Occasional itching is a normal protective mechanism. But when itching causes your dog to damage its skin, causes your pet distress, or disrupts the household, it can be a problem.
Canine itch can be caused and exacerbated by many factors including infections, parasites or allergies. The four most common allergies are:
• Flea allergy (even one flea can cause this)
• Food allergy
• Contact allergy (when your dog comes into direct contact with something which triggers the itch)
• Atopic dermatitis (itchy skin disease associated with environmental allergens e.g. pollens, moulds or house-dust mites)
You will usually notice when your dog has a skin disease because of their change in behaviour or their smell! There are some important signs to look out for that may indicate your dog is itchy, these include:
• An increase in licking, chewing, biting or scratching
• An increase in rolling, rubbing or scooting their bottom
• Foot chewing
• Hair loss
• Ear irritation, redness or smell
• Changes in the appearance of the skin, e.g. sores or darkened colour
• Redness of the skin
• Body odour
With allergic skin diseases, your dog will experience a vicious cycle of itching and scratching. It is very important to take the scratching seriously and stop your dog’s itch sensation rapidly because:
1. Itching is very irritating for your dog (and you!)
2. The longer they itch, the worse the skin condition becomes and the harder it is to control
3. It may result in bacterial infections which will require treatment, either shampoos or antibiotic tablets or both
The great news is Anexa FVC Vets now have a new treatment recommendation available. This treatment is specifically designed to rapidly control the itching and inflammation associated with allergic skin disease.
It acts fast and reduces itch on the first day, providing effective and sustained itch relief for your dog. It is well tolerated with fewer short and long-term side effects compared to steroids (the current most common treatment prescribed by vets).
If you are concerned about your dog’s excessive itching please contact your local Anexa FVC Vet Clinic to arrange an appointment – we’re here to help.
RVM; Available only under Veterinary Authorisation.