the arrival of spring triggers this reaction in allergic animals, but it can also occur throughout the year. If your dog is always scratching its face, but also other parts of the body, the main causes are:
In this case, itching is accompanied by sneezing, nasal discharge (rhinorrhea), and inflammation of the eyelids and/or conjunctivitis. Sometimes the lips can also become inflamed. This occurs in severe cases due to the animal’s close contact with the allergen.
It will be necessary to intervene with a corticosteroid- based therapy to remove the itchiness and keep the dog away from areas with lawns rich in grass, especially after being cut.
Allergy to dust mite
The dog is constantly scratching or rubbing his face on the ground even in cases where It has this type of allergy. Steroidal anti-inflammatories (or corticosteroids) are effective at punctual times but the best thing to do is to prevent the dog from being in contact with the farinae, the dust mite.
For the animal, it will be advisable to avoid carpets, pillows, blankets, which slips under the beds. We will have to pass the vacuum cleaner meticulously and clean the furniture with a damp cloth.
In this case, our four-legged friend has an allergy to materials of which Its toy or the bowl in which it eats or drinks is made, so you will observe that the dog always scratches in the same place on the muzzle.
Redness and wounds may appear in the nasal septum area above the nose, and inflammation of the lips (called cheilitis). In addition to the usual therapy against allergies, it’s essential to replace everything with which the dog’s face comes into contact that can trigger an allergic reaction.
Although these processes are easy to control, dog itching can lead to secondary injuries such as corneal ulcers or wounds susceptible to infection. In these two cases, it’s necessary to contact the veterinarian immediately. However, we still suggest a visit to the specialist if you suspect that your trusty dog is allergic to something.
Dog skin diseases
The muzzle area is composed of two fundamental points: the union between the oral mucosa and the skin of the lips and the union between the mucosa of the nose and the skin of the nasal septum. These two transition zones are a small Achilles heel for our dog, in fact, they can be attacked by dermatological problems that cause severe itching.
There are many varieties of this autoimmune disease (Pemphigus can be foliaceus, bullous, erythematous, ..). It is an immune problem in which the body attacks itself in an autoimmune process. In these cases, the problem is caused by something external that causes the formation of antibodies against the area of the skin attacked by this external agent.
The dog will begin to scratch compulsively, you will see peeling of the skin, erythema, and the formation of bubbles in the nasal septum. These lesions are very recognizable in the butterfly wing shape and can have a moist appearance if contaminated with bacteria as well. Treatment consists of immunosuppressants, and also by means of an antibiotic if there is a secondary infection due to the scraping. It is very important to avoid sun exposure.
The areas of the lips and the nasal septum are very exposed due to the little hair and pink skin. Sometimes we don’t realize that our four-legged friends burn in the summer and sometimes even suffer from sunstrokes, especially when it comes to the muzzle area. It is very important to prevent (and, if it has already happened, to treat) this problem with emollients and regenerating creams based on zinc and vitamin A, or with Aloe Vera.
Other facial dermatitis that can cause the dog to scratch continuously include juvenile cellulitis, painful pyoderma that affects puppies; the dermatophilosis , or fungi of the nasal septum; juvenile chin acne, which can itch and become contaminated later.
We must not forget that the yeast Malassezia pachydermatis, naturally present in the chin and on the muzzle, can cause any lowering of the immune defenses and proliferate. Thus we will see once again how the dog scratches itself continuously for the annoyance.
Caterpillars and foreign bodies
During the spring-summer period, our dog’s face is exposed almost daily to dozens of species of caterpillars, whose hair can be more or less stinging. For example, if the animal, unfortunately, sucks in a caterpillar of the pine processionary butterfly, the lesions of the nose and tongue are terrible and sometimes trigger tissue necrosis.
There are many other species of caterpillars that irritate our dog’s face causing moments of intense discomfort and itching, sneezing, and vigorous rubbing without further consequences. Check the areas where you go for a walk with your dog and try to identify the possible presence of these caterpillars to avoid them.
In certain tropical areas, fly larvae and other insects may be seen in the nasal cavities of dogs (myiasis).
my dog keeps scratching his mouth
Many dogs will scratch their mouth area if they have a contact allergy to food or plants etc. they have eaten or chewed on. Another reason could be mouth pain like an infected tooth or gum disease.
Another reason might be that your dog has chewed on something and got lodged in the teeth or gums.
If your dog continues to scratch Its mouth you need to visit your verterianain as soon as possible for a full expamination.
Other infrequent causes
The causes explained above are the most common but they are not the only ones. If you wonder why your dog scratches his face all the time, the answer could be that It’s suffering from some alteration of the conches or sinuses. In this case, we only realize it when the dog begins to expel blood and secretions.
In the case of aggressive neoplasia such as carcinoma, the degeneration of the nasal cavity can even lead to deformations of the muzzle. The discomfort can cause dog itching but does not always manifest itself, or sometimes it does when the bone alteration of the nasal septum has already appeared.