Dogs can suffer from itchy skin for many reasons. Anti-itch sprays are beneficial in temporarily relieving itchy skin, but they are not a permanent solution. Dogs who are suffering from excessive itching or scratching should be seen by a veterinarian for a diagnosis and proper treatment. Most causes of canine itching can be properly relived and cured if treatment is sought.
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There are a variety of anti-itch sprays available on the pet market today aimed at treating specific causes of itching. Some itch sprays are used to sooth hot spots, which can be intensely irritating for canine companions. There are also anti-itch sprays available to treat allergic dermatitis, eczema and dry or flaky skin. Some anti-itch sprays are beneficial in treating temporary causes of itching, such as flea bites, bee stings or other insect bites.
Anti-itch sprays are convenient because they can be simply sprayed onto the affected area. Unfortunately, spray formulas are not as easily absorbed into areas covered with dense fur. Owners should part the fur at the itch site before spraying, which can help get more of the spray solution onto the skin. Owners should look for an anti-itch spray that treats their dog's cause of itching but also contains a bitter apple taste or other unsavory taste or scent to aid in deterring the dog from licking and consuming the anti-itch spray solution.
Depending on their specific use, there are different active ingredients that can be used in an anti-itch spray. For example, itch sprays that are used for dry, flaky and itchy skin may contain Pramoxine Hydrochloric acid. Many other anti-itch sprays may contain steroids, such as hydrocortisone or prednisone; both of which aid in inflammation and itching. Veterinarians may also offer prescription anti-itch sprays that contain anti-fungal or antibiotics to help treat secondary infections that may have occurred due to excessive itching.
According to an article published by the Veterinary and Aquatic Services Department on PetEducation.com, spray products do not absorb well into the blood stream. Therefore, very few side effects occur when using these products. Poor absorption also means that there are few long-term side effects or other health problems associated with topical anti-itch sprays. However, some dogs may have an allergic reaction to specific ingredients found in various anti-itch sprays, which may be identified as difficultly breathing or facial swelling. Other side effects include increased blood pressure, increased urination, sneezing, watery eyes or general discomfort. If any side effects occur, seek veterinary care immediately.
There are several alternative options that can be just as effective as anti-itch sprays. Many of the same ingredients found in anti-itch sprays can be combined into other formulas that come in creams, ointments, lotions and shampoos. There are also several recipes for natural herbal remedies that can be found online and in books―and made in the owner's home kitchen. According to an article by Robbie's Kitchen, these remedies can include ingredients such as aspirin, tea and rubbing alcohol, which can be used to treat hot spots. Other remedies include Milk of Magnesium, which can sooth an insect bite or sting. Baking soda, oatmeal or Epsom salt, all―when used properly―can be used to relieve itching in a canine companion.
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