Spring and summer may bring the agony of itch for many dogs. While it may be tough to get to the underlying cause in few cases, in many other dogs, you can apply some strategies successfully.
For dog parents, it’s not easy to helplessly watch their beloved pets scratching uncontrollably, not to mention the costly visits to the vet and many sleepless nights for everyone. One possible cause of itching is allergies for which you can contact Gordon Vet Hospital for example. For more simple things, you can try some strategies at home to offer your pet a relief.
The dogs’ skin can be affected by many conditions, ranging from flea bites to skin cancer. However the most commonly occurring skin disease is atopic dermatitis.
Skin allergies are extremely common in dogs and while most conditions are comparatively mild and lead to only minor irritation, allergies and dermatitis may result in considerably long term suffering for the affected animal.
Common Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs
- Itching (or Pruritus in vet terminology)
- Inflamed and reddened skin
- Fur loss
- Stains of saliva
- Foot chewing
- In some long-standing cases, there may be secondary symptoms like thickening and blackening of skin
- Atopy (intolerance to things that are inhaled, such as pollen, dust, mites etc)
- Food allergies
- Contact allergies, including mite, tick and flea allergies
Among these, atopic allergies occur most commonly and take place due to allergic reactions to breathed in allergens like pollen from grass and trees which tend to occur in air for a few weeks during a particular season.
Food too can be a cause of skin itching; however, it can be much less common than you may think. There is a general assumption that food allergies in dogs are mostly caused by beef, wheat and soya; however, real skin irritations caused directly by food are in fact pretty uncommon.
More than 90% of dogs will be intolerant to lactose by the age of 12 months and therefore it’s best to avoid milk and milk products.
Fortunately, in most cases, the itchiness of skin can be simply resolved with the right nutritional balance, that includes even treats, paired with an effective measure of parasite control.
Things You Can Do at Home for Relief from Itching
- When your dog returns from outside or after walks on grass, wipe him down with a damp towel, particularly his feet if he licks them. Also ensure that his feet are dry afterwards.
- Try shampoo therapy once a week. If your dog’s skin has become red, use a shampoo with chlorhexidine for the treatment of infection, but in normal skin, use an oatmeal shampoo.
- Consider a monthly flea treatment. Even though your dog doesn’t have a flea allergy, the treatment will help him to mitigate the itch threshold.
- Ensure that you don’t have a wandering jew around and beware of it on your regular walks. Contact allergies are caused by this plant on feet and belly.
- Make use of fatty acids in the correct ratio of omega 3 and 6 oils.
- Wash blankets, bedding and soft toys at least once a week in hot water.
- If your house is damp and mouldy, and also has old carpets, use HEPA filters and dehumidifiers.
- Use a topical spray or cream for small areas like feet.
If you haven’t yet visited a vet from Gordon Vet Hospital, then visit their website at https://gordonvet.com.au/paralysis-ticks-prevention-treatment and take your pet to them for an evaluation. The vet will customise a program for your requirements and other alternatives that can give relief are immunotherapy and allergy testing. Some dogs may need food changes. And of course there are medications that can control allergy as well as treat secondary infections that cause itching.