What can you do to help your pet with itchy skin, and how can you take steps at home to prevent issues from arising?
How can you spot signs of skin conditions?
Skin conditions in our furry friends can often be hard to spot, however, if you see them constantly licking, scratching, or biting their skin, this could be their way of telling you that something is wrong. These symptoms could be signs that your pet has atopic or allergic dermatitis, which are skin conditions associated with allergies. These conditions are very similar to eczema and can cause the skin to become red and inflamed.
What can you do to help your pets with their itchy skin?
Just like us, our pets can be allergic to common substances in the environment, such as grass and tree pollen, mold, and dust mites. Our pets can also be allergic to fleas, carpets, insecticides, and even ingredients in the shampoos we use to treat these things. When these allergens make contact with the skin this triggers the itch and depending on what is causing this, your pet could suffer from allergies seasonally, or all year round.
As with ourselves, your pet’s first reaction may be to scratch, lick or bite these areas of skin which are affected, which in most cases will, unfortunately, make things worse – in some cases leading to skin infections or rashes.
Pets that suffer from persistent itching and skin problems caused by allergies are often diagnosed with an inflammatory skin condition similar to eczema. This skin condition may be more common than you think – affecting up to 10% of dogs worldwide, in fact.
Over time, these conditions can worsen and affect your beloved pet’s quality of life. When itching, the skin can become red, scaly, and irritated, eventually forming a rash. If left untreated, these skin rashes can develop into skin and ear infections, sadly causing more irritation for your pet.
Pets that suffer from this type of skin condition can often lose interest in playing – with the constant scratching invading play and family time.
How can we treat your pet’s skin conditions?
While there is no cure for an allergic itch caused by atopic dermatitis, our goal is to drastically reduce symptoms to improve your pet’s quality of life and allow their skin to heal over time.
Our team may advise skin tests to help identify your pet’s condition to allow us to treat them in the best possible way.
In most cases, our team will advise regular effective, anti-parasite treatment – products that we use to protect our pets from fleas, mites, ticks as well as heart and lungworm.
In some cases, prescription-only medicines may be needed to bring the condition under control. One of these medicines is a new-to-market treatment that contains a monoclonal antibody which is given as a pain-free injection, stopping the itch for up to 8 weeks. Alternatively, if the condition is long-lasting or severe, we may prescribe a course of antibiotics to help treat your pet’s skin.
An 8-week diet trial may be advised to test for any unknown conditions, food allergies, or intolerances. Our team of friendly dietary experts can recommend foods suitable for a trial.
There are also a number of shampoos, conditioners, and skin moisturisers developed to repair damage to the skin, that we recommend for these types of skin conditions. Our vets will advise on the best products for your pet’s condition and how and when to use them.
There are a wide variety of products and treatments our team can prescribe to help your pet’s skin feel healthy and prevent issues down the line. Speak to a member of our team today to discuss the best options for your pet.