An itchy dog is a common problem in Florida. Below are some common causes of itching and our solutions for them.
During your pet’s exam, we will perform a quick check for fleas, which can be a common cause of itching. Fleas like to live in warm areas on your dog, including armpits, groin and by the base of their tail. One easy way to protect your dog against fleas is to give them a monthly flea preventive. Our recommendation is Nexgard flavored chew tablet that is given once a month and also protects against different types of ticks.
Another cause of pruritus can be dermatitis, which is a skin infection that is brought on by allergic reactions. These reactions can be caused by typically harmless things such as grass, dust mites and other environmental allergens. Scratching, chewing, licking are the main symptoms of dermatitis, but in severe cases it can cause fur loss, hot spots or recurrent ear or skin infections.
Two products we can offer with itch relief : one is a monthly injection called Cytopoint and the other is a daily tablet called Apoquel. Cytopoint begins to help relieve your dog within 24 hours and lasts between 4-8 weeks before needing to be administered again. Apoquel starts to work within 4 hours after being given and is specifically designed to treat skin inflammation.
For some dogs, the remedy to their itching may be as easy as switching their food. Depending on their symptoms, we may recommend doing a food trial for at least 8 weeks with your dog only eating the prescribed food. If there is no improvement on the food, other options such as topical shampoos and medications will be discussed.