The Itchy and Scratchy Show!

I've noticed lately that both of my dogs have been itchy. They've been rubbing against the rugs and furniture, biting and licking at themselves, and just plain scratching! This time of year, my first thought is, "Oh no, FLEAS!" But both dogs are on Frontline, and when I brush them down with a flea comb I don't see any bugs. They're clean, but they are noticeably more itchy than normal. This could be a variety of things. Itchy, dry, flaky skin is often a symptom of a food sensitivity (also called food allergy), but I haven't changed their food recently, and the fact that both of them are itchy makes that unlikely. Fleas may have bitten them and then died or jumped off, or then could even have mosquito bites that are bugging them (ha!).

I emailed Dr. Cohen at Center City Vet Hospital to ask about some over the counter remedies for the dry, itchy skin I see in a lot of dogs this time of year, and he replied that it's most likely allergies. He said that for some dogs only steroids will stop the itch, but omega 3 fatty acid oils (Grizzly Salmon oil or Halo Dream Coat cod liver oil) as a food supplement can really help. He also suggested shampooing with a gentle oatmeal based shampoo (Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe) will take some of the allergens away from their coat, then follow with a conditioning spray (Earthbath Hot Spot Spritz) to replace some of those oils, and get them on the omega 3's. 

Another caution from Dr. Cohen: "Oh, also, some animals will be flea allergic.  This means that as they are walking outside, a flea from someone else's dog will jump on and take a few bites.  The Frontline takes time to kill the bug, but in the meantime, a flea allergic dog will have an inflammatory reaction that will last for days if not longer.  Again, only steroids or time will provide relief (and time usually allows for nasty secondary infections).  For dogs that go into the woods, empty lots, etc where we expect a large flea burden, it should be safe to apply Frontline every 3 weeks to make sure it maintains maximal efficacy."

If your dog has been bothering at an itch for so long that it's turned into a Hot Spot, we've had great success with the Lumino Cool Balm. Read this blog article about it.

In any case, if your poor pup is itchy like mine, come on by and check out some of our products to get them some relief. Thanks Dr. Cohen!

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