Just like humans, your dog or cat will have the occasional itch which is normal. However, if your pet is constantly scratching and seems stressed and uncomfortable, it’s time to see your vet about the possible causes.
Symptoms of Pruritus
Severe itching of the skin is called pruritus, and in pets, it can lead to damaged skin and secondary infections if left untreated.
You’ll know if your pet is excessively itchy by their uncharacteristic behaviour. They will scratch, bite and lick themselves often, as well as shake their head, chew and rub themselves, depending on where it is they’re itchy.
Allergies: Food or Environmental?
The major causes of itchy skin is allergies due to something your pet is eating, or something it its environment.
Food allergies seem to be more common in cats than in dogs, but cheap, low quality pet food can also cause itching.
The only way to find out what’s causing the allergy is to eliminate all common allergens from your pet’s diet and slowly introduce them back in to see how your pet reacts.
A grain-free, more natural, raw food diet is also a good choice for reducing the risk of food allergies, as it’s often the corn, wheat and soy in cheaper pet foods that are the culprit.
Environmental causes of itching could be from chemicals, pesticides and cleaning products you use in your home.
Your vet can advise on possible causes of itching, and in some cases, perform blood and skin tests to determine the cause as well.
Another common cause of itching are parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites.
Checking your pet for parasites can yield results, but don’t rule our parasites just because you don’t find any.
Mites are very small and hard to see, but they can cause intense itching, especially ear mites, and flea saliva can cause an allergic reaction in some pets.
Treatment for Itchy Pets
If you’ve gone through your checklist of causes and failed to find one, a visit to your vet can shed light on the situation.
There are as many treatments for itchy skin in pets as there are causes, so let your vet examine your cat or dog for the best treatment options.
It’s also important to groom your pet regularly to keep their coat healthy and tangle free, especially very fluffy cats and dogs.
A regular hydrobath for dogs is also a great way to sooth troubled skin and give your pet some relief from itching.
Wellness Programs at Rockingham Veterinary Clinic
Our wellness programs make pet care easier, and with affordable monthly payments they’re an investment in the health and wellbeing of your pets.
We’re open every day so call us on 08 6555 5149 or contact us online about a wellness program to keep your pet happy and healthy.