Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scratching in Dogs

The health-related term often used by veterinarians for intense scratching in dogs is pruritus. Itchy skin in canines usually is not cause for alarm, but if it gets to be intensive it may be a sign of a more severe disorder. There are some various skin problems in dogs that can be the cause of the scratching and itching. If a dog's itchy skin is inciting the occurrence of more skin issues including soreness and reddening of your pet's skin, skin openings and hair loss, or you witness the animal biting or chewing at his feet, then the animal should be brought to a veterinarian for analysis for each of these are signs and symptoms of a more serious skin issue. If it is not treated, the animal's itching and scratching might possibly lead to infections. Even though any breed of canine could develop pruritus, Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers and Westies tend to have a greater number of manifestations than other varieties of dog.

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The Causes of Scratching in Dogs

Itchy skin in dogs happens due to a chemical reaction that occurs at or just beneath the surface of the skin. In situations where it is uncontrollable, it is often a signal that the canine is being impacted by at least one of a variety of skin problems of a much more significant nature.

Intensive scratching in dogs might possibly be a warning sign of these skin problems:
  • Flea dermatitis is the most frequent cause of dog allergies. When a flea bites an animal, it leaves a little bit of saliva under the skin resulting in a chemical reaction that leads to scratching in dogs.
  • Inhalant allergies are also a common cause of scratching in dogs. This allergy is comparable to asthma and hay fever in people. Whenever the canine breathes in allergens such as dust, molds and pollen, it prompts an allergic response from the dog's immune system. This kind of allergy can also give rise to breathing conditions as well as causing a dog's scratching.
  • One more kind of allergy that isn't as common but is a source of scratching in dogs is an allergy to food. Food Allergies are triggered by the animal ingesting food or a food constituent that it is sensitive to.
  • We can also include scabies in the list of skin disorders in canines that can lead to itching. Scabies, medically known as sarcoptic mange, is caused by a mite burrowing just beneath the skin of the dog. The mite survives on material on or beneath the skin of the animal producing intensive and ceaseless scratching.
  • Yeast and bacteria infections can likewise be the source of a canine's scratching problems. Infections are normally brought on by open sores and abrasions that are not suitably being cleaned. Mites in the ears frequently produce this sort of skin condition in canines.
Diagnosing Skin Problems in Dogs

Identifying the reason why a dog is itching has frequently proven to be very difficult for both dog owners and veterinarians. To identify the cause of the problem, different exams and treatments could possibly have to be run meaning that diagnosis might take somewhere between a couple of weeks to a number of months. Based upon the animal's physical signs and health-related background, the vet will perform a number of laboratory screens which often include extracting samples of blood, scrapings of the skin, getting culture samples and doing a biopsy of the skin.

How to Treat Scratching in Dogs

Even if the fundamental source of scratching in dogs is unknown, there are treatments out there to repair the animal's skin and put an end to the itching and scratching. The vet might possibly recommend shampoos, antihistamines, skin creams or perhaps immunotherapy in milder instances. In even more severe circumstances, he might propose treatment utilizing steroids. Steroids have been known to cause unwanted side effects such as urinary incontinence, shortness of breath and dehydration, and prolonged use can bring about the development of diabetes or Cushing's disease in canines, so if you do plan to utilize them, do so with great care. Many dogs could have to have lifelong treatment for their skin disorder.

Natural Remedies for Scratching in Dogs

A lof of small animal clinics are currently recommending all-natural canine itching remedies as a safe and milder form of therapy. It is an alternative to taking corticosteroids and other types of remedies that could bring about unwanted side effects. You can select from a number of safe and effective holistic canine itch remedies that give dogs a lot of hoped for relief by restoring the dog's hair in addition to purifying and healing the canine's skin.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Canine Flea Dermatitis

Canine flea dermatitis, also called flea allergy, is the most common kind of allergy diagnosed in canines and is caused by the bite of a flea. It is the chief reason for itchiness in dogs, and it merely takes the bite of one sole flea to produce an allergic reaction on your pet's skin. Flea dermatitis may leave your dog scratching and itching for somewhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days and could take as long as 3 days to a week to appear after the initial bite from a flea.

The Causes of Canine Flea Dermatitis

Fleas can only be observed on an animal while they're feeding. Just like mosquitoes, the flea will bite an animal and suck in blood for nourishment. As they do this, they inject a small amount of saliva below the dog's skin which may have as many as fifteen individual allergy causing substances. If the dog is allergic to one of the allergens which have been injected by the flea, it will cause an allergic reaction that results in the animal scratching. Just about one half of all dogs will suffer from flea allergies, and even though the allergies are more often seen in older pets, pups could likewise become afflicted with it.

Diagnosis of Canine Flea Dermatitis and Recognition of Its Warning Signs

Dog owners oftentimes aren't aware that their beloved pet has fleas owing to their really minute size and because of how difficult fleas often are to eliminate. Making diagnosis of canine flea dermatitis much more challenging is the fact that it only takes one solitary flea to bring about flea allergies and signs might not be observable for nearly 7 days later than when the bite of the flea took place. It doesn't take an infestation of fleas to bring about allergies in your dog. The warning signs of canine flea allergies frequently include continual itching or biting of the coat and skin, inflaming of the skin, rashes, and reddening of the skin. As a consequence of the endless scratching, loss of hair across the animal's body, particularly in the area starting from the center along the spine to the base of their tail and in their back legs region, can likewise be a pretty solid indicator of flea allergies. A veterinarian can also find flea dermatitis in dogs employing advanced blood and skin testing to look for particular allergy causing substances and to rule out other possibilities like yeast, bacterial and fungal infections.

Flea Treatment Begins With a Good Flea Extermination Program

The initial step of any successful sort of flea treatment takes into consideration getting rid of fleas on dogs both on your dog and in your pet's localized surroundings. Even if you've got an impeccable flea control program setup, it's not out of the ordinary for canine's to still get an occasional flea bite. Pets which are often outside could present an even tougher challenge.

Conventional Remedies and Desensitization as Canine Flea Dermatitis Treatments

A veterinarian may frequently try the use of desensitization as a technique of canine flea dermatitis treatment. This involves giving the animal a shot with limited measures of flea antigen over a prolonged period of time, perhaps even the rest of the animal's lifetime. This form of treatment is usually successful in approximately half of the patients, but could possibly get really costly in the end. Antihistamines and traditional medicines, such as steroids, are also often prescribed by the vet to remedy flea dermatitis in dogs. These types of treatment can often give relief for flea dermatitis; however, it's been verified that there are harmful side effects attached to using corticosteroids. In the end, this kind of treatment may do more harm than good.

Natural Remedies for Canine Flea Dermatitis

Due to the side effects associated with using steroids, an increasing number of dog owners are now using natural treatments for flea allergies in dogs. There are numerous natural ingredients found in these herbal formulas that are not just safe, but effective. German Chamomile has been utilized for many centuries to soothe and cleanse the skin. Other herbs have also been shown to lend themselves to better overall skin health and provide restoration and soothing benefits to the skin, and include Cleavers, Witchhazel and Marigold.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Canine Flea Treatments

Fleas are a major worry that all pet owners eventually have to cope with. Anybody who owns a dog has almost certainly gone through the unpleasant task of trying to get rid of dog fleas, a task that has frequently proved to be more difficult than it appears.

Fleas aren't only a problem because they bite and bring about hours of irritating scratching and itching for your dog, but they can also cause additional dangerous concerns including flea allergies, tapeworm infestations and anemia in extreme occurrences.

Due to their astonishing hardiness, fleas are very problematic to keep under control. A female flea can lay over 2,000 eggs during the course of her existence, this indicates that infections can occur briskly and the eggs that are laid could survive for quite a while in her habitat while merely waiting on an appropriate target. For this reason it is crucial to eradicate both the fleas on the animal and the fleas living in the animal's living area. The best spots to find fleas are bedding, carpeting, rugs and sand.

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs

Before contmeplating the treatments available for getting rid of fleas on dogs and in his environment, it is fundamental to know the life span of the flea. There are four phases that form the life cycle of the flea. Similar to the majority of insects, the fleas begins in the egg stage, turns into larva, and then matures into the pupa phase until lastly making it to the adult phase.

The Flea Egg Stage

The fleas eggs are ashen in color and are so minute that they are difficult to see without using a magnifying glass. Despite the fact that the eggs are originally laid on the canine's skin, many will eventually fall onto the ground to continue their expedition to an adult. Around half of the entire flea count is comprised of eggs. Dependant upon the living conditions, the eggs hatch in anywhere from two to four weeks. The higher the temperature and moistness in the environment, the more rapidly the eggs will hatch.

The Flea's Larva Stage

Once the flea egg hatches, it goes into the larva phase where it enlarges to approximately 1/4 inch in length. The flea larva survive on natural waste substances and on the feces of the adult flea. They are uncomfortable in intense light and tend to disappear deep inside their existing living area, if at all possible in a warm and muggy area. Climate controlled habitats are the ideal setting for the life cycle of the flea to thrive. Outdoors, larva growth will only come about in moist, shady spots.

The Flea Pupa Stage

Immediately upon moving into the pupa phase, the flea pupae stem a silky and gummy protective chrysalis. This cocoon promptly structures a convenient hiding place as it gets covered by waste and soil. If stimulated by temperature, carbon dioxide or by physical pressure, such as in a hot and humid setting, an adult flea can surface from its chrysalis in as little as five to ten days. As soon as the adult flea comes out of the cocoon, it may subsist for only a couple of days if it's not able to feed. Pre-emerged adult fleas can survive in the cocoon for as many as 9 months. This is important because adult fleas still existing in the cocoon are resilient to insect repellents spread over the environment and can appear a significant time after you utilize insecticides in your house.

The Flea's Adulthood Stage

Once the adult flea appears from its chrysalis, it must rapidly find a host because it needs blood if it is to exist. A few days after obtaining a suitable host, the female flea will start laying approximately 40 eggs each day. Adult fleas generally live as long as 3 weeks. The full lifecycle of a flea can be finished in as quickly as 2 to 4 weeks, or up to 10 months contingent to the surrounding climatic conditions.

Canine Flea Treatments

There are a lot of sprays, powders, shampoos and on the spot preparations around to free your dog of fleas. Be certain to consult with a vet to pick the truly helpful and reliable flea insecticides for your residence and dog.

Indoor Canine Flea Treatments

Nearly all insecticides are only useful against the adult flea, but environmental preparations are becoming more refined. A veterinarian can offer you flea insecticides containing insect growth regulators that will help terminate the larvae and flea eggs. Before spreading any indoor product, it's a good idea vacuum your carpets and rugs to entice the pre-adult fleas to emerge from their protective cocoon. Be certain to throw away the vacuum bag after its use. You must also clean all bedding the dog has rested on.

Outdoor Canine Flea Treatments

Concentrate on dark, shady spaces. Apply an insecticide made of an insect growth regulator and duplicate it every 2-3 weeks for three to five treatments.

The newer topical and oral flea products ought to considerably help you take care of any flea crisis. With persistence and fortitude, you and your best friend ought to be flea free in a flash!

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Skin Allergies in Canines

Have you started to find your dog itching and scratching excessively? Is the itching creating open wounds and disappearance of hair on your canine pal? If so, this is a sound sign that your canine may well be distressed by dog allergies. Dogs do not develop the standard blotchy eyes and a runny nose the same way we do when we are suffering with an allergy. Additional warning signs could involve extreme scratching of a specific area, or gnawing their paws until they bleed.

What Are The Causes of Allergies in Dogs?

An allergic reaction occurs when a dog's immune system excessively reacts to individual substances. The body will then create antibodies as a means of defense when the cause of the animal's allergy passes into the body. These antibodies will subsequently connect to immune cells in the skin and other body tissues. Therefore, as the allergens steadily breach the tissue, the antibodies prompt immune cells to release powerful chemicals (named histamines) into the surrounding tissue. This will then cause irritation and itching in your pet.

There are a number of factors to take into account when trying to discover the origin of dog allergies. An allergy which affects a pet's skin is typically brought on by one (or all) of the following: food, airborne allergens, and fleas.
  • Flea Dermatitis also known as flea allergies in dogs is usually brought on by saliva from a flea. That is the reason it is so critical to relieve your pet of fleas on a regular basis.
  • Atopic allergy is caused by the inhaling of airborne allergens in the atmosphere, including mold spores, pollen, dust and tobacco smoke, instigate atopic allergies. If a dog has pollen allergies, the dog will manifest signs, even when kept indoors as the particles will move into the home. Sneezing, coughing and wheezing often are symptoms of this type of allergy.
  • Food allergy is the next most frequent variety of dog allergy. The most likely culprits for food allergies in dogs are: corn, milk, chicken, soy, eggs, beef and wheat. Diarrhea and Vomiting generally are indicators of this type of allergy in dogs.
  • Contact allergies are the least diagnosed sort of allergy in pets and is caused by contacting with something. Triggers can include wool, grass and plastic. A few dogs might suffer from allergic reactions to particular chemicals in the house, but this isn’t very common.
How to Identify Dog Allergies

A veterinarian may be able to identify the problem, though it could require a system of elimination to discover the source of the dog’s allergy and may even refer your pet to a veterinarian who’s a skin specialist. In the event where fleas are ruled out, the animal could be put on an elimination diet for a couple months. Your pet is given food he or she hasn’t eaten in the past, such as turkey, venison, and potatoes, with the past food being brought back gradually until the allergy reappears.

The allergen is deemed to be at least one ingredient if the dogs scratching lessens by about one half of what it was before. When testing for atopic and contact allergies, vets use an intradermal allergy exam that functions by slightly anesthetizing the dog with slight amounts of potential allergens which are injected into the skin on the shaved area. If the animal is allergic to a particular substance, the skin close to the area of the injection will become inflamed.

Treating Dog Allergies

Keeping your dog away from allergens and treating the symptoms of dog allergies are the top approaches toward treatment. Drugs such as steroids and antihistamines are frequently advocated to relieve the symptoms of scratching and inflammation in pets, though like all medicines they could come with harmful side effects and the lasting effects are unknown. Prolonged treatment using steroids is not advocated as these medicines work by suppressing the immune system. Continued steroid use may eventually leave your pet open to infections, diabetes and further conditions.

Natural Remedies

Luckily for dog enthusiasts, there are plenty of nontoxic and natural herbal and homeopathic cure for skin allergies in dogs.

Althaea officinalis root is an excellent and well known remedy for repairing the skin while Melaleuca alternifolia can be used as a topical to promote skin health and keeping the animal’s skin clear. Homeopathic remedies for skin allergies in dogs that include Ledum and Apis have excellent soothing qualities and are notably useful in soothing reddened and itchy skin, or minute irritations and sores.

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