With the weather warming up, a large number of our cats and dogs will be beginning to feel a bit itchy!


There are many reasons why this may happen; some of these are listed:


  • Fleas: Yes – once again a mild winter and warm spring will result in flea levels rising rapidly through the late spring period. Not all animals are bothered by fleas but if they are allergic or pick up a heavy burden, they will get itchy!
  • Moulting: Most animals moult their coats on a twice yearly basis. Once in the autumn and again in the spring. The spring moult may cause irritation because the winter coat is heavier and more hair has to be lost. This may catch in the coat and form thick mats or even knots.
  • Allergies: Just like us humans, animals can get allergies! Unlike us, they don’t get runny eyes and noses – they get itchy skin instead. Classic allergic skins start off with itchy feet, face and rears; then progress as time goes by to all over itches.


Now is the time to take action if you have an itchy pet.


Many very effective flea treatments are available and are best used before the fleas become an issue. The systemic flea treatments that are available from your vet as a topical spot on treatment are extremely effective in preventing a flea burden on your animal and helping in controlling it off your animal.


Regular grooming will help to keep the hair coat shedding and also alert you to the possibility of fleas! Sometimes the animal is not amenable to grooming and will become badly matted – we do radical haircuts at Clutha Vets, where a sedative turns the meanest animal into a pussycat! A short back and sides keeps a coat from being a problem until the next moult.


If your animal has an allergy, some form of veterinary treatment will be required. These may vary considerably depending on the allergy suspected, the animals temperament and owners wishes, so you are best to bring your animal in for a check over.


Spring and summer time itches don’t have to be ‘put up with’! Give your vets a call and see what we can do to help!!


Written by: Suzanne Craig BVCs - Small Animal Vet, based at Balclutha and used in the local newspaper (The Leader) in the monthly Pet Corner section.