Does you dog keep you awake at night with its annoying scratching? Have you noticed that your dog has a bad odour? If so, chances are that your dog has an allergy or skin infection which is driving you both nuts.
Owning an itchy, scratchy dog is one of the most common reasons for visiting your veterinarian, particularly in summer. Dogs, like us, suffer from allergies and skin diseases, so it is important to have an understanding of the many causes of the itchy dog syndrome.
To accurately diagnose and treat your dog, you will need to work closely with your veterinarian as many skin conditions require long term treatment. Your constant monitoring of your dog’s progress and feedback to your vet is vital, as is your commitment to managing and treating the condition.
To assist your veterinarian to diagnose and then treat the itch, you can help a great deal by providing some key information. For example,
After careful examination of your dog, your veterinarian may perform some pathology tests such as skin scrapings, samples of skin flakes, cytology on lumps or ears, skin biopsies, or a series of blood and urine tests.
Your veterinarian is then able to advise you of the one or more medical conditions which is causing your dog to scratch which may be due to any of the following:-
Many of the conditions described above may appear similar on initial examination however, once a diagnosis has been made, your veterinarian will develop a treatment protocol which may involve injections, tablets, medicated shampoos, rinses and in some cases very careful monitoring and repeat blood testing. The aim is to eliminate the itch and odour, restore the hair loss and return the hair coat on your dog to its shiny best. Please follow the directions of your veterinarian carefully and report the progress regularly. Use shampoos and medications formulated specifically for the skin of dogs.
Itchy dogs can be frustrating at times but by being persistent with flea control and skin care and following your veterinarian’s advice your dog will really appreciate your diligence - and - there will be no more thumping on the floor at night keeping you both awake.