Just like humans, our pets can sometimes pick up bites, infections, or even experience allergies that make them itchy. Most of the time, it’s not a big deal. However, as a pet owner, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between your pet scratching their ear every so often and a serious problem like fleas or ticks. If your cat or dog is itchy, you should try to diagnose the problem before making an appointment with your veterinarian short pump. Luckily, you’ll be able to tell a lot about the condition by the way your pet is reacting to it. While fleas and ticks are easier to spot, certain skin conditions or allergies can be triggered by anything from a recent change in diet to dirty water at the dog park. Whatever’s making your pet itch, there’s usually a pretty simple answer. If you’re worried about your pet and want to make sure you’re not missing anything, here are a few things to look out for.
The common flea might seem like an average pest to non-pet owner. However, once you get a dog or cat, you begin to realize just how destructive the creatures truly are. While most dogs and cats can be easily treated for fleas using the right shampoo and a trip to the vet, it’s an unpleasant thing to have to deal with, especially when your pet is scratching themselves raw just trying to contain the itch. If untreated, flea infestation or allergy can lead to other serious conditions for your pet, such as hair loss, skin inflammation, and bacterial infection. Even if you don’t see fleas on your pet, always check with your vet to see if your dog or cat is reacting to an infestation.
Dogs and cats have allergies just like us. Your pet could be allergic to something environmental like pollen, dust mites, or mold, or may have ingested something that results in raised bumps and uncomfortable itching. Either way, you’ll be able to tell if your pet’s itching is allergy-related by checking the accompanying signs and symptoms, such as rubbing, chewing, or watery eyes. If your pet is dealing with a food or environmental allergy that isn’t going away, take them to the vet as soon as you can. Your pet might be prescribed a new medication or you might have to make changes to their diet.
When your pet goes to the vet to get fixed or to have a minor surgery, they’re usually given a cone in order to keep them from licking or biting at the wound. However, in some scenarios, your dog or cat’s cone can come off, allowing them to lick their wound and subject it to infection. Dogs and cats can get infections from any open wound site quite easily, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. Infections are usually easily treatable, as long as you get to them in time, so if you notice your pet licking at an incision site or chewing at a certain area, don’t waste any time. Go to the vet as soon as you notice the wound is opened.
Every pet owner dreads dealing with a tick infection. Ticks can easily latch on to dogs or cats and stay embedded for a long time, hidden deep within a patch of fur or behind their ear. You might not notice a tick at first, but if you see your dog or cat scratching at a specific spot, usually a hidden fold or a furry patch, they could be reacting to a tick. Fortunately, you can remove ticks on your own at home if you’re careful. However, if you’re not confident, don’t take any chances. Failure to remove a tick properly could lead to more health risks for your pet, and subject them to tick-related illnesses like Lyme disease.
5. Scabies or Mites
Dogs and cats have furry, warm ears, which make the perfect hiding place for ear mites to burrow. Mites also love feeding on your pet’s earwax and are very hard to spot. Scabies, the tiny parasites that create “mange” in pets, are also microscopic and can cause a lot of damage to your pet’s skin. If your pet is itching uncontrollably and you can’t see a clear cause, you could be dealing with ear mites or scabies. In this case, take your pet to the doctor as soon as you can. Both scabies and mites can cause infection in pets, and scabies can even transfer to humans if left untreated.