Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
The Big Picture: Our Best Remedies for Itchy Pets
Of all veterinary ailments, it’s easy to assume that treating the raw, inflamed skin of itchy pets is manageable – but determining specific triggers is anything but. Indeed, the only thing worse than a fiery skin attack is not knowing the reason behind such a fierce reaction.
We all know that animals lick and scratch themselves. However, if your pet can’t seem to stop and continues to pick at certain areas, it’s time to schedule an appointment.
Parts and Pieces
During every wellness exam, we try to get as many details as possible about your pet’s diet, lifestyle, medical history, and environmental exposure. Understanding these components can lead to a more conclusive diagnosis and affect the course of successful treatment.
It’s always a good idea to observe your pet closely on a daily basis and to make notes that we can refer to if needed.
The Itchy Six
Once we’ve narrowed down the type, duration, and frequency of symptoms, we can focus on one of the following common culprits behind itchy pets:
- Environmental. It’s possible for a previously unaffected pet to adversely react to grass, thistles, or even types of plastic.
- Parasitic. Sudden symptoms can be caused by fleas, especially if your pet is allergic to flea saliva. Secondary infections can occur from excessive itching or biting. Mites are also blameworthy.
- Allergic. While we can’t cure the allergies of itchy pets, eliminating likely triggers can make your companion much more comfortable.
- Nutritional. Many commercial pet food ingredients can cause itchy skin. We’re happy to help you fine tune your pet’s diet.
- Infectious. Excessive grooming can be caused by fungal, bacterial, or yeast infections.
- Neurogenic. Although not common, itchy pets can sometimes be caused by problems with the nervous system.
Remedies for Itchy Pets
After examining your pet’s skin and discussing possible triggers, we may design a treatment plan that incorporates the following:
- Soaking in ground oatmeal or epsom salt (depending on the reason for itchy skin)
- Increasing water intake
- Changing to wet or moist food
- Bathing your pet with lukewarm water can help soothe dry skin (avoid hot air from blow dryers). We can make recommendations for hypoallergenic shampoos and conditioners.
- Oils such as fish oil or flaxseed oil are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are often effective against symptoms
- Prescribing certain medications, such as antihistamines or steroids
- Exploring alternative treatments, such as laser therapy
Let us Help
A perfunctory online search yields thousands of suggestions for itchy pets. While it’s empowering to treat symptoms at home, your pet may suffer more in the long run without veterinary care.