Dear VetBabble: What Can I Do When My Senior Dog Is Itching Excessively?
Dear Pet Owner, Your concern for your senior dog’s extreme itching is understandable. It’s distressing to see when our furry friends are in discomfort and it’s not always clear what the best approach is. The major concern here is not only addressing the itch but also finding a way to treat it without getting your senior dog in the bath. Here’s what we recommend:
1. Identifying the Cause
Identifying the root cause of the itching is the first step. Excessive itching in dogs can be due to a variety of things. It could be due to dog allergies or it could be a more serious problem, such as mange – a condition caused by tiny parasites that affect the dog’s skin. Here’s a helpful article on determining if your dog might have mange. Often the best course of action is a visit to your vet. They can run tests and accurately diagnose what might be going on with your companion. In the meantime, there are some simple tips that can help to control the itchiness in dogs.
2. Treating the Concern
Once the root cause is identified, the vet can provide treatments to relieve the discomfort and hopefully treat the problem. Treatments can range from oral medications, special diets, topical creams, or injectable therapies. If getting your dog into a bath is not feasible, you can ask your vet about alternative ways to treat the itch, such as medicated wipes or sprays. Remember, regular grooming and cleaning can also reduce itchiness. Even if your senior dog cannot get in and out of the bath easily, using a gentle, dog-friendly wipe to clean their coat can also help soothe and clean their skin.
3. Preventing Future Itching
Prevention is always better than cure. Once your vet has treated the underlying cause, it’s a good idea to implement measures that prevent future itching. Regular grooming can remove potential allergens that may be causing skin irritations. A good diet is also important as nutritional imbalances can affect your dog’s skin health. Moreover, regular vet visits can spot potential issues before they turn into a major problem. In instances where bathing becomes less feasible due to your dog’s age or size, another helpful guide is our head to toe guide to washing your dog. This guide can provide alternatives to the traditional bath. Remember, although it’s hard to see our furry friends not being their sprightly selves, there are routes to make them more comfortable. Consult with your vet to find the best and most fitting solution. After all, we know that you want nothing but the best for your dog and we’re here to assist. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or concerns.