May 07 2016

How to Stop your Dog Scratching Itself

Spring is that time of year when humans start getting hay-fever and our pets start itching. The wonderful Vancouver climate, with all the beautiful plants and greenery, tend to be the main culprits of seasonal itching. So what can we do to help our itchy pets?

Itchy Ears

The warmer weather also brings on ear infections. An average 10 kg dog has an ear canal that is app. 10 cm long and there is an L-shaped bend, making ears very difficult to keep clean. This warm, dark cavity is the ideal environment for a bacterial or yeast infection, particularly if those ears are hairy or floppy.

If your dog’s ears have become red and smelly you may also need some antibiotic ear drops, so it’s a good idea to see you vet.

Fleas

The dreaded fleas can be difficult to control in warmer weather, particularly if you’ve been a little lax with your flea prevention during winter. If you are struggling with fleas and your dog continues to scratch itself despite using a monthly top-spot, you may need to do a good vacuum, then a flea bomb to really sort out the problem. We also suggest washing your dog’s bed on a hot cycle in the washing machine each week (over 60 degrees C. for more than 10 minutes).

Seasonal Allergies

If your dog is still itchy during springtime despite tackling those ears, fleas and keeping away from poisonous/irritant plants, it is quite likely you are dealing with atopic dermatitis. There are some very good treatments available for allergies, including antihistamines, topical sprays and creams, shampoo therapy and immunotherapy to desensitise your dog. We also find Atopica, an allergy treatment prescribed by vets, helps 70% of dogs with allergies. If you would like some help with your dog’s allergies, book an appointment to see you vet to discuss all of your options.

Help Soothe and Repair the Skin

If your dog is suffering from itchy, irritated skin, there are products that can help:

-Lotions that contain colloidal oatmeal and vitamin E to soothe irritated and itchy skin

-Calming gels that soothe the skin and reduce itch/inflammation that can affect pets with skin allergies

-Vitamins that support a shiny, healthy coat and skin

parkgate | Health

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