Have you noticed scabs or bumps on your dog’s back? These may be unexpected however they are explainable. These scabs form when your dog has a wound that is healing as a result of a sore or rash, so you don’t have to be stumped. 

It is important to remember that every time a dog suffers an injury he is likely to scratch that spot. However, long-term scabbing can be dangerous, so it needs to be treated.

There are many reasons why your dog could get scabs on his back, we are discussing the main ones here.


1. External Parasites

Your dog’s scabs could be caused by external parasites. The most likely culprits are fleas, ticks, or mites. We will discuss each below.


Fleas are the parasites that are most likely to irritate a dog’s skin. This can result in excessive scratching, licking, and chewing of their skin, which leads to crusty scabs and hot-spots. Some dogs are more likely to get fleas than others.

Just because you can’t see any fleas on your dog, it doesn’t mean that they are not there. Fleas are difficult to see and can hide in your dog’s bedding or even in the carpet or similar material. Extreme cases of flea infestation may cause high blood loss leading to anemia, and may also result in other parasites in your dog, for example, tapeworms.

To protect your dog from fleas, get your dog a flea collar. Find out more about choosing the best flea collar here


Similar to fleas, ticks are parasites that stick to a dog’s skin and drink their blood, resulting in skin sores, scabs, and itchiness. Unlike fleas, it is possible to see a tick feeding on a dog. It is also possible to remove the tick with tweezers, however, this must be done very carefully.

Position the tweezers close to the dog’s skin and gently pull the tick out. Don’t twist or pull too hard, as this could cause its head to become wedged inside your dog, which could cause infection,


Mites are also a really common type of parasite. They can cause mange in dogs which is a skin disorder. The effects can cause a dog to lose all of their hair and become covered in huge crusty scabs.

Demodex mites: These live in a dog’s follicles of hair and can result in a disorder called demodectic mange. This can cause sores, redness, hair loss, and scabbing. This is not contagious to people or other dogs and does not cause a lot of itching.

Scabies mites: These are more uncommon, however, they are contagious to people and other dogs. They can result in a disorder called sarcoptic mange, which leads to severe itching as well as red skin, scabs, sores, as well as hair loss.


2. Allergies

If the scab isn’t caused by a flea bite, then there is a chance it was caused by an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction can be uncomfortable and painful for your dog so you may need to visit your vet for treatment. These allergies include:


The majority of allergies are caused by pollen. This happens when pollen is inhaled or comes in contact with the dog’s skin. Even though it isn’t known why pollen-allergies are so common, we do know that this allergy leads to allergic dermatitis.

This can trigger crusty scabs, blisters, rashes, irritation, redness, itchiness, bumps, moist skin, sores, and abnormal odors.

Environmental allergies

Environmental allergies can be brought on by just about anything that you could think of. Even though pollen is the primary environmental allergy that can cause noticeable scabs, there are numerous other environmental factors that could trigger skin irritation.

These could include any of the following, shampoos, washing detergents, soaps, garden chemicals, or basically any product with has chemicals

Food allergies

These allergies are not as common in dogs as they are in people. They are also less common than environmental allergies however they do arise, and may also cause the same kind of crusty scabbing to appear on your dog’s skin.


3. Yeast Infection

If you spot your dog scratching constantly, this can break down the skin barrier causing a  yeast infection. This is a very common problem for dogs.

It is normal and even important for yeast to be found on a dog’s skin. This problem occurs when a dog develops an extreme amount of yeast. This results in outbreaks of discolored and itchy skin that can lead to scabs due to excessive licking, scratching, or chewing by the dog. 


How do you treat scabs and bumps on dogs?

There are 2 main ways you can treat crusty scabs and bumps on a dog. You could go the home remedy route or opt to spend a little money on topical treatment. We will cover both below.


Home Remedies

Scabs can sometimes be cured simply by cleaning the infected area. Cleaning the scab helps to treat the problem, so the scabs can no longer cause discomfort to your dog.

Follow these steps to treat your dog’s scabs at home…

1. Rinse: To treat your pet’s scab, you must first rinse the scab off with warm water and rinse the scab long enough to soften it and make the infected area dry.

2. Moisturize: Make sure not to forcibly remove the scab from the dog’s skin. To do this, moisturize the infected area of ​​your dog with coconut oil. Also, spread that oil around the scab to hydrate the surrounding area.

3. Repeat: To make it smooth, repeat the application of coconut oil to your pet’s skin that is infected before it becomes dry or crusty. If you want to protect your dog’s scabbed area, keep it hydrated.


Topical Treatment 

There are many skincare products on the market for pets, but not all of them are safe for dogs. Dogs like to lick their skin to clean it, so there is a chance they could ingest any product you apply. 

You can also get over the counter gels. These gels help relax and protect the infected skin on the dog, however, you should only use these gels if your pet is obedient enough not to lick it.

You should consult your vet for advice and treatment. First, your vet will need to address the underlying cause of the scabbing. They can prescribe medications that can act straight away by targeting the source of infection and help relieve inflammation and itching.


What not to do…

  1. Don’t remove the scab. Sometimes it is might seem like a good idea to remove the scab. This could cause an open wound that could become infected.
  2. Don’t cover the scab. Avoid covering the scab if you want it to heal quicker. Air is required to dry the moisture from the scab and must therefore be left uncovered.


Frequently asked questions

How long do mites live on dogs?

Mites live on dogs for 17-21 days. This is their entire life cycle. During this time the females will burrow into the dog’s skin and lay its eggs.


How often should I bathe my dog with itchy skin?

You should bathe your dog once a week to reduce soreness and itching. This will help recovery from any infections which may have caused the itching. As soon as the infection has been taken care of, either with ac cream or antibiotics from your vet you ought to reduce washing to once every two weeks.


Does apple cider vinegar kill mites on dogs?

Mites are not keen on the acidity of apple cider vinegar. If you apply apple cider vinegar to your dog topically this can kill fleas, mites, and even ringworm. This can also clean the dog’s skin and help to remove allergens that may be causing itching.


Does baking soda kill mites on dogs’ ears?

Baking soda can be used to kill mites and a dog. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with a cup of warm water and stir. Soak a cotton pad in the cup and rub it onto your dog’s ears. Continue doing this every day until you know that all mites are gone.

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