Itchy skin can have a major impact on a pets quality of life and, where possible, we must alleviate the stress and suffering that it can cause.
The most common causes are:
- Allergic dermatitis (usually due to pollens, less commonly because of food)
- Fleas and other parasites
- Contact allergies – this could be anything, but commonly grass
The first thing to ensure is that a suitable flea and mite treatment product has been given to your dog within the last 4 weeks. It is not always possible to see fleas, and it can take only 1 flea bite to set off a bad skin reaction.
When your dog has had suitable flea and mite treatment, but is still scratching, they will need to be assessed by a vet, as they most likely have allergic dermatitis (Atopy).
Sometimes itchiness is a one off problem requiring one off treatment, but for some pets itchiness is a lifelong problem which will need ongoing management.
Diagnosing the cause of itchiness may require:
- Microscope sample examination
- Skin biopsy
- Blood testing
Each case is different, so we will tailor what is required for each pet.
How Can Itchiness Be Managed?
Many of our chronic itch sufferers are managed with a combination of topical treatments and dietary supplements. However, some allergic dermatitis cases – of which we manage many – will require ongoing medical treatment to help them to stay happy and content.