Food Allergies - Allergies to one or more aspects of diet
Flea Allergies - Allergy to the saliva in fleas
Contact Allergies - Reaction to something touched against
Itching/scratching can lead to hair loss and trauma to the skin which can lead to infection
Other causes of scratching/itching include mites/mange and dry skin
What Does It Look Like?
Itching can be anywhere on body and often depends on cause of itching.
Distribution of hair loss for the different types of allergies can be telling
Environmental Allergies - trunk and head
Food Allergies - under arms/legs and on face
Flea Allergies - on the back towards the tail
Contact Allergies - depends on where allergen touched the body
What Do You Do?
Bathe your pet well with a shampoo that has an anti-itch such as hydrocortisone
OTC Benadryl can be give at 1mg/lb every 12 hours (adult benadryl is 25mg)
Increasing essential fatty acids (ie fish oil) with benadryl controls about 40% of cases
If you believe that a food allergy is the cause, you can try a diet with a novel antigen (think weird protein and starch sources such as venison and potato) but remember it takes 8 weeks of feeding the limited diet with no treats or human food to determine if the food allergy is the cause.
Seek a veterinarian for a dermatology workup if it persists. Often times, infections will set in and can be as itchy as the original cause.