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August is Itchy Pet Awareness Month! We all get itchy sometimes, so why is there an awareness month for it? After all, itching is nothing new or scary, right? Your pet might be scratching an itch as you read this, and you aren’t thinking much of it. Or maybe your lab is rocking the entire sofa as she scratches her ears desperately, and it’s all you can think about.
“Awareness” is important, though, because itchy dogs and cats might be telling you something about their health. Many pet owners don’t know that itchiness can often be a symptom of a problem that actually requires treatment. The causes can range from food and/or environmental sensitivities to parasites or nutritional needs. Hot spots, bacterial and fungal infections are frequently found during dermatologic exams, too. These, in particular, tend to take some time to develop, so the good news is that early intervention into the cause of the itch can prevent raw or infected skin.
If your dog or cat is licking, chewing, rubbing, or scratching more than usual, be sure to spend some time looking over your pet. They tend to love when you pay extra attention to them anyway, right?
When you see your vet, it’s helpful to share the answers to any of these questions above to help us hone in on the source of the problem. We need to evaluate the cause and determine the most beneficial treatment, so, as veterinarians, we love it when our clients paint a picture for us of what they have noticed at home. Your pet’s wellness is a team effort!
Learn more at the official August is Itchy Pet Awareness Month website.