Why is my dog itchy? - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

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Allergic skin disease is the most common cause of itchiness in dogs seen at My Local Vet. There are four categories:

1. Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) – some dogs develop an allergy to the flea saliva and this means they may only require a single flea bite to cause severe itchiness and fur loss.

2. Food allergy – this is often associated with sensitisation to animal proteins such as chicken, beef or lamb. The way to identify if your dog has a food allergy is to do a “food trial” using a specifically formulated dog food. Your veterinarian can guide you to the most appropriate food for this.

3. Contact allergy – some dogs will develop inflamed skin when they come in contact with an allergen in their environment. Contact allergy is often suspected when a dog develops skin disease exclusively on their paws, face and belly as these are the areas of the body most commonly in contact with their surrounds.

4. Atopy – think of atopy like hay fever for dogs. However, instead of causing itchy eyes and sneezing, atopic dogs often develop itchy skin and ear infections. These ear infections are due to allergens in the environment (including the air) causing spontaneous inflammation of the ear canals which inevitably leads to overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the ears. Every spring we see a wave of new atopy cases walk through our door due to the increased plant reproductive activity (pollens and grasses).

Allergy is not the only cause of itchiness in dogs. If your dog is itchy it’s important to discuss this with your veterinarian so they can identify the cause and give your pooch the relief they desperately deserve!

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