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Is Your Pet Scratching? 5 Possible Causes
Will Draper, DVM posted:
That scratching sound all day and night? The tag on your dog's collar going "ting-a-ling-a-ling?" It's enough to drive any pet owner crazy -- and interrupt a great sleep cycle in the process. So what's causing your pet to scratch so much? There could be a few different reasons.

? Fleas: This is usually a pet owner's first thought, and certainly a reasonable assumption. This is the reason that flea control -- either topical or oral -- is so important. Many pets have an allergy to flea saliva. So when a flea bites your pet, it may start the allergic response.

? Ticks: Although rare, ticks can cause skin irritation that's similar to that from fleas. Many times pets will scratch and lick so much that they mutilate themselves in the affected areas, called "hot spots." These are localized areas of infection that generally need veterinarian care and medical treatment, such as antibiotics and antipruritic (anti-itch) drugs.

? Inhaled Allergens: Inhalants can cause mild to severe skin reactions, called atopy or atopic dermatitis. Things like dust, perfumes, molds, and pollen can cause redness and itching when inhaled by your pet, especially for dogs.

? Food Allergies: Both dogs and cats can have allergies to foods. These reactions may cause intense itching and can result in gastrointestinal issues, too.

? Environmental Irritants: Things that get on your pet's coat or skin, such as topical medications or plant material (poison ivy, for example) can cause a reaction and the subsequent itching and scratching.

Be aware, sometimes dogs will scratch just because they can. Although this kind of scratching can be irritating for you as a pet owner, it is usually not excessive like the scratching that can result from the causes listed above.

Do you suffer from insomnia as a result of your pet's constant scratching?

Have you ever taken your dog to the vet due to excessive scratching?Share your experiences with the community.
Dr. Will
Laouska responded:
thankyou for the information
could you help me with my pet rat? @


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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