“He won’t stop scratching!”

Itchy skin disease is distressing for pet and pet owner and raises the ominous question “is it catching?” Such problems are best treated early, before your poor itchy pet has become bald, spotty and sore!

Pesky parasites : fleas and mange mites are the main culprits for dogs and cats. We can advise you on the most effective treatment and ongoing prevention strategy.

Allergies: whereas people tend to sneeze and wheeze, our pets itch! :

a) Flea saliva: a single flea bite can cause a massive outbreak of itchy spots in a sensitive animal. Dogs scratch and chew the area around the bite, while cats tend to groom themselves obsessively until they start to look bald.

b) Inhaled allergens (or atopy) such as pollen, house dust mites or moulds. Affected dogs will tend to rub their ears and faces, and lick and chew their paws and tummy.  There is no cure for atopy but there are better treatments nowadays. We have products to stop the itch and give your pet relief, but it is best to manage the problem by tailor-made desensitisation injections, regular medicated baths, a healthy diet rich in essential fatty acids, and soothing topical treatments.

c) Food allergy: Sufferers may have itchy skins, gut upsets and changes in their behaviour. Diagnosis involves just feeding your pet a veterinary hypoallergenic diet (and nothing else!) for several months. If he improves, then single foods can be introduced to identify the problem ingredient.

by Jacky Macqueen