Itching and Scratching and Flakes, Oh My!

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Itching and scratching and flakes, oh my!! Anyone who has ever shared their life with a pet with skin issues knows the frustration of not only fixing the problem but trying to figure out just what is actually causing the “itchy” skin.

Allergies are a very common problem. Our pets can be allergic to everything from foods to fleas to their environment. In fact, many common household products such as Tide® detergent and Swiffer® products can trigger allergies in some dogs. Having lived with a dog that had several allergies, I quickly realized that “fixing” her required a multi-prong approach. Some dogs may find relief through oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl®, while others may need more help to win the allergy battle.

It’s important to realize that most allergy issues cannot be completely fixed topically. Many dogs can benefit greatly from simply adding the right supplement to their diet. Quality supplements, such as K9 Power Show Stopper or Davis TheraCoat, are loaded with essential fatty acids as well as other ingredients designed to help improve your dog's condition from the inside out. I’ve used both of these awesome products and often refer to them as a “miracle in a canister.”

A common misconception among owners of “itchy” dogs is that more bathing will help the condition. Often times, over-bathing will simply make the condition worse. Dogs suffering from seborrhea dermatitis, non-specific dermatoses and bacteria will benefit from Davis MicoHexidine Shampoo because it addresses infections, greasiness, hair loss & scaly skin. The Davis KetoHexidine Shampoo contains colloidal oatmeal which will help soothe & moisturize irritated skin. If your dog needs a little “freshening” between baths either the Davis Dry Shampoo or the Dry Clean Spray Shampoo by Best Shot are wonderful options.

Hot spots, flea allergy dermatitis, and pollen allergies are just a few “triggers” that can have your dogs licking, chewing & biting his skin. Jeffers Itch Halt Spray contains clove oil and eucalyptus oil which act as natural anesthetics which will help break the itching/scratching cycle, giving your dog much-needed relief but will not leave a greasy or sticky coat. M.E.D. Topical Skin Spray is a fabulous product that is a non-stinging spray that can be applied directly where it’s needed to help provide relief on contact by soothing & cooling the skin. All of these products can be used as needed, alone or with other products for additional relief.

If you prefer using an ointment ASAP Pet Shield® is helpful for hot spots, lacerations, abrasions, and skin irritations. It contains silver which may help inhibit the growth of microorganisms while promoting healing. Hot spots & most skin disorders will respond to Sulfodene® 3-Way Ointment for Dog which not only helps prevent infection, it relieves pain & provides a barrier against insects & germs.

Flea allergy dermatitis is very often the cause of tremendous discomfort for your pet. For dogs that are highly allergic, one flea bite can cause a fairly severe reaction. Prevention is the best cure because once an infestation starts it can be very difficult to get under control. Capstar® and Advantus® Soft Chews are both oral flea treatments that are very effective “quick kill” products that begin working within 30 minutes. However, they are a 24-hour fix, giving you time to apply a topical flea treatment such as Advantage® II, Advantix® II, Frontline® Gold or a Seresto® Flea & Tick Collar and allow time to start working. Remember that treating your pets is only part of the war on fleas. To be effective you need to treat your premises, inside and out, as well as your pets.

Please feel free to contact Renee Jones CPDT-KSA at rsjones@jefferspet.com or 1-800-533-3377 ext 2381.

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