Itchy dogs

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Google Maps location for Morley Vetcentre

Morley Vetcentre
20 Rudloc Rd
WA 6062

08 9275 3000
08 92753081

Is your dog itchy? There are a number of things which could be responsible for his/her scratching.

Did you know that dogs can get seasonal allergies just like people with hay fever? Pollens, grasses and dust in your pets’ environment can irritate his skin and make it red and itchy, and also cause problems like ear infections and irritated paws. In dogs itching from environmental allergens like these is a result of a condition called Atopic Dermatitis, or atopy. This condition is surprisingly common in dogs, and often flares up in spring and summer. In Australia certain breeds of dog are more commonly affected; including West Highland White Terriers, Boxers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Bull Terriers. However, any breed can have atopy, even cross breeds. Sometimes dogs can get so itchy that they can scratch or chew their skin raw, so it is very important to seek veterinary attention if you have an itchy pet.

There are some other common causes of itchy skin in dogs. One of the most commonly seen, and easiest to prevent and treat, is Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Even if you cannot see any fleas on your pet, he may be hypersensitive to the flea saliva, so one bite could be enough to send him into an itching frenzy. It is important to have your pets on veterinary recommended flea prevention all year round to prevent any outbreaks. Fleas are particularly rampant in summer when the heat causes their breeding cycle to speed up. They can also be a real pest as once they get into your carpet or bedding they can be tricky to get rid of. There are other types of mites and parasites which can cause itching in your dog too, so if flea treatment doesn’t seem to help, bring him along for a check over.

Dogs can also be allergic to things in their diet, and this usually causes them to have really itchy skin, often without having an upset tummy. Some common ones are beef and wheat, which are in most commercial dog foods. Your pet may not be born with a food allergy, but he may develop one when he is around 1-3 years old. If your dog is itching for no apparent reason, the vet may start him on a special allergen free food trial to check if he is allergic to anything in his diet.