Pruritus (itching) is an unpleasant sensation that is characterised by scratching, licking, biting, chewing and rubbing. It is caused by chemical reactions that occur in the skin and stimulate the nerves, causing the brain to feel an itch. Pruritus and subsequent scratching or biting, causes the skin to become pink, inflamed and damaged.
A variety of common skin conditions may cause pruritus:
Sometimes more than one of these can occur at the same time.
If your dog has pruritus you will see some (or all) of the following signs:
These signs can lead to obvious pain and discomfort.
Your veterinarian may want to perform a few diagnostic tests to determine the cause of pruritus. Tests may include:
The key to relieving your dog’s pruritus is to identify and treat the underlying cause of the itch. Often long term antibiotic treatment is needed to treat the underlying cause of pruritus. The most common antibiotic used in skin cases such as this is a cephalexin-based tablet.
To help relieve the itching your veterinarian may recommend anti-inflammatories, antihistamines, fatty acid supplements such as MEGADERM® as well as soothing veterinary shampoos such as EPISOOTHE® SIS SHAMPOO.
To ensure proper healing of your dog’s skin it is necessary to follow your veterinarian’s instructions exactly. This means it is vital to ensure the correct dose, frequency and duration of treatment recommended by your veterinarian and also make sure you return to your vet for rechecks as instructed. Only your veterinarian is able to appreciate the right time to stop treatment. Good compliance is one of the keys of successfully treating your dog’s pruritus.
To ensure the pruritus problem is resolved and to keep your dog’s coat healthy it is important not only to administer all medications as instructed, but you should also:
Relieve itching in your dog with MEGADERM®