Brentwood / Nashville pet owners – Does your pet itch all the time? Noticed a foul smell on their skin or in ears, balding spots or discoloration of skin? Does your dog obsessively scratch certain areas or lick their paws?
Itchy pets are common – quite often in dogs. Constant itching or recurring itching can cause hair loss or skin damage and may be a sign of skin disease or allergies. It can be annoying, even keeping you up at night! If itching is not addressed at onset, it can be harder to treat and control and battle the skin issue.
Types of Pet Allergies and Pet Skin Diseases:
- Flea allergy
- Food allergy
- Contact allergy or contact dermatitis
- Atopic dermatitis
To diagnose the type of pet allergy, our veterinarians must examine your pet to determine the skin issue and develop a treatment possible plan(s) for allergies.
Just a couple bites from fleas can cause skin sensitivity and itchy skin with the back legs and rear end affected most often in dogs. Fleas (and feces and dirt) that contain your pet’s blood are not always visible. To prevent fleas on your pets, Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center recommends year-round flea prevention and possibly medicated flea baths to limit fleas and stop your pet’s itch.
Pet Food Allergy
To diagnose if your pet has food allergies, they will be fed a specific diet food with one protein and one carbohydrate for 8-10 weeks. No other foods (or treats) are allowed. If symptoms disappear, your pet likely has food allergies. We may have to refer your pet to a veterinary dermatologist.
Contact dermatitis in pets is not common but occurs when skin overreacts to molecules in the environment such as chemicals, wool, rubber, nickel, dyes and chemicals.
More common is atopic dermatitis which is a chronic inflammatory skin disease brought on by allergens in your pet’s environment such as grass, mold, pollen or cigarette smoke.
Talk to your veterinarian about skin and blood tests for dermatitis. We may have to refer your pet to a veterinary dermatologist. In a skin test, a small level of allergens is injected under your pet’s skin to test for reactions. In a blood test, your pet’s blood will be analyzed for which allergens specific to your pet’s environment could be causing the reaction.
Pet Allergy & Itch Treatment
Once your pet allergens have been identified, we can develop a program to try to eliminate the allergy and treat the skin.
Common treatments for pet allergies and itch relief:
- Anti-itch shampoo and conditioners
- Anti-fungal shampoo
- Cyclosporine therapy
- Essential fatty acids (such as Omega 3)
- Hypoallergenic diets
- Oral steroids in low doses to treat sporadic outbreaks
- Prescriptions such as Apoquel
- Topical steroid sprays
DITCH THE ITCH! Let Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center help provide relief to you and your itchy pets!
*** May Only – Purchase Bayer Free Form Snip Tips Fatty Acids and receive a FREE HyLyt travel shampoo!
Want to take a quick 6-question quiz to learn more about your dog’s itching AND help military, police and service dogs?
Each time the quiz is taken, Zoetis will make a donation to K-9 Courage™ Program. K-9 Courage provides healthcare assistance to retired military and active police dogs as well as active service dogs that assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Once admitted into the program, each dog receives a $300 credit every year for the rest of its life to help cover veterinary expenses like wellness and emergency visits, vaccines, prescription medications, food and treats.