Call Us! Button

Call Us! 425-641-1170

Request an Appointment Button

Fetch an Appointment!
Scratching The Surface: Itching In Pets
March 1, 2024

Does your furry friend frequently itch against things? Does your pet ask to be scratched and then behave as though they are in seventh heaven when you indulge them? Both humans and pets find it annoying when their skin itches. Frequent itching is a clue that something is wrong, even though the odd itchy place is quite typical. Of course, you’ll need to determine the precise cause of your pet’s itching before you can take action. Below are some thoughts on this from a nearby Bellevue, WA veterinarian.

Why Do Pets Get The Itchies?

Pets can become itchy for a variety of causes. Some are quite simple to identify. For example, it is fairly safe to assume that your pet has fleas if you see flea filth, or worse, live fleas in their coat. Others, though, can be more difficult to sort out.

The following are the most typical causes of pet itchiness:

Parasites Needless to say, popularity isn’t the reason parasites are at the top of this list. Of course, the primary offender in this case is fleas. Ticks can also be the culprit here, though. Although tick saliva rarely causes pain, certain pets do respond negatively to tick bites. (Remember that in addition to potentially spreading other parasites, fleas and ticks can also transmit serious diseases. Keep up with your pet’s preventative care!)

Mites can also cause itching. They come in a few varieties. Mange, sometimes known as scabies, is caused by Sarcoptic Mites. Unfortunately, people can also contract these. The next group is called Demodex Mites. These tiny monsters live beneath the skin.  As you can probably guess, Ear Mites live in the ear canals of pets. They can cause excruciating itching. (If your pet has ear mites, they may start to shake their head constantly.)

Dry Skin Not every pet’s scratching can be attributed to complicated medical conditions or allergies. Sometimes it’s just dry skin! Environmental factors frequently come into play. Dry, itchy skin is a common side effect of winter’s dry air for both humans and pets. It may also result from using the incorrect grooming supplies. Pets’ skin is extremely delicate: sometimes it doesn’t take much!

Make sure your pet is getting enough water to drink. A healthy diet is also crucial. High-fat foods help maintain the health and moisture of your pet’s skin and coat.

Stress Our animal friends can experience stress and worry, just like people do. Even though your pet isn’t concerned about inflation or whether you’ll finish that assignment on time, they might get anxious about some things. Pets frequently experience stress due to major changes. Other possibilities include boredom, loneliness, discomfort, and conflict with other pets. It’s not unusual for animals to overgroom themselves in order to ease their discomfort. This is comparable to compulsive actions in humans, such as biting one’s nails or bouncing one’s leg. Overgrooming pets can result in hair loss, leaving them vulnerable to skin infections.

Try things that will help your pet relax if your veterinarian says there are no medical reasons why your pet should be concerned. Playtime and toys are frequently the best suggestions. Moreover, behavior modification and medication may be helpful.

Fungal Infections Fungal infections take many different forms, none of which are particularly enjoyable. Dogs who have floppy ears or skin folds are more likely to get yeast infections. Another possible reason is ringworm, which is actually a fungal infection. In addition, you might observe a rash, redness, scaly or crusty skin, and, occasionally, a foul smell.

Topical medicine is effective in treating many fungal infections. Of course, your veterinarian will need to prescribe this. Schedule a meeting as soon as possible. To make sure the problem is really solved, you’ll also need to clean and treat the area carefully.

Bacterial Infections Bacterial infections can be very serious. Usually, these don’t go away by themselves. They frequently arise from scratches or wounds that rip the skin. Additionally, these may result in pustules, peeling, redness, and swelling. Take your pet to the vet right away if you think they may have a bacterial infection. Various medications, topical treatments, antibiotics, and other goods are possible possibilities for treatment.

Allergies Fido and Fluffy don’t enjoy allergies any more than we do. Numerous responses, including itching, may result from them. Sneezing, snoring, skin irritation, red, watery eyes, and upset stomachs are other indicators of responses.

Seasonal Allergies: Grass, pollen, and particular plants or foliage are frequently the cause of these. 

Food Allergies: These arise when the bodies of pets see a particular food—usually a protein, such those in beef or chicken—as an “invader” and react accordingly. Identifying the precise allergen can be the trickiest part of dealing with food allergies. You might need to place your pet on a very bland diet until the symptoms go away. Next, begin reintroducing each item one at a time and see what triggers a response. 

Contact Dermatitis: As the name implies, this an inflammatory skin condition brought on by direct touch with a material or substance. Skin that is red, irritated, and/or flaky frequently occurs with it. In addition, you can experience skin discoloration, hair loss, and tiny pimples or pustules.

Itchy pets may experience severe discomfort. Although home cures like oatmeal baths can sometimes be helpful, we advise getting in touch with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Although there isn’t always a medical emergency, if the problem continues, it could cause an infection. Plus, your pet be quite miserable until they get relief!

What Is The Best Way To Stop My Pet From Itching?

Pets’ itchiness can be relieved by a variety of methods. Medication, steroids, antihistamines, antibiotics, and medicated shampoos are a few possible solutions. Additionally, your veterinarian might recommend an oatmeal bath or even a particular oil, such olive or coconut oil. Finding the appropriate approach is crucial, though. Schedule an appointment with your vet so that a proper diagnosis can be made.

How Can I Tell If My Pet Is Itchy?

The most obvious signs would be your pet scratching itself or rubbing against you. However, there are additional things to be aware of. Your pet cannot tell you what is wrong or make an appointment when it’s time for them to visit the vet, so it’s important to keep an eye out.

These are a few of the important ones:

  • Dry Skin
  • Black, Green, Yellow Or Brownish Discharge Or Wax From The Ears
  • Pawing Or Shaking The Ears, Face, Or Head,
  • Biting Or Licking Compulsively
  • Scratching And Chewing
  • Fur Loss
  • Flea Dirt
  • Licking The Paws
  • Skin Discoloration
  • Scabbing And Flaking
  • Lesions, pimples, abscesses, or pustules

If you see any of these signs, contact your Bellevue, WA veterinarian right away. The sooner an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better! 

In conclusion, a variety of factors, including allergies, stress, and parasites, can cause itching in pets. Even while itching can be managed, a precise diagnosis from your veterinarian is essential.

Does your pet seem itchy? Has it been a while since your furry friend had an appointment? Contact us here at the Cat & Dog Clinic of Bellevue, your Bellevue, WA animal clinic, anytime. We are dedicated to offering great care.