The most common cause of itching is fleas. To eradicate fleas in South Carolina, you will need prescription products. Traditional over-the-counter products will not work for any duration, and they will wash off with the next bath or swim at Folly Beach! Please call us to set up an appointment to have a waterproof, stand-alone (no need to treat the house, yard or bathe the pet), prescription product applied to your pet.
If you are sure the problem is not fleas, you may have a pet with the second most common cause of itching, a food allergy. This may sound strange, but some foods may actually cause your pet to scratch incessantly. This condition is present in one dog out of five! Table scraps and pet treats are the most common culprits, but even regular pet foods may be the root of the problem. You could try restricting your pet from these items first and watch for an improvement. You might also try pediatric Benadryl at a rate of 1 mg per pound of pet, once to twice daily, for some temporary relief. Usually you will see an improvement with treatment within three weeks, but it may take up to ten weeks to see improvement in itching from a food allergy.
The third most common cause of itching is an inhalant allergy. Much like allergies in people, inhaled pollens, molds, and insect parts may cause problems in pets. Instead of sneezing when exposed to an allergy like humans do, our pets itch. We can arrange to have a skin test performed on your pet to discover the exact cause of the problem. Dr. Sheridan can formulate a custom vaccine, and you can administer it in your home to help relieve the itching. Again, Benadryl at a rate of 1 mg per pound of pet, once to twice daily, may help.
If you want a more immediate solution to your pet’s itching, make an appointment with us, and we can answer all your questions and provide alternative treatment options.
P.S. If your pet really likes treats, but proves to have a food allergy, try cooked or raw carrots as a substitute. Fresh or frozen cantaloupe, green peas, or cooked potatoes are also well received by dogs.