While prescription drugs may be needed in some cases to address the underlying cause of itchy skin in a Miniature Pinscher, gentle bathing of your dog usually will provide relief from the itching. Use a mild, organic dog shampoo, and rinse the dog after the bath with a soothing, healing rinse. To make the rinse, mix a cupful of dissolved salt, Epsom salts, or apple cider vinegar to a gallon of lukewarm water. Take care not to aggravate the skin problem when you groom your dog. Use a velvet grooming glove to smooth and shine the hair without further irritating the skin. A number of medical conditions can cause itchy skin in Miniature Pinschers.
The Miniature Pinscher breed is prone to the development of sebaceous adenitis, an inherited disorder that can cause severe skin problems and alopecia, a general term for hair loss. This autoimmune disorder causes the sebaceous glands in the dog’s skin to become inflamed and eventually die, after which the glands no longer produce sebum to prevent the skin from drying out. The dog develops patches of dry, itchy skin with mild scaling, mostly around the head, ears and trunk of the body. The hair falls out, and if the dog is able to scratch the patches, they may become infected. This condition cannot be cured, but symptoms can be treated with the help of a veterinarian.
Itchy skin often is a symptom of allergic dermatitis, a reaction to an allergen in the environment. Miniature Pinschers may have sensitivities to certain substances, and the most common allergens are food, fleas, flea-control products and household cleaning products. Treatment for allergies addresses both the cause and the symptoms. Seek the advice of a veterinarian. To find out what is causing the reaction, bathe your dog, wash all bedding, and put the pet on a prescription diet or hydrolyzed protein diet. Eliminate the use of all non-organic household and grooming products until the allergy improves. Once you see improvement, gradually reintroduce your Miniature Pinscher to foods one at a time in order to identify whether a food is the cause of the allergy. Reintroduce each of your regular products one at a time, until you identify the cause of the allergy.
Fleas are common parasites that can cause skin problems in dogs. The Miniature Pinscher usually is an indoor dog, but Dr. L. Ackerman, author of the “Guide to Skin and Haircoat Problems in Dogs,” says the dogs most at risk of a reaction to fleas are those who have only occasional exposure to them. An allergic reaction to flea bites includes weeping, itchy skin that easily becomes infected. The best resolution to this problem is a carefully managed flea-control program. However, some dogs with flea allergies also have reactions to flea-control products. Ackerman recommends regular grooming with suitable combs, and avoiding strong chemical insecticides.
Hot spots are lesions that form on the dog’s skin. These lesions become hot and moist, and itch severely. The dog afflicted with a hot spot will lick or scratch the spot excessively, making the area painful and infected. This condition is also known as acute moist dermatitis. Although short-coated breeds are less likely than long-coated breeds to develop hot spots, Miniature Pinschers can still suffer from them if they are not kept clean and groomed regularly. Dogs that swim often or that are exposed to rain frequently can also develop hot spots. When grooming a Miniature Pinscher that is suffering from a hot spot, work carefully around the area to avoid irritating the skin further. Seek the advice of your veterinarian for care of a hot spot.