What is it? How does my dog —or cat get it? How do you treat it?
You can go to your local dog park or well-intentioned neighbor and get loads of advice: coconut oil! Garlic! Tea tree oil!! In a word: NO! those either don’t work; or worse yet are very toxic to your pet… so please don’t!!! Although many folks try changing diets to see if that works; oftentimes that either isn’t the underlying cause (that is a whole other topic) or it can cause some gastric upset if the change is too sudden.
Please go see your vet or let us come to you and see what can be done to treat your pet’s itchy skin—and give you both some relief!!!
First step: Rule out fleas! Yes, fleas. We have a lovely climate here and fleas think so as well. And it doesn’t matter if it is winter time or if you cat doesn’t go outside. They can live very happily in our homes that even in the cooler months we usually keep nice and cozy. If I had a dollar for every time I have a pet owner swear their lovely pet did not in any way shape or form didn’t have fleas—only to then find evidence of them right there, I could retire! They are out there! And if your pet is not protected; you are taking a chance and they are simply at risk. There are no safe zones in this county, I wish there was, but, I’m afraid these lil guys can live wherever they want.
I have to tell you 99% of the time Santa Barbara itch is caused by these six legged foes. If its not and they have been ruled out—without a doubt, then we can proceed. But we would be negligent if we missed this step and started down complicated food trials and skin biopsies if we weren’t diligent about step one.
How do we treat it? We are so very fortunate to be spoiled for choice in our options for flea prevention these days, we can certainly customize your pet’s flea control. Typically, the products you purchase from your vet are the safest options; not only are they under strict scrutiny (no counterfeits here!), but you can get FDA-approved medications which are often the most effective (and fastest acting) against fleas. And in the meantime, we can certainly take care of the itch that may be keeping you and your pet from a good night’s sleep or just being an annoyance for Fido. Secondary infections can and often crop up because of scratching or licking at that certain spot. That certainly needs medical attention as well.
You can follow the link on our web site to our online pharmacy to see what products we have available for you! http://coastalmobilevet.vetsfirstchoice.com/