August is Itchy Pet Awareness Month! Feeling itchy is just as miserable for our furry companions as it is for us … perhaps more so, as they have a hard time reaching certain spots, and can’t exactly use a back scratcher. A local Roanoke, VA vet discusses skin problems in this article.
Skin problems can be particularly challenging because there are so many potential causes. Environmental allergies are one of the most common ones. They seem to be on the rise, perhaps due to the chemicals used in not only food, but also in things like shampoos, fibers, and even toys. Fido and Fluffy can also be allergic to things like dust, pollen, mold, leaves and dander. Food allergies are another common cause. Pets can develop food allergies at any point in their lives. While these are generally triggered by a type of protein, such as meat or eggs, things like wheat and corn can also cause reactions.
Folliculitis, which is an inflammation of the hair follicle, can also be a factor. Another possible cause would be impetigo, a skin condition that can cause lesions. Parasites, such as fleas, ticks, mites, and mites, can also cause skin problems, as can ringworm, which is actually a fungus. Yeast infections are another possible culprit. There’s also a chance that underlying medical issues, such as lupus, could be to blame.
The most obvious sign of itching would be if a pet is scratching themselves. However, there are other red flags. These include sores, rashes, redness, lumps or bumps, bald spots, and hot spots, which are officially known as moist dermatitis. You may also notice a strange odor. Your furry friend may rub up against things, including you, and could be a bit pushy about wanting to be scratched. Itchy pets also often lick or bite themselves persistently.
There are treatments that can help soothe your furry buddy. However, you’ll need to pinpoint the source of the itching. A trip to the vet is definitely in order! You may need to have tests done to find the culprit. Once the cause has been identified, you and your vet will be able to discuss specific treatment options, such as medication, as well as any necessary changes in your pet’s diet or care.
Do you have an itchy pet? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA pet clinic, today!