One of the most common dermatological complaints seen in the veterinary clinic is the presentation of itchy pets with dry, flaky skin. There can be many causes of this common scenario, including inhalant/contact allergies to molds, grasses, trees, pollens, dust mites, etc. Flea bite allergies and food allergies may also play a role in other itchy pets. Parasites, including ringworm and mange mites are also occasionally seen in the veterinary clinic. Hormonal problems including thyroid and adrenal gland problems may also result in coat changes and sometimes itchy skin. Pets with chronic metabolic diseases may present with dry itchy skin as well.
Treatment of dry itchy skin will depend upon the underlying specific cause. It is certainly important to consider good flea control with products such as Frontline Plus, Advantage, Comfortis or Trifexis. Dietary factors are also important to evaluate in itchy pets, and if possible an all natural, preservative-free diet such as Wysong, PetGuard or Nature’s Variety should be considered. Fatty acid supplementation including Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet, Be Well, and Missing Link also may help many animals.
I have also found that adding digestive enzymes such as NaturVet Digestive Enzymes helpful with improving coats and lessening itching in many animals. Topical therapy including periodic shampooing with products such as an aloe vera and oatmeal shampoo and conditioner is also important to implement in many cases.