Itchy Pet Awareness
Excessive licking, chewing, and scratching can make a pet’s life a miserable month after month, even year after year. No one likes to see their pet uncomfortable; the constant licking, chewing, and scratching can keep a pet owner up at night from the noise. Uncontrolled itching is a problem to solve before it gets out of hand.
It is hard to match the corticosteroid hormones for reliable rapid relief of itch and inflammation. Some animals seem unable to live with any degree of comfort without these medications. Unfortunately, these hormones have widespread and potentially dangerous actions throughout the body when used for inappropriately long periods, and it is generally desirable to minimize the use of these hormones when possible. Ideally, corticosteroids are used for a few tough itch weeks, and other forms of itch management are used for general itch maintenance.
Of course, this is easier to write about than to do. When your pet is scratching and chewing raw spots on their skin, practical advice is what is called for. The following list includes various non-steroidal methods for relieving itch and reducing the amount of corticosteroid hormones needed.
Ask Yourself These Questions About Your Pet’s Itch
- Is there any redness or irritation of the skin, ears, or paws?
- Do your pet’s skin, ears, or paws have a yeasty smell?
- Are there any changes to your pet’s coat? Loss of hair, dryness, etc.?
- Has there been a noticeable increase in itchiness recently?
- If so, have you introduced any new food or treats recently?
- Does the itchiness seem to coincide with when people experience seasonal allergies?
- Have you seen any signs of fleas or ticks?
Solutions May Include:
- Antihistamine and Antihistamine Trials
- Cyclosporine (Atopica)
- Oclacitinib (Apoquel®)
- Fatty Acid Supplementation
- Ultra-Microsized Palmitoylethanolamide or “PEA” (Redonyl®)
- Topical Therapies
- Shampoo Therapy
Now Talk to Your Vet At The Parks Animal Care
When you visit The Parks Animal Care, it’s helpful to share the answers to any of these questions above to help us hone in on the source of the problem. We need to evaluate the cause and determine the most beneficial treatment, so, as veterinarians, we love it when our clients paint a picture for us of what they have noticed at home. Your pet’s wellness is a team effort!