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Posted on 04-07-2015

There are a few different reasons that your pet might be itchy.  Most common causes are external parasites, i.e. fleas, lice and mites, and allergies. We see all of these issues at Lafayette Companion Animal Hospital.

Becoming more of a issue in Lafayette and surrounding areas, fleas can be a problem if your animal spends a lot of time outdoors and is has access to homes of wild animals. It is very common with all the great trails and paths in Louisville, Lafayette, Boulder and Broomfield.

Mites can also be a problem and are harder to see.  There are many types of mites, and while most are host specific, they can bite other species and cause some itchiness to occur.  Cats can get mites in there ear’s that causes a dark appearance in their ears.  Signs to watch for external parasites include sudden scratching and itching, reddened skin, or seeing the fleas, flea dirt, mites or lice on your pet or their bedding.  Eliminating external parasites can be done by treating the animals and their environments, including their beds and the house. 

Allergies can be caused by indoor allergens, outdoor allergens, food or all three.  When pets have allergies, it is demonstrated through itchy skin, and not through sneezing and watery eyes as in humans.  Signs of allergies include biting at their feet, frequent ear infections, constant rubbing on carpet or against furniture, and excessive scratching.  Diagnosing allergies in your pet can be done with food trials, serum allergy tests, or skin reaction tests.  While some allergens can be removed from your pet’s life (such as a certain food), others are more difficult to eliminate (human dander).  Options for treating your pet’s allergies include allergen shots, medications, and eliminating allergens from the animal’s environment, depending on what works best for you and your pet. 

If your animal is itchy, the staff at Lafayette Companion Animal Hospital would love to help.

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