Flea allergy is the most common allergy in dogs and cats. It causes severe itching. Some pets cannot tolerate even one flea bite and will itch for days. Fortunately, flea control products that only have to be given or applied once a month have revolutionized the fight against fleas and are saving pet owners considerable amounts of time and money. Here at Sarasota Veterinary Center, we can offer you the best medications for fleas and ticks to avoid having the “Itchy & Scratchy” show going on at your house!
Another common cause if itching is seasonal allergies to airborne pollens, spores and fungi. Some of these “aeroallergens” travel for miles and have been found as far as 200 miles out over the ocean! While many people sneeze and sniffle through the pollen seasons, their pets may be scratching for the same reason. Seasonal allergies cause respiratory ills, such as hay fever in people, but in our pets, these inhaled allergens trigger itchy skin and result in scratching, licking and rubbing until their skin has scabs and raw spots. There are regional variations, but in the tropical setting of Southwest Florida, a pet may have year-round exposure and a year-round itch.
There are tests to narrow down the cause of the itching or skin allergies, and many treatments are available to alleviate your pet’s suffering. Although inhaled allergies, known as atopy, are far and away the most common cause of itchy skin, there can be food allergies, as well. Treating a food allergy requires strict adherence to a diet provided by your veterinarian, so do not be fooled by false advertising of diets you can buy over the counter in pet stores and grocery stores.