When your Pomeranian scratches, nibbles and chews at herself, no one gets any rest. You cannot relax knowing she is not happy, if not miserable. The problem may be itchy skin, and you may be able to treat it at home.
Start by brushing her hair. A Pomeranian’s dual coat, with the short, dense undercoat and long, silky outer coat, needs regular brushing and combing. Remove loose, dead hair before it mats and tangles. Your Pom's coat is a natural trap for dead skin cells. Dry skin and dandruff are common causes of itchy skin; brush her gently but thoroughly every day or every other day. This removes itchy skin flakes and improves circulation to her skin.
Take her to a professional groomer for a cut and style, and ask for a lesson in how to brush your dog between grooming visits. This makes your dog more comfortable, you happier and your groomer’s job easier.
When your Pomeranian is insistently scratching behind her ears and under her arms, check for fleas. One flea can make your girl itch-crazy. If she is hypersensitive to flea saliva, she'll scratch and bite until she pulls out the hair and inflames the skin. Use a flea comb to search for signs of fleas. Put your dog on a white towel or cloth. Comb gently wherever she is scratching and check the comb for fleas or small dark debris flecks. If the flecks turn reddish or rust-color when smeared on the white background, fleas and their droppings are likely triggering your Pom's allergies. Ask your vet for a topical or oral flea control. Topical flea treatments often work within 24 hours.
Your Pomeranian’s fluffy coat is a magnet for dust, pollen, mold and other airborne particles. She may be allergic to these and other irritants, and she may ingest them when she rubs at her face or licks her paws after a walk. When she comes inside, wipe her off, giving special attention to her face and feet. If she is mostly indoors but scratches at her belly and under her chin, she could be allergic to carpet fibers, chemicals or other skin irritants. The best solution is to remove the irritant, but it is not always easy to isolate allergy triggers. Instead, your vet can ease her symptoms with antihistamines or other medication.
Itchy skin often responds to hypoallergenic or medicated shampoo. When you use one on your Pom, rinse the dog thoroughly. Replace her fiber-filled bed and flannel cover with therapeutic foam and a smooth cotton cover. Wash the cover in hot water to remove allergens and skin cells that fall from her coat. Use hypoallergenic detergent with no perfumes or dyes. Talk to your vet about nutritional supplements to build her immune system and boost her health. He may suggest fatty acids, fish oil, vitamin E or other supplements. Your itchy girl will soon swap her scratch frenzies for walks and treats.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.