If you're a dog owner, you know that there are few things more troubling than when your companion is uncomfortable and miserable. While there are any number of medical conditions that can cause a great deal of grief, few are more annoying than when your dog finds itself constantly itching and scratching, and when it develops dark skin due to the excessive scratching. This condition is known as atopic dermatitis and has several treatment options.
Take your dog to the veterinarian to have a diagnosis confirmed. In most cases, when a dog develops black, itchy skin, it's directly related to atopic dermatitis.
Bathe your dog in a shampoo containing both oatmeal and tea tree oil. Make sure that the water temperature is lukewarm and leave the shampoo on for a period of at least five minutes.
Rinse your dog off with cool water. The water should not be cold.
Rinse your dog off with cool water a second time. When a dog has atopic dermatitis, its skin is very, very sensitive and even a little bit of shampoo left on the dog can result in it having a flare-up of symptoms.
Feed your dog a quality dog food. In some cases, atopic dermatitis can be caused by a food allergy, and the most common causes of food allergies are ingredients such as corn, wheat gluten or soy. Make sure that the food you are feeding does not contain any of these ingredients.
Use a flea control product on your dog. Another cause of atopic dermatitis are fleas, and in some cases, even one single flea bite can cause enough of a problem for your dog to constantly be irritated.
Give your dog a dose of Benadryl, using 1 mg per pound of body weight. This will help with any allergies that might be triggered, and will also have a slight sedation effect. When your dog is somewhat tired, they are less likely to spend their time itching and scratching.
Rinse off your dog's feet when they come in from being outside. Sometimes, atopic dermatitis can be triggered by grass allergies, and if you remove the allergens from the dog's feet, this will help in the healing process.