Itching, scratching, biting and licking, day in and day out? Yup, sounds like your four-pawed friend is having skin problems. There are numerous reasons for irritated skin but luckily there are many ways of pet health care that help your furry friend feel better.
When a vet is trying to figure out the cause of skin irritation, they need information about your pet’s diet, activities, medical history and their environment. It is good to be prepared for these questions when consulting the vet about these problems.
It’s possible your dog or cat came in contact with some grass or vegetation that caused them an allergic reaction. Dogs with dense coat can suffer from moisture remaining on their skin long enough to cause bacteria growth and infection. While roaming around in the wild, they can also land on the menu of parasites such as ticks and fleas, which irritates the skin. Luckily there are a number of good and effective flea and tick preventatives on the market. Your vet and the pharmacy and pet store staff will happily help you to choose the right product.
Overall nutrition is an important factor when it comes to the general health and well-being of your furry friend. Even the best brands can contain nutrients that disagree with your pet and cause allergies. Your pet is a carnivore who needs protein-rich (meat-based) food – and that protein has to be of good quality. Some pet owners choose to feed their pets only or majorly raw food. This might be worth exploring but as with all nutritional changes, remember to do your research before making hasty changes. You can also consider using supplements like omega fatty acids to make your pet’s coating shiny and healthy-looking.
Skin and coat problems can also be caused by bacterial, fungal or yeast organisms. Among other symptoms, they can cause bald patches, irritated skin, inflammation and bad odors. All of these can prompt your pet to bite, lick and scratch the already irritated areas which slows down the healing process. The treatment varies from topical medication to oral antibiotics, cortisone and antihistamines.
Just like us humans, your pet can be allergic to things in their environment. Food ingredients, medications, pollen, plants, mold… Are of these and dozens more are usual suspects when it comes to allergens. Skin and blood tests are used when attempting to identify what your furry friend is allergic to. While there is no cure, the symptoms can be lessened by avoiding the food, material or parasite that is triggering this allergic reaction. Hypo-allergenic treats, lotions, baths, ointments and shampoos can sooth your pet and make them feel better.
Last but not least, it is worth considering if your pet’s habit of scratching, itching and licking is actually due to them being bored or anxious. Being alone or in confinement for a long time can stress your pet, which they show by scratching their skin. Usually your pet will focus on areas that are easy to reach, like their forelimbs. The repeated cycle of the skin breaking, healing and breaking again can cause inflammation and scarring.
Whatever is the case, even if your worry seems minor, it is always a good idea to consult your vet. They are there for you and your pet, wanting the best for both of you!