Licking, Scratching, Biting & Rubbing – The Itchy Dog
Every year we see many dogs with the same complaint…they are itchy. For some animals it is the first time that the symptoms have been bad enough to mention it to the vet. For others it is the same-old-same-old every year.
So, what is causing your dog to itch?
There can be many reasons. It can be as simple as mild seasonal environmental allergies, or the diagnosis can be very complicated and elusive, requiring diagnostic procedures such as skin scrapings, thyroid blood testing and food allergen avoidance trials.
How do I make the scratching stop?
The first thing to do is to remedy the cause of the itch (if it can be determined). If it is related to skin parasites, the right medication can often clear these from your pet quickly. Bacterial infections may create itching, so a course of oral or topical antibiotics may be used, and a strictfood allergen trial may put an end to diet related scratching/chewing. If the itch persists after we have shortened the list, then consideration can be given for use of antihistamines, prednisone and other medications which ‘calm’ the immune system from its over-reactive state. Other therapies such as omega 3 fatty acids, medicated shampoos and topical products designed to reduce allergen entry into the skin can be helpful.
Please call us if you would like some help determining the cause of your pet’s itch, and how best to manage it.