There are many different reasons that your pet might be itchy. Most common causes are external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice and mites), allergies, and infections.
Fleas are a problem in the South. Even if your pet doesn’t spend a lot of time outdoors is it important to use year-round prevention. It is much easier to prevent flea infestations than to treat them. Mites can also be a problem and are harder to see. Cats can get ear mites which cause a dark, itchy discharge in their ears. Signs of external parasites include sudden scratching and itching, reddened skin, or seeing the fleas, flea dirt, mites or lice on your pet or their bedding. Eliminating external parasites is done by treating the animals and their environments, including their beds and the house.
Allergies can be caused by indoor allergens, outdoor allergens, food or all three. When pets have allergies, it is frequently demonstrated through itchy skin, and less often through sneezing and watery eyes as in humans. Signs of allergies include biting at their feet, frequent ear infections, constant rubbing on carpet or against furniture, and excessive scratching. Diagnosing allergies in your pet can be done with food trials, serum allergy tests, or skin reaction tests. While some allergens can be removed from your pet’s life (such as a certain food), others are more difficult to eliminate (human dander). Options for treating your pet’s allergies include allergen shots, medications, and eliminating allergens from the animal’s environment, depending on what works best for you and your pet.
If your animal is itchy, come in and see one of the doctors at Valley Animal Hospital & Pet Resort to find the cause and help you to make your animal more comfortable.