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Posted on 03-21-2017

Got Itch?
By Dr. Rory Hekking

Even though this winter has often felt like spring, we are now gearing up to enjoy the real season. But behind all the joys that spring brings hides a force that can make even the most perfect day a downer: allergies

With all the trees, flowers, and grass growing and blooming, we also get a rise in pollen and flea counts. This leads to itching, itching, itching! Here are some tips to help your itchy pet at home.

  • Use an omega-3 fatty acid supplement – Omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen the skin barrier so allergens aren’t able to sneak through. Plus, they will make the coat shiny and keep the heart, kidney, joints, and brain healthy. One quick note about omega-3 fatty acids: since there is no regulation to ensure their quality be sure to purchase your supplement from a veterinarian or a company with NASC seal of approval on it. These companies have verified that they have the right amount of fatty acids in the supplements.
  • Bathe your dog regularly – Using a moisturizing shampoo regularly will remove the pollen and allergens from your dog’s skin, reducing the contact time and allergic response. Monitor your pet for dry, flaky skin as a sign that you may be bathing them too often.
  • Keep your pet on a monthly flea prevention – While we may not see fleas on the pet, a single flea bite can send a dog or cat into an itching frenzy. Monthly prevention will keep fleas from setting up an infestation and keep your pet comfortable.
  • Give antihistamines – There are several over the counter antihistamines that can help your pet, but please contact us before starting your pet on one to ensure they are getting the correct type and dose.

Itching by itself can resolve with some of the above treatments. If, however, your pet starts getting bumps or sores from the itching then they need to be seen right away. That is a sign of infection and antibiotics and stronger anti-itch medication will be needed to help them feel better.

We all love the warm weather that Georgia springs bring with them. Follow these tips and give us a call so we can work together to make sure our pets feel the same way!

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