(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Itching, and the scratching, biting and licking that goes with it, is one of the most common health problems in pets. While some itching is normal in dogs, anything excessive or combined with hair loss, red skin hot spots and even chewing paws can indicate it’s time to make a veterinary appointment.
Million of dogs suffer from dermatological issues that require a treatment plan from a veterinarian. These skin issues can cause pets great discomfort and significantly reduce their overall quality of life. If left untreated, they can lead to greater health concerns.
Here are some warning signs that may tell you it’s time to call and make an appointment:
Does your dog stop playing or eating to scratch themselves? Dogs are very motivated regarding food and play. So, if they are stopping in the middle of their favourite activities to scratch, it means their skin is really bothering them.
Does your pet have dandruff (scaling skin)? Dog skin should be pink and smooth. There shouldn’t be any flakes and their haircoat should feel soft and smooth, rather than dry and brittle.
Can you smell your dog before they enter the room? Or do you immediately wash your hands after petting your dog because of the smell? Odors and greasy skin can be an indication of a skin issue that should be looked at by your vet.
Fortunately, once identified, most issues can be managed through a combination of the right diet and medication, giving your pet back the quality of life they deserve.
— News Canada
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)