Itching is technically referred to as pruritus; it’s a sensation that increases the desire of a person or animal to scratch. Irritated or inflamed skin release chemicals from special skin cells. These chemicals trigger itching.
Constant scratching stimulates the cells to release more chemicals into the surrounding tissues, thereby intensifying the itching sensation. This will continue unless steps are taken to break the cycle so the itching will stop.
Things to know about itching in pets
- Skin itching is not a disease in itself; it’s an important symptom of an underlying problem. The cause should first be identified before the problem can be addressed appropriately.
- The chemicals that trigger itching may differ between species, thus treatment may vary between cats or dogs and other species.
- Skin problems are a primary cause of itching in pets; but itching can also be present in other conditions in which the skin is not directly involved. In these cases, itching is due to secondary causes.
The best way to address the condition is to have your pet examined by your Fox Chapel, PA veterinarian.