Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Methods to Stop the Itching

Allergy Problems in Dogs: "Cold water will usually reduce itching and produce temporary relief. It doesn't really matter how the water is applied, but it must be at least cool. This effect doesn't last long, usually less than one-half hour. Adding Episoothe Oatmeal Shampoo, Episoothe Oatmeal Creme Rinse, Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal, Relief Shampoo or Domeboro's solution helps to prolong the effect. All of these products are available over-the-counter. If you use Aveeno, one to two tablespoons per gallon of water, applied as a rinse, works best. Follow the directions on the Domeboro packet and also apply as a rinse.
Shampooing will sometimes help to control itching. Some shampoos such as Pyoben and Oxydex, act to reduce the bacteria level on the skin, one cause of itching. Seba Lyt and other sulfer/salicyclic acid shampoos reduce scaling. Lytar, Clear Tar and other tar containing shampoos reduce itching and oiliness. An emollient or moisturizer used after shampooing will restore some moisture to the skin and this also reduces itching. Expar Creme Rinse can be used to kill fleas after itching and moisturize the skin.
Antihistamines are useful in the treatment of itching in some dogs and cats. Used alone, about 15 to 25% of dogs will respond to antihistamines. Used in combination with fatty acid inhibitors, such as DermCaps, EFA-Z and Omega EFA capsules, about 25 to 40% of dogs will respond, reducing scratching behavior to acceptable levels. Antihistamines available over-the-counter are Benedryl (diphenhydramine, 25mg capsules) and Chlortrimeton (chlorpheniramine maleate, 4mg tablets). "

--definitely worth a try

Prutitis - aka itchiness

Allergy Problems in Dogs: "Pruritis is the name for itchiness that causes pets to scratch. Several chemical reactions occur in the skin that stimulate the nerves, causing the brain to feel the itch. We treat a scratching pet by attempting to eliminate these reactions at the source and controlling the body's response to them as well.
Some of the chemicals involved in itching are prostglandins, arachodonic acid (a specialized fatty acid) and leukotreines. By using treatments that inhibit the action of these factors at the skin level, such as antihistamines and fatty acid competitors, we can sometimes control the itching without using corticosteroids such as prednisone. If we work to control other irritating factors such as fleas, dry skin and secondary bacterial infections we can also further reduce itching. Each of these steps is very important because pets have an 'itch threshold'. This is the point where all of the sources of itching finally add up to enough irritation to cause the irresistible urge to scratch. Just like pain thresholds, these levels vary from pet to pet. Control of every factor that possible is important to your dog's health and comfort. Pruritis is a complication of many diseases. Only by careful examination, diagnostic tests and sometimes even trial and error can we come to understand what causes the itching in a particular pet and how we can best control it. "

--chemical reactions in the skin

Allergic to Grass

Allergy Problems in Dogs: "Most allergies that appear to be grass allergies are actually inhalant allergies to various pollens --- which can include grass pollens. The pollens collect on the grass and dogs that are sensitive to them get exposed to high concentrations running through the grass. Allergies most commonly cause skin itchiness in dogs and that is the symptom you see. If keeping him out of the grass during allergy season works, that is great. If it doesn't you may need to use medications or consider hyposensitization to whatever he is allergic to."

--so many things to consider in allergic reactions: diet, inhalants, pollens

Paw Chewing and Allergies

Allergy Problems in Dogs: "I think the most common cause of chewing on the feet has to be allergies, at least in my area. This can occur with food allergies and with inhalant allergies (atopy). Once in a while demodectic mange is confined to the feet and it is always worth checking for this when there is hairloss. Immune mediated diseases like lupus and phemphigus can be involved in hairloss and irritation of the feet but usually some other area of the body like the ears, eyes, nose or lips is affected as well. If a food allergy trial diet is not beneficial consider testing for inhalant allergies. If your vet doesn't do this, he or she can refer you to a veterinary dermatologist."

-August allergy season

Paw Licking Due to Allergies

Allergy Problems in Dogs: "3V Capsules (tm) are currently favored by veterinary dermatologists as they contain a higher
percentage of the fatty acids thought to be helpful. It takes several weeks for a benefit to show from
essential fatty acid supplementation and not all dogs and cats are helped. Antihistamines used in
combination with the 3V capsules may be beneficial. The antihistamine most likely to help, based on
studies, is clemastine (Tavist tm). Regular bathing with soothing or antibacterial shampoos can be
helpful, although not all dogs are cooperative about this.
If there is a secondary (or primary) bacterial skin infection, then using an antibiotic or antibacterial
shampoo might be helpful. "

--fatty acids can be found in Olive Oil