I noticed lately that Mocha has been itching a lot lately. In Florida, this is the time when it is quite dry outside, not too much rain, and pretty equivalent to normal summers up north. Yes, I know must be nice, but I just remember that this can be the time that many fleas can be frequently lurking everywhere, especially since it is our dry season. I made sure to check him thoroughly, and he is on a preventative medicine for fleas and heartworm. He doesn’t have any fleas.
But, it raised the question in my head, what other things can make him itch. I know for one thing, he can be like me, I have super dry skin especially now when the times in Florida are not humid.
I came across an article from the Healthy Pets Magazine from Summer ’12. This article originally came from vetstreet.com website, but I could not find the article itself online. The article was called Scratching the Itch by Mark Grossman, DVM. He is a co-owner at Roanoke Island Animal clinic in Manteo, NC. In his article, he mentioned 6 common reasons why dogs and cats scratch.
The 6 common reasons why dogs and cats itch are the following:
- Fleas – There are many flea preventatives on the market. Talk to your vet about the best one. Mocha uses Trifexis which is a pill that combines preventative for fleas and heartworm. Before, he used Front Line Plus which was topical. You had to put it in his skin, but he could not be by water for a few days before and after. Since he lives in Florida, that was hard.
- Food Allergies – According to the article, food allergies can occur in a pet’s life at any time. The best person to contact about this is your vet. They can do a pet trial to see what help figure out if your pet is allergic to any foods.
- Environmental Allergies – I know that I am allergic to pollen, molds, and dust mites. Did you know that your pet can be allergic to those types of things in the environment too? It is called Atopy or atopic dermatitis. In other words, inhaled allergens in the environment. Vets do allergy testing like regular physicians do on us. There are even specialists for pets called Veterinary dermatolgists. It is amazing, but true that our pets are definitely real family members in our homes, don’t you think.
- Mites – In the environment, there are mites. These are different than fleas. Vets do special tests that are called skin scrapes. Cats get fecal exams as well. These mites can cause different types of skin diseases. \
- Ringworm – Ringwork is a fungal infection that humans and pets can get. This is spread by infected animals, touching items that may have it, or have had contact with it. Vets do a test from pulling hair from the pet near a noticeable skin lesion. Once diagnosed, they are given medicine to make sure it heals.
- Other Causes – There are other types of fungal and bacterial skin infections pets may get. If you feel that the itching is excessive, have your vet check your pet out. They will do different tests, and make sure they are diagnosed and feeling better.
This article was quite helpful to me, and I am sure that you and your pet will feel the same way. If you know of any other tips in regards to pets itching, and how to help them, feel share.