My Pet Itches

Skin Conditions


Why is my pet itching?
Occasional itching is a fact of life for dogs or cats. It's a natural response to dry skin, contact with an insect or other stimuli. Frequent or constant itching, however, may be a sign of a skin disease. Allergies, fleas, infection, mites and other diseases may all cause itching in your dog or cat. If your pet's itching seems out of control, look for other signs If it persists, make an appointment to visit your veterinarian. Back to top
Why does my pet have a bad odor?
If you know your pet is clean and it still has an unpleasant odor, it may be a sign of a skin or ear infection. Start investigating by looking for other signs. Then make an appointment to see your veterinarian. Keep in mind that skin infections are much easier to treat early. A delay could result in further complication. Back to top
What's causing my pet's rash?
A rash can be a sign of one of many skin diseases. Rashes may be caused by an allergic response to something your pet came in contact with, a food it ate or a medication. Or a rash can be a sign of skin parasites (fleas or mites), a fungal infection, bacterial or yeast infections, immune-mediated disease, or seborrhea. If your pet has a rash, see your veterinarian to help determine the cause and recommend a treatment program. Back to top
Aren't steroids bad for my pet?
Normally pets make steroids in their own bodies on a daily basis. Prescribed and administered properly, steroids can be safe and effect in controlling itching, inflammation and swelling associated with inflammation. Your veterinarian will assess your pet's condition and determine if steroids are the right course of treatment. Back to top
What's the difference between human and veterinary-approved drugs?
Human drugs are just that, approved for use in humans. They are tested, formulated and designed for people. Dogs and cats, however, are not humans. That's why it's important to have medications that are approved for a species, dogs or cats. A species-approved drug is tested and formulated for that species. It also has dosing recommendations specific to that species and their weight. The safety information is also specific to the species. Sometimes it is necessary to use a human product because there may not be one that is veterinary approved. Back to top
My dog has fleas. Will I get fleas or will my other pets get fleas?
If your dog (or cat) has fleas and is untreated, fleas will eventually infest your home and you. While fleas may prefer your dog or cat, they are not that picky. They need blood to breed, and yours will do just fine. As young fleas emerge from their cocoon in the carpet, furniture or other hatching areas, they are just as likely to find you as your dog. It's much easier to prevent fleas than to control them after there is an infestation. Back to top
Should I take my pet to see my veterinarian?
With all pet skin diseases, the earlier you see your veterinarian, the better. When your pet's unusual rash or behavior – for example, scratching, chewing, rubbing – persists, or if you suspect the skin is damaged and may be infected, make an appointment to see your veterinarian right away. Some signs are more worrisome from a health standpoint than others. Click here. to learn more about the signs of skin problems. Remember that skin diseases are easier to treat early when they first present signs. Waiting to seek treatment can result in complications that make treatment more difficult and more expensive. Back to top