Directions for Dogs with Itchy Skin

posted: by: South River Veterinary Service Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

  1. Make sure that recommended flea and tick prevention is used and correctly applied every month. Many dogs are allergic to fleas. One flea bite can cause an allergic reaction which causes the dog to be itchy all over.
  2. Give 3v capsules as directed on a daily basis. Avoid adding other sources of fat to diet such as meat juices. This may upset the anti inflammatory ratio of omega fatty acids derived in this supplement.
  3. Wipe entire body with a clean damp cloth 1x daily. In effect, you are dusting your dog (removing allergens such as dust mites and pollen that could precipitate a generalized allergic reaction.)
  4. Bathe, if possible, 1x weekly with recommended shampoo. This will soothe the skin and remove allergens as well as cleaning up any early bacterial or yeast infections.
  5. Make sure that all bedding is laundered weekly and that it is appropriate (avoid fluffy, wooly textures, avoid down or cedar as stuffing, use materials such as flannel or cotton that are smooth and tightly woven).  Vacuum a lot!
  6. Consider diet: Avoid wheat, corn, soy; meat should be 1st ingredient and whole grains and vegetables should follow. Avoid preservatives and flavor enhancers. Consider hypoallergenic diets such as D/D, Z/D, FP Response (prescription), or OTC diets such as Wellness Fish and Sweet Potato. The point of these diets is to provide “novel” sources of carbohydrates and proteins and to provide a balanced fatty acid source.
  7. Avoid perfumes and deodorizers. Take care with harsh chemicals and cleaning products that may affect sensitive skin.
  8. Consider the environment. Many dogs are highly allergic to dust mites which hide in food pantries, bedding, couches, rugs and heating vents. They particularly like down filled pillows and comforters. Seasonal allergens are particularly problematic in the spring, summer and fall (pollen sources).
  9. When you notice that your dog is having a flare up, seek veterinary care and if appropriate use an E collar to stop self excoriation. If a hot spot forms have it treated ASAP before it can become a serious problem.
Give medications as directed. These may be directed at secondary bacterial dermatitis and at the “itchiness” itself.