A:

Reduced exercise through not working and spending more time in their kennels could be contributing factors.

Diet may also play its part, as a reduction in exercise needs a reduction in the fuel intake.

However, don’t rule out parasites, as it is not too early for lice. Infestations of lice can occur at any time of the year and are very difficult to detect, especially in a thick coat.

Many of the products used to eradicate fleas and ticks will also get rid of lice, but the skin will still need some time to heal from the effects of these nasty little parasites. The dog may still continue to scratch the irritated spots and this aggravates the already sensitive skin.

Similarly, spaniels that have worked hard through all types of prickly cover will be prone to skin damage from thorns.

Mental and physical stimulation through play, training, exercise and a good fresh bone will help distract your dogs from scratching, but if it continues seek veterinary advice.