What Is Making My Pet So Itchy

What Is Making My Pet So Itchy


There are many reasons that may cause your pet to become itchy.  The following are signs and symptoms you can monitor to help determine why your pet may be itching.  These may be questions asked by your veterinary staff in order to establish a complete history on your pet.  Feel free to print this blog as a reference for your next examination.

1.       Presenting Symptoms: please check any that apply.

  • ___     Hair loss
  • ___     Odour/Smell
  • ___     Inflammation or redness
  • ___     Itching/Scratching
  • ___     Ear infections
  • ___     Licking/Chewing
  • ___     Sores/Lesions
  • ___     Changes in skin: ______________________________________________
  • ___     Other: _____________________________________________________


Please circle any problem areas:

Ventral - Dorsal View

2.       Evaluation of Severity: on a scale of 0 to 10.

Severity of Overall Condition
0            1            2            3            4            5            6            7            8            9            10
No Symptoms                                                                                                                    Severe
Severity of Skin Lesions
0            1            2            3            4            5            6            7            8            9            10
No Lesions                                                                                                                          Severe
Severity of Scratching/Licking/Chewing
0            1            2            3            4            5            6            7            8            9            10
No Signs                                                                                                                             Severe


3.       Evaluation of Onset and Seasonality:

Is this the first time your pet has experienced these symptoms?  ___  Yes     ___  No
  • If no, at what age did the symptoms first occur?  __________________________
  • If no, have they occurred around the same time of year each time? _____________
  • If no, approximate times of year symptoms occur  __________________________
How long have the current symptoms been going on?  ____________________________
Did the itch start gradually and over time become worse?  ___  Yes      ___  No
Did the itch come on suddenly without warning?  ___  Yes      ___  No
Was there a rash first or itching first? Or simultaneous?
 ___  Rash First       ___  Itch First       ___  Simultaneous

4.       Parasite Control:

Is your pet on flea/heartworm prevention?  ___  Yes     ___  No
  • If yes, what products? ______________________________
What months do you administer the preventative?  ______________________________
When was the last time you administered the parasite control? ______________________

5.       Evaluation of Lifestyle:

Where does your pet live?  ___  Indoors           ___  Outdoors       ___  Both
  • If outdoors, please describe the environment ______________________________
Are there other animals in your household?  ___  Yes       ___  No
  • If yes, do these pets have the same symptoms? ___  Yes     ___  No
  • If these pets are cats, do they go outside?  ___  Yes      ___  No
Do you board your pet or take him to the dog park, training or groomers?
___  Yes       ___  No
  • If yes, when was the last time you took your dog?  ______________________________
Have you taken your pet on a trip to another location? ___  Yes      ___  No
  • If yes, please indicate when and the location  ______________________________
Have you recently moved?  ___  Yes     ___  No
Have you used any new shampoo or topical skin treatments recently?  ___  Yes      ___  No
Are any humans in your household exhibiting signs?  ___  Yes      ___  No

6.       Evaluation of Diet:

What pet food are you feeding ?  _______________________________
Do you feed the same food all of the time or provide a variety?
 ___  Always the same      ___  Variety
Have you changed his or her diet recently?  ___  Yes      ___  No
Do you give your pet packaged treats?  ___  Yes      ___  No
Do you feed your pet “human” food?  ___  Yes      ___  No

7.       Evaluation of Behaviour: indicate how your pet’s itching has affected his/her behaviour and relationship with you.  (Circle all appropriate answers).

Sleeps Through the Night
Always                  Usually                 Occasionally                       Never
Activity Level
Inactive                Much less active               Somewhat less active                    No change
 Social Behaviour
Unsocial               A lot less social                  Somewhat less social                     No change                         
Relationship Changes
Fewer walks       No longer sleeps in bed/same room                Interacts less with family.

 8.       Prior Treatments:

Has your dog been treated for itching before?  ___  Yes      ___  No
Indicate previous treatments administered to your dog (Check all that apply):
___  Steroids       ___  Shampoos      ___  Sprays       ___  Ointments
___  Antibiotics     ___  Antihistamines     ___  Immunotherapy     
 ___  Hypoallergenic Foods     ___  Essential Fatty Acids      
Other: ________________________________________________________


9.       Next Step:

Physical Exam: a thorough physical evaluation by your veterinarian will help identify any medical issues such as external parasites.

Laboratory Testing: an ear swab may be required to identify any infections in the ear including yeast and or bacteria.

  • Your veterinarian may perform a skin scraping or hair pluck to detect scabies or demodex mites.
  • An impression smear may be performed to detect other parasites and check for the presence of yeast and or bacteria.

If you have any concerns about your itchy furry friend, please call us at (519) 250-0099.


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