Laurelwood Veterinary Clinic


Call Us:  (650)-341-7741

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7/9/2019

Itching, Scratching, Licking What is going on with my pet?!

 

Summer is here! Although summer is great for vacations, but sometimes it isn’t so great for your pet. The change in the seasons can cause all sorts of itchy scratchy problems to arise. The key is to determine what the cause of the itch is so we can best treat it.

 
Some of the most common are as follows:

 
Fleas:
Is your pet up to date on it’s flea medication? Have you taken your pet near tall dead yellow grass? Has your pet been around other animals? Has your pet been scratching itself nonstop and is even losing fur? Chances are your pet has fleas.


 There are many ways to get rid of fleas includin prescription medications (NexGuard), topical flea medication (Frontline and Advantage), flea collars, and flea shampoos. Unfortunately, some pets have an allergic reaction to some of these medications which can cause them further discomfort. The best thing to do is to give us a call, we will help you and your pet get rid of the fleas.

 
Allergies:
Summer is when a bunch of Californian plants start going into bloom. Although they are beautiful, blooming equals pollen. This can cause itching and scratching for your pet. Often times, they will lick and scratch their paws. Give us a call, we can determine the best medication to subdue the allergy and even run some tests to see which allergen is causing your pet discomfort.


Reaction to shampoo:
Did you recently bathe your pet and now they are itching and scratching? It might have been that bath you gave them! Some shampoos are harsh and can strip your pet’s fur of its natural oils which can cause their skin to get dry and itchy. Other shampoos have lots of fragrance in them that your pet can have an allergic reaction to. It is best to use a shampoo and conditioner combination from a pet store. If you don’t have the time to go to a pet store, you can also pick up some mane and tail shampoo from your local drug store. It is cheap, has little to no fragrance, and it is safe for you and your pet!


Sun burn:
Yes, believe it or not your pet too can get sun-burnt; especially if your pet has fair skin (white or light pink) and has thinning fur. It is okay for skin to be light pink but the skin should never be bright red. A bad sun burn can start to peel and the dead skin can make your pet itchy. If you are taking your fair skinned pet out for a while it is best to put on some sunscreen. Make sure to buy sunscreen that is safe for your pet. We recommend going to a pet store. The last thing you want is your pet licking it off after a fun day in the sun and getting sick.

 
Food allergies:
The most common food allergies for pets are commonly similar to people's allergies such as nut and common protein ingredients. 



Symptoms of allergies include:


Usually a young animal or recently changed to a different diet. 


Commonly gastrointestinal signs - vomiting and diarrhea 


May also be skin related - chewing feet and especially if the ears are the sole allergic complaint.


In cats, allergic skin disease  confined to the face, especially if it is not responsive to steroids and  fleas are definitely controlled is highly suspicious for a food allergy.