The month of August is known as Itchy Pet Awareness Month, which aims to promote dog and cat skin health and your pet’s health and happiness. While commonly overlooked, itching is a medical condition that requires a proper diagnosis to effectively treat the true cause of the itch.
Why is My Pet Itching?
Dogs and cats usually come in contact with irritants by inhaling from the air or by direct contact with the skin. They may also develop allergies or sensitivities to food or treats in their diet. Some common outdoor allergens include parasites like fleas, ticks, lice or mites, insects, pollens, or even chemicals on lawns. Common indoor allergens include dust mites, molds, mildew, as well as household cleaners, detergents, and other products. Some pets may develop allergies that come and go with the seasons. Learn more about Seasonal Allergies in Dogs and Cats on our other blog.
Look Out for the Common Signs of Itch In Dogs and Cats:
Scratching is the most obvious sign of itch
Recurrent ear problems
If the scratching becomes intense, your dog or cat may damage their skin while trying to relieve the sensation. As a result, this can leave the skin with open wounds, and vulnerable to infections and the potential for hotspots. You may also notice hair loss, scabbing, and crusting due to excessive scratching, chewing, or rubbing. Because the symptoms of allergies are similar to other disorders, it’s important to speak with your veterinarian if you notice these behaviors.
How Do I Relieve My Pet’s Itching?
Consulting your veterinarian is important to determine the true cause of the itch and what treatment can best help your pet. Your veterinarian may prescribe an antihistamine or anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve your pet’s symptoms. They may also recommend bathing with a medicated shampoo to wash allergens away from the skin and reduce irritation.
This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease and is purely educational. Please seek advice from your pet’s veterinarian with any questions regarding the health of your pet.
Some of the reasons we enjoy seasonal changes are also challenges for allergy sufferers. And just like us, dogs and cats can be allergic to substances, allergens, in the environment or airborne. When your dog or cat comes in contact with an allergen, the immune system releases histamine and the itching, swelling, and irritation begins. Dogs and cats usually come in contact with allergens by inhaling from the air or by direct contact with the skin. Reactions can be severe and occur immediately after exposure or be delayed. Allergies may come and go with the seasons, or persist throughout the year. Listed below are some of the common allergens and warning signs:
Fleas or flea bites
Grasses, Weeds, Trees
Insect bites or stings
Household Cleaners & Products
Here are some of the signs of allergies:
Scratching skin or ears
Licking & chewing of the paws
Rubbing the face & eyes
Reoccurring ear infections
Red or inflamed skin
Coughing or wheezing
If the scratching becomes intense, your dog or cat may damage their skin while trying to relieve the sensation. As a result, this can leave the skin with open wounds, and vulnerable to infection and potential for hotspots. You may also notice hair loss, scabbing, and crusting due to excessive scratching, chewing, or rubbing. Because the symptoms of allergies are similar to other disorders, it’s important to speak with your veterinarian if you notice these behaviors. For example, persistent coughing and wheezing can be a warning sign of asthma in cats. In order to determine the source of the itching and, or rule out other skin problems, your veterinarian will need to examine your pet. This may also include allergy testing to determine the exact allergen your pet is sensitive to.
What Can I Do to Relieve My Pet’s Allergies?
Your veterinarian may prescribe an antihistamine or anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve your pet’s symptoms. They may also recommend bathing with a medicated shampoo to wash allergens away from the skin and reduce irritation.
Avoidance and prevention are key methods for controlling allergic reactions, but it may be difficult to completely avoid allergens, especially for pets adapted to the outdoor lifestyle. Making some changes to daily habits may also help managing exposure:
Provide a flea and tick preventative recommended by your veterinarian
Keep yards maintained and lawns trimmed to discourage insects and to manage pollen.
Change furnace filters and perform regular house cleaning to prevent the buildup of allergens in the home.
Consider an air purifier, which helps reduce airborne allergens including dust.
Regular bathing or spot cleaning helps remove allergens collected while outside. Once inside, wash or wipe down the paws and other skin areas that may be affected.
There are a variety of different treatments, medications, nutritional supplements and topical products designed to help control seasonal allergies. Talk with your veterinarian about the best product or solution that meets the needs of your dog or cat. VetRxDirect has a wide selection of allergy care products for both dogs and cats. We have included some of the most popular below.
DUOXO Calm is a line of topical products that provide soothing relief of skin allergies in dogs or cats. The product line includes a shampoo, mousse, gel, and micro-emulsion spray. Duoxo Calm may reduce itching, inflammation, and may help restore the skin’s barrier function.
Dermoscent Atop 7
Dermocent Atop 7 helps calm itching, irritated, dry, and allergic skin types in dogs and cats. Made with all natural ingredients, Atop 7 is ideal for relieving atopic dermatitis and allergies and comes in 4 convenient, soothing formulas: Shampoo, Mousse, Spray, and Hydra Cream.
Redonyl Ultra Soft Chews
Redonyl Ultra is a dietary supplement for dogs with allergic skin conditions. It contains ultra-micronized Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), beneficial essential fatty acids. PEA is a natural lipid that helps support the skin’s barrier and immune defense from allergens and irritants.
A prescription medication containing cyclosporine which suppresses the response of the immune system to allergens. Licking, biting, itching, odor, and hair loss can be the result of skin allergies caused by an overactive immune system.
Does your dog or cat have seasonal allergies? Leave us a comment below!
The fall season is upon as the heat of summer, daylight hours shorten, leaves begin to change colors, and pumpkin spice, anyone? Many of the things we enjoy about fall are also triggers for those who suffer from allergies. The summer blooms start to fade and shed seeds, while some plants wait for this time of year to bloom and spread pollen. Harvest season begins for many crops which causes large amounts of dust, pollens, and molds to be released into the air. Dust mites and other pesky pests try to get inside the home in search of warmth. Just like us, dogs and cats can develop an allergy or sensitivity to these natural allergens outside or in the air.
How do I know if my dog or cat has an allergy?
Seasonal allergies may come and go which can make it difficult to pinpoint the exact allergen causing your dog or cat problems. Here are some of the common signs to look out for:
Itching of ears and skin
Scratching, licking, and chewing
Rubbing or scooting
If the itching becomes intense, your dog or cat may damage their skin trying to relieve the sensation. As a result, this easily leads to skin and ear infections as well as hotspots. There are a variety of different treatments, medications, and products to help control seasonal allergies. Talk with your veterinarian about the best solution for your dog or cat. VetRxDirect has a wide selection of allergy care products for both dogs and cats. We have included some of the most popular below.
Vetadryl is a prescription antihistamine medication for dogs and cats that contains diphenhydramine. This medication works by blocking the histamine, the substance in the body responsible for allergic reactions. It relieves allergy symptoms including itching, redness, swelling and irritation. Flavored, chewable Vetadryl tablets come in 10 and 30 mg strengths.
VetClassics Allergy HotSpot Foam is easy to apply and quick drying to help relieve itchy irritated skin. Vet Classics Allergy Anti-Lick Spray stops destructive chewing and licking Spray directly on the paws, foot pads, between toes, and other spots to quit the itch. Additionally, the bitter taste in both products discourages chewing and licking.
Duoxo Calm is a line of topical products designed for dogs and cats with skin allergies. Choose from a shampoo, as well as three waterless options mousse, gel, and micro-emulsion spray. Duoxo Calm helps relieve itching, inflammation, and irritation. Key ingredients phytosphingosine and fillagrin help retain moisture and enforce the natural skin barrier.
Does your dog or cat have allergies? Leave us a comment below!