An itchy animal can be an extremely frustrating experience for a caring owner. The persistent scratching, chewing, licking and rubbing have the ability to drive both you and your furry companion mad.
One common cause of itching is dry skin- which is fairly easy to recognize. When you part your dog’s hair, you see flakes of dandruff in the undercoat, and the skin itself may be cracked and tough. The slightest stimulation of the skin can provoke your dog to scratch like crazy.
Diet can be a cause of dry skin. A healthy digestive system absorbs fluids more readily from the food your dog eats, therefore improving hydration and increasing the moisture levels of the skin and hair coat.
Another common cause of itchy skin is allergies. Allergies may make your dog’s skin dry, greasy, or slightly dry and oily, and is accompanied by frequent scratching, licking or chewing. In the worst cases, afflicted dogs require strong prescription medication just to get some relief. Though allergies are rarely cured, early identification and intervention can keep them under control, and in some cases, can substantially diminish them.
How can I tell if my dog is suffering from allergies? What are the common symptoms?
Pruritus (itching) is the hallmark sign of allergies. Dogs exhibit itching either by licking or chewing the skin or scratching with their feet. Common areas affected are often the face, ears, feet, belly, and armpit region.
What are common things dogs may be allergic to?
Common environmental allergens include dust mites, moulds and pollens from grasses, trees, weeds, and flowers.
Dogs may also have food allergies or food intolerance to certain ingredients, such as beef, chicken, fish, and soy.
Also, flea allergy is caused by the flea’s saliva, and it only takes a few bites to cause a problem. Untreated allergies can lead to behavioural changes, skin infections, and a very unhappy pet. For the flea allergic patient, 100% flea control is essential for remaining symptom-free.
Vets may use steroid based injections (i.e., prednisone): This can be very effective for dogs suffering from atopy.
Antihistamines: can help in some cases, but histamine is only one of many causes of itchiness.
Shampoos, Rinses, Conditioners: All of these are a vital part of therapy that are available in our retail section at Pet & Vet. These products are great for general maintenance of your pets coat and skin health.
Most important of all is visiting your veterinarian as soon as you suspect that your pet may have an allergy. Itching leads to scratching and scratching can quickly lead to infection - so treat potential allergies seriously and seek a prompt professional opinion.
Each pet has different needs and requirements. Please contact us or pop into Pet & Vet for a chat and weigh your pet free of charge. We can discuss the best treatment options for your pet.
Tags: Pet, Cat, Pet care, Dog, Skin, Care