Dr Claire Jenkins explains itchy skin in pets
Itchy skin is another of the most common reasons Everyday Pet Insurance customers choose to use VetAssist.
So why is my pet itchy? Itchy skin is really just a symptom and can be the result of many underlying causes. Once we find the cause of the itchy skin we can reach the best treatment plan for your pet. Sometimes with skin, finding the cause isn’t always easy and can take a bit of detective work.
Some of the more common underlying causes of itchy skin include:
We know that when humans have allergies to pollen, they react by sneezing or getting watery eyes. In dogs and cats, the common reaction to an allergen is that their skin gets itchy. Allergens that can cause itchy skin include foods, fleas and environmental pollens – either breathed in or physically touched e.g plants, chemicals, shampoos. Regardless of the cause, the allergen can cause the skin to react in the same way – starting with an itch.
There are two major causes of mites called Demodex and Sarcoptes. Your local Vet needs to do some simple tests to diagnose these, a few skin scrapes are performed (no anaesthetic needed) and then the sample is examined under the microscope, searching for the mites.
Infection e.g. bacteria and yeast
Skin infections are itchy, they are also commonly secondary to an underlying skin allergy or irritation.
This includes items such as a topical cream, shampoo, plant or insect bite.