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A Pet With An Itch Doesn’t Just Mean Fleas

reasons your dog is itchingAnyone who has a pet (a furry one that is), will do right by them and make sure they are free of fleas. There are lots of different brands on the market that will keep your pet free of these annoying little parasites. After all, it’s in your interest as well because fleas that like to bite animals also enjoy munching on you and that’s no fun either!

The trouble is when we see an animal start to scratch our instant thought is they have fleas and this may be true, so making sure you treat them often enough is important. However, if you know you’re pet is up to date with their flea treatment and they’re still scratching, there could be something a little more sinister going on.


Yes, pets can get allergies just like humans and they suffer in this way for a variety of reasons. If you have a horse for instance, they will spend most of their time outdoors and this leaves them open to all sorts of things in the air that can irritate them.

Think about all the pollen and mould spores that are hanging around in the air? Add to that, the amount of times they brush up against something in the grass that can attach itself to the horse’s skin and you soon begin to understand why they can develop allergies. For this reason, they may need a medicated horse shampoo to help alleviate the problem.

It’s the same for cats and dogs as well, except they’re also prone to things in the home like house dust mites but this can also be treated with a shampoo formulated for them.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are most commonly caused by parasites such as ringworm, fleas, ticks and lice. All of these things can attack your pet just about anywhere. If you notice that your horse, dog or cat has started to develop bald patches where there should be fur, it’s time to get them to the vets. This could be a sign that the fungal infection has turned into mange and will require immediate treatment.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis is a problem that can occur which is little like eczema. The skin can become red, inflamed and very itchy. This is a slightly more complicated issue and if it’s not addressed with say, a dog shampoo, it can turn into a bacterial infection which is really not very nice for your pet.

What to Do

Well, the first thing to do is see a vet. If you have a horse, they will first of all diagnose what particular skin problem your pet has and more than likely prescribe a horse shampoo. One of the most common brands is Malaseb. This brand is not just formulated to help with skin conditions in horses, but it can also help cats and dogs as well.

Long Term Problems

If your pet has a long-term skin condition, they will need long-term care and if you’re using a brand (like Malaseb) from your vet, it can become expensive especially if you have a large animal like a horse. This is why there is a brand on the market called DermOpt. It’s not just cheaper but it doesn’t need a prescription either.

Don’t think that you won’t be doing the best for your animal by changing the brand of animal shampoo you’re using as the companies behind brands like DermOpt are experts in their field. In fact, this brand of shampoo can be used in conjunction with a prescription spray or shampoo. This is proof in itself that it is good for your pet and their skin.

The fact is that if you notice your animal is constantly scratching, biting at his coat or pulling at his fur, the chances are they have a skin problem that needs something more than just a flea treatment so get it checked!

*Brands suggested in this post have been suggested by the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Albuquerque Vet-Co. If you would like to know if they would work for you pets skin problems come into Vet-Co on Menaul or Los Lunas Vetco and speak to one of our vets.

Emily Starr is a writer who understands that if your pet has an itch, then it can be more than just a flea infection. If your horse appears stressed and is itching and scratching more than usual, then you should consider using a horse shampoo to help sort the problem. 


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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.