Itchy Skin

With warmer weather comes sunshine.. and scratching!

There can be many potential causes for this … fleas, mites, bacterial or fungal infections,, diet, and environmental allergies to name a few. It is important to discover the reason why your pet is scratching to be able to manage it effectively.

Firstly, treat with a comprehensive flea, tick & mite treatment such as Revolution or Nexgard. This will break the life cycle of the parasites and eliminate them as a potential cause of the itch. If using a spot-on treatment do not bathe the dog for 24 hours prior and post treatment. Don’t forget to vacuum frequently and wash bedding on a regular basis as 90% of the flea lifecycle is spent off the pet.

Secondly, visit your veterinarian to rule out infectious causes. Your vet will take a sample from the skin to diagnose bacterial or fungal infections which may need medicated shampoos or tablets to resolve.

If you have ruled out or resolved the above and your pet is still scratching, then it is likely they are suffering from an allergy, either to food or to something in their environment. There are lots of ways to manage allergies holistically.

Look at your dog’s diet – incorporate some omega 3 fatty acids into it as these act an anti-inflammatories. Fish are an excellent source of omega 3 so consider a fish-based kibble or if you raw feed, adding a tin of tuna or sardines in the daily portion. Green lipped mussel is an excellent supplement and is available as dried whole treats, powder or incorporated into tablets.

Tripe is also a great additive for an itchy dog as it is rich in fatty acids and can help with yeast infections.

Calendula is great for bathing hot spots and itchy paws. Simply make a strong tea and let cool, then dab or spray liquid onto itchy skin. It can also be added to drinking water.

When washing your dog be careful to use gentle products so the natural skin oils are left undisturbed. Every dog’s skin is different, so you may need to trial a number of preparations before you find the one suitable for your pet. The ideal shampoo and conditioner will reduce your pet’s itch immediately after bathing a for at lease 3-4 days after the bath. Consider products with oatmeal as it helps to soothe the skin and provides a barrier effect. Be very careful with products containing essential oils such as lavender or tea tree – many dogs with delicate skin will act to even small amounts of these potent oils.

Blog 2 – Welcoming Philip Lo to our team!

Philip Lo graduated from University of Sydney in 2000 with a B.App.Sci (Physiotherapy) and has worked interstate (NSW, Tas, Vic) and internationally (UK) specializing in orthopaedics, paediatrics and veterinary. He obtained a Masters in Animal Physiotherapy through the University of Queensland in 2007 and has over 12 years experience as an Animal Physiotherapist. He is a lecturer and examiner at Melbourne Polytechnic/Latrobe University in the subject “Physical Therapy for Veterinary Nursing Patients” for the 3rd year Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing degree.

Phil has been a Physiotherapy Manager in Acute and Paediatrics in Public Healthcare and also works as a human Physiotherapist in private practice, Royal Children’s Hospital and volunteer Physiotherapist for Port Melbourne Australian Rules Football Club. He is qualified in McKenzie’s, Mulligan’s, Sports Integrated Dry Needling, Rocktape (Kinesio Taping) techniques, Mary Masery techniques and all areas of paediatrics. His other interests include: martial arts/judo, weight training, Aussie rules, rugby and soccer.

Animal Physiotherapy is an important part of the pre and post rehabilitation process for your animal. It helps restore function and improving the quality of life for your pet. Animal Physiotherapists work closely in a team alongside Veterinarians and Veterinary Nurses to formulate a rehabilitation program to suit your pet’s individual needs.

Benefits of Animal Physiotherapy

Animal Physiotherapy relieves pain and enhances recovery and function in both companion and performance animals, and is important in the prevention, restoration and rehabilitation of most injuries, degenerative conditions and surgeries

Animal Physiotherapy can assist with:

Pre and Post surgery rehabilitation
Joint mobility
Muscle and joint strengthening
Balance and proprioception training

Animal Physiotherapy includes:

Manual techniques –

Joint mobilization
Trigger point therapy
Proprioception training

Other Animal Physiotherapy techniques –

Dry Needling
Exercise prescription
Heat and cold therapy
Electrotherapy – Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Laser therapy
Ultrasound therapy
Shock Wave therapy

The Animal Physiotherapist will provide you with an education and exercise program empowering you to help in the recovery and management of your pet’s condition. This is a major part of a successful rehabilitation program.