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All pets can lick and scratch from time to time.

In general, cats grooming behaviour is also normal.

But when licking, chewing, and scratching at the skin becomes excessive, it can make a pet’s life miserable.

The constant licking, chewing, and scratching can keep a pet owner up at night from the noise. The first dog I adopted after I graduated from vet school, suffered from seasonal allergies and believe me, the first night the symptoms started, I could not sleep.

By the way, the main symptom of seasonal allergies or atopy in pets, is scratching, licking and chewing, especially at the paws.

So how can pet parents figure out if the scratching and licking of their animal are normal or not?

This is a tricky question. Even for veterinarians.

Whenever pet owners ask me if their dog’s scratching is normal, I always ask them: is the scratching tolerable? Is the licking or scratching nonstop? Have they noticed hair loss, skin redness, dry skin or even wounds?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, the scratching, licking, biting and chewing at the skin is abnormal and needs to be addressed.
So as pet owners, if you also answered yes to any of these questions, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian ASAP.

But as I mentioned earlier it can be tricky. Some pet owners will answer no to the previous dermatology questions and yet, it is not uncommon that during a routine physical examination, the attending veterinarian notice hair loss on the belly of their cat.

Some pets, especially cats do not lick or chew at their skin in front of their parents. And when they do, it seems like a normal behaviour. So, examining the coat regularly, including the lower abdomen, is really important for pet parents.

If you are not sure about the scratching and licking, especially if it is a new behaviour, once again you should consult your veterinarian.

If the scratching is mild and occasional and you notice a small amount of dandruff on you pet’s coat, using a shampoo such as the Silkstem Spray Foam Shampoo can relieve mild irritation and itching.

Silkstem™ Spray Foam Shampoo contains the scientifically formulated coactiv+™ technology that works to selectively reduce biofilm accumulation, restoring the balance of skin microflora. This helps soothing non-complicated skin irritations, itching and dryness.

The shampoo also acts as a conditioner and helps to maintain and improve the health and appearance of the fur.

In conclusion, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet’s itching. For minor cases, using Silkstem shampoo can relieve it and make it look great!

About The Doctors

Dr. Jean Gauvin

Dr. Gauvin received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and Small Animal Dentistry Certificate from the University of Montreal and his Certificate in Fish Health Management from the University of Georgia. His passion for pets and veterinary medicine was transmitted to him by his grandfather, himself a veterinarian and pioneer of the profession in Canada…

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Dr. Gordon Guay

Dr Guay received his Doctorate in Molecular Genetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he studied how bacteria confer resistance to sulfonamide antimicrobials. Dr. Guay did a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Lerderle Laboratories where he conducted research to define the substrate specificity of tetracycline-based efflux pumps and how they confer resistance…

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