August is Itchy Pet Awareness Month

Hi there Gentle Care clients. I hope everyone has managed to stay well, stay cool and enjoy the summer. It has certainly been an odd year and we are all navigating this pandemic together.

August is Itchy Pet Awareness Month. Did you know that dog’s scratching is one of the top reasons clients call their veterinarian?

Itch is a medical condition that should be addressed. It may not seem like a big deal at first but it should be checked out. Allowing a pet to continually scratch themselves can lead to serious skin issues aside from what’s causing the itch in the first place. There are three main categories of allergies; environmental allergens (dusts, pollens, mold), fleas, and food. We can definitely control exposure to fleas with good monthly flea control and if needed there are special diets to help with food allergens. Most often it is the environmental allergens that are more challenging to control.

Scratching is the most common and obvious sign of itch. Biting, chewing, pulling hair out, rubbing, obsessive licking, body odor, hair loss and changes to the skin can be also be clues.

You do not want to ignore the signs and you should not try to treat it yourself with over the counter allergy medications. You should have your pet examined, diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. There is the right product for the right condition and using the wrong medication can be costly, not work or could possibly harm your pet.

There are several things to do to help us diagnose allergies. We also have several treatment options (oral, injectable and topical) to choose from depending on severity of itch, cause, and our pet’s willingness to take medications. We also have monthly chewable medication for keeping your pet protected from fleas and ticks which is one of the more common skin conditions we see.

Always wash your hands and use sanitizers after handling your pet that has undiagnosed skin issues. Infections such as scabies and ringworm are contagious to other pets and people too. If you suspect this could be the issue, isolate your pet and make an appointment to see your veterinarian right away.

Most skin allergy issues will not go away on their own. Do not hesitate to call our clinic at 725-2386. We can help you and your pet get a restful night’s sleep.