Is your pet always itching, chewing, and rubbing at their skin? Do they lay awake at night just trying to scratch that itch? Itchiness should never interrupt normal activities, so if you answered yes to either of those questions, read on to learn how to help provide some relief to your furry friend!
Itchiness can be a symptom of a larger problem, and can have many causes:
- Environmental allergies can be caused by things like dust mites, pollen, mold, and chemicals in carpets, shampoos, and even lawns. Your pet can also have seasonal allergies, just like people.
- Food allergies can develop at any time in your pet’s life, or may be caused by introducing a new food or treats. Itchiness from food allergies may also be accompanied by increased gas and loose stools.
- Bacterial and fungal infections can be caused by a variety of bacteria and fungi. Pets with lots of skin folds or floppy ears may be more prone to these types of infections.
- Parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites can also cause chronic itch, so it’s important to keep your pet current on their flea and tick prevention.
Itchiness is probably the most common symptom of these underlying issues, but also be on the watch for licking, biting/chewing, rubbing, head shaking, pawing at ears, redness, dry skin, body odor, and hair loss. It’s also important to note when these signs started, and if there are any other pets in the household showing similar signs. This information will help your pet’s veterinarian establish just what the cause of the problem is.
If all of this is sounding a little too familiar, schedule an appointment with us here at My Zoo to bring your pet in for an appointment today! Early intervention can prevent the issue from worsening, leading to raw and even infected skin. It may be tempting to try over the counter treatments like oatmeal baths or lotions, but these only address the symptoms, not the cause of the itch. A veterinarian can get to the root of the problem and determine the best treatment plan for your pet. Make sure that the dog days of summer don’t include the itch!