Have you noticed your pet itching?
Winter weather dries out our skin, and it does the same to our pets. If you notice your pet is itching, chewing and scratching a lot, or has more noticeable dander than normal, it could just be the change in season. Colder, drier weather actually plays a big part in how our pets skin and fur appear.
Common Causes of Dog & Cat Itching
It's important to know that there are other reasons that can cause our pets to itch. Below you'll find the reasons that may require you to seek medical attention:
Pets can be allergic to ingredients in their food, causing them itchy skin and irritation. Like humans, our pets also can experience symptoms of common allergies. If you think your pet has allergies to something other than their food, let Brook Farm know and we can discuss treatment options to avoid your pets discomfort. Allergies can wreak havoc on your pet’s health at any time of the year, and it can be a long unsuccessful road pinpointing an allergen without appropriate screening. Brook Farm offers a quick and accurate approach to allergy screening: with a simple blood draw, allergens can be identified, and effective solutions and relief for your pet will be provided.
Fleas or other external parasites:
Fleas can cause severe allergies in sensitive dogs. If your pet has fleas you may notice them suffering with severe itching, hair loss, and skin infections. If you have more than one pet, but only one is showing signs, be sure to treat all of your pets within the household for best results. In addition to treating all pets in the home, be sure to treat the entire interior and exterior of your home as well. It is also recommended that if your pet has had contact with fleas that they get treated against Dipylidium, a tapeworm that fleas are known to carry.
There are many kinds of bacterial infections but the most common include Leptospirosis and Staphylococcal Infection.
*It is important to be aware of these infections as they can be fatal if treatment is not administered in a timely manner.
Leptospirosis can affect both humans and animals. This can be contracted from stagnant water, or from coming in contact with urine from other infected animals. Another way our dogs can get this is if they get bit from a dog who is already infected. If you are concerned your pet may have been exposed, then please contact us immediately so we can begin treatment as soon as possible.
Staphylococcal Infection is a bigger word for a staph infection. This is the most common type of bacterial skin infection that we see. As an AAHA-accredited hospital, you can trust our team to take care of every detail and make you feel right at home. Our practice is thorough, responsive, sanitary, and safe. We can help treat these types of infections using antibiotic shampoos, topical ointments, and oral antibiotics. Keep in mind that staph infection can be transferred from dogs to humans and vice versa, so early treatment and good hygiene are crucial.
Ringworm also known as Dermatophytes is extremely contagious and spreads through direct contact. This can affect your dogs skin, fur, or nails. Symptoms of ringworm include hair loss, flaking itchy skin, misshapen or brittle nails. We can help treat ringworm symptoms by giving medicated baths or dips as well as oral antifungal medications. If your pet has been exposed to ringworm be sure to vacuum and disinfect the entire house frequently to help prevent the spread of this infection to others in the home.
We have ways of expressing anxiety and stress like biting our nails, twirling our hair, and cracking our fingers. Did you know that some animals have a physical response to stress too? Some animals develop conditions similar to that of obsessive-compulsive disorder which may in turn cause itching, scratching, licking, or chewing that can cause damage.
If your pets symptoms last for more than a week and they're starting to show any of the following, seek immediate veterinary help:
- Open sores / redness from over-itching
- Dull, dry & brittle coat
- Patches of fur missing
- Consistent licking, especially their paws
Call us at (845) 878-4833 or visit our website to Book an Appointment with a Brook Farm Veterinarian today! We will work with you to determine what's going on with your pet and help provide you with a plan of action to get them feeling their best!