Boxers are undeniable clowns of the canine world, but the stress of severely itchy skin can significantly dampen their joyful nature and sense of humor. Allergies and skin disorders may cause your boxer to itch. Itching may also be a sign of muscular discomfort and pain. If your boxer is scratching in such a way that he harms himself, take him to the vet to rule out any potentially life-harming concerns.
Breed Skin Disorders
Boxers are susceptible to a few skin-related issues such as cutaneous asthenia - a fragile skin condition that leads to scarring. This disorder is rare, and can only be treated by living modifications. Boxers are also prone to hypothyroidism, which can manifest in a dry, itchy coat. Hypothyroidism is treated with regular injections. Boxers are also predisposed to atopy dermatitis, an over-sensitivity to allergens that may easily lead to intense itchiness and scratching. Atopy dermatitis is treated by first locating the source of the allergen (typically dust mites) and eliminating it.
Like humans, boxers can also experience an allergic reaction to the pollen and allergens in the air. The first step in treating airborne allergies is to find the source -- grass, tree pollen and hayseed are common allergens. Then you need to reduce the amount of time your boxer spends around these stimulants. Keep him indoors during days that list a particularly high pollen count, or days that are extremely dry. If the allergies persist, your veterinarian may suggest allergy shots to alleviate your boxer's symptoms.
Food allergies can develop at any age, even in boxers that have not previously been allergic to a particular food. An allergy is your boxer's immune system's response to an ingredient it mistakenly perceives as harmful, resulting in itching and gastric discomfort for your dog. If your boxer is allergic to his food, the easiest treatment is to narrow down the source of the allergen to a specific ingredient, and then eliminate that ingredient from his future meals. Switching to a grain-free or raw diet may help assuage common food allergies.
Dry skin is common in boxers during the winters months -- especially in houses warmed by gas heat. If your boxer has flaky skin and cracked paws in addition to his itchiness, the culprit is likely dry skin. Begin treatment with oatmeal baths: grind up one cup of oatmeal per 20lbs of body weight, and soak him in a chest high bath of oatmeal and warm water for 15 minutes. Another common aid for dry skin is to add a tablespoon of safflower or olive oil to his daily meals. Setting up a humidifier may also help with constant or long-term dry skin itchiness.
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