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Is you dog itchy at the moment?

With the warmer weather around during the late summer months you might find that your dog is more itchy more than usual. It could be for many reasons however here are some common reasons which may help you diagnose the itchiness.

Fleas: The most common issue with dogs itching at this time of the year is fleas. Fleas might not live on your dog and therefore they might not be noticeable if you look on your dog. You will notice with fleas red bumps which get worse when your dog scratches. Often your dog will scratch so much they may cause the flea bite to turn into a scab. If you notice scabs on your dogs and redness then you will need to treat your dog with flea treatment. If the redness has turned more into a rash or is overly red you will need to take your dog to the vet and they should give you some cream which will help sooth the itch. If your dog reacts badly to flea bites they may have an allergy and as a result your vet may also give you some anti histamines which will help your dog recover. Once your dog is treated I would recommend giving your house a really good vacuum, making sure you get into the corners. Most fleas will live off the dog and only jump on once every month or so to feed. If you still have issues I would recommend also spraying your home with an insect control of some sort, there are many out there.

Heat: Due to different coats in dogs some may not be suited to warmer weather and as a result they may get irritated from overheating. It can be a good idea to reduce this by simply trimming their coat more regularly and keeping it short. If your dog is irritated they will start to scratch at their skin, from regular, constant scratching a dog can start to cut into the skin. If a cut develops and the coat is long it can be a good breeding ground for bacteria which can cause a scratch to turn into a “hot spot”. This is an infected cut which rapidly grows into a larger issue if untreated. It can be hard to see a hot spot when the coat is long and often you will feel a solid scabby mess on the coat. The only way to treat this effectively is to take your dog to a vet. The vet should give your dog anti-biotics and cream. They will also shave the fur away from the area to let it break. If can be a horrible site when discovered however with the right treatment they go away within a week or so. Hot spots come on very quickly but if you keep your dogs fur under control they should be ok. Common areas to check for hot spots are around the top of the head, under the arm pits and around the paws ( in particular between the toes).

Skin allergy: This is more common around the pollen seasons and also any plants and food your dog is allergic to. Allergies can be hard to work out but often they are contact allergies such as plants and sometimes it could be food related. During the warmer months there will be a lot of flowers out and they could cause your dog to suffer from sickness, tiredness, and skin issues. They are very hard to pin point due the number of plants that are out there and often the vet will treat the symptoms as they see them. It can be really hard to see your dog red all over and to put your finger on what the issue is however if you can workout the plant that is causing the issue you might be able to prevent your dog getting itchy in the future.
Here is a list of plants that maybe poisonous to dogs:

  • Bulbs: Amaryllis, Autumn Crocus, Daffodil, Day Lily, Elephant Ears, Gladiolas, Hyacinth, Iris, Lily of the Valley, Narcissus, Orange Day Lily, Tulip
  • Ferns: Aparagus Fern, Australian Nut, Emerald Feather (aka Emerald Fern), Emerald Fern (aka Emerald Feather), Lace Fern, Plumosa Fern
    Flowering Plants: Cyclamen, Hydrangea, Kalanchoe, Poinsettia
  • Garden Perennials: Charming Diffenbachia, Christmas Rose, Flamingo Plant, Foxglove, Marijuana, Morning Glory, Nightshade, Onion, Tomato Plant, Tropic Snow Dumbcane
  • House Plants: Ceriman (aka Cutleaf Philodendron), Chinese Evergreen, Cordatum, Corn Plant (aka Cornstalk Plant), Cutleaf Philodendron (aka Ceriman), Devil’s Ivy, Dumb Cane, Golden Pothos, Green Gold Nephthysis, Marble Queen, Mauna Loa Peace Lily, Nephthytis, Peace Lily, Red-Margined Dracaena, Striped Dracaena, Taro Vine, Warneckei Dracaena
  • Lillies: Asian Lily (liliaceae), Easter Lily, Glory Lily, Japanese Show Lily, Red Lily, Rubrum Lily, Stargazer Lily, Tiger Lily, Wood Lily
    Shrubs: Cycads, Heavenly Bamboo, Holly, Jerusalem Cherry, Mistletoe “American”, Oleander, Precatory Bean, Rhododendron, Saddle Leaf Philodendron, Sago Palm, Tree Philodendron, Yucca
  • Succulents: Aloe (Aloe Vera)
  • Trees: Avocado, Buddist Pine, Chinaberry Tree, Japanese Yew (aka Yew), Lacy Tree, Macadamia Nut, Madagascar Dragon Tree, Queensland Nut, Schefflera, Yew (aka Japanese Yew)
  • Vines: Branching Ivy, English Ivy, European Bittersweet, Glacier Ivy, Hahn’s self branching English Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy
  • Others: American Bittersweet, Andromeda Japonica, Azalea, Bird of Paradise, Buckeye, Caladium hortulanum, Calla Lily, Castor Bean, Clematis, Fiddle-Leaf Philodendron, Florida Beauty, Fruit Salad Plant, Golden Dieffenbachia, Gold Dust Dracaena, Heartleaf Philodendron, Horsehead Philodendron, Hurricane Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, Mother-in-law, Panda, Philodendron Pertusum, Red Emerald, Red Princess, Ribbon Plant, Satin Pothos, Spotted Dumb Cane, Sweetheart Ivy, Swiss Cheese Plant, Variable Dieffenbachia, Variegated Philodendron, Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow

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