One of the most common causes of itchiness in dogs are allergies. Could two different dogs from the same household become allergic at the same time? Or is there something else going on?
They could have contracted fleas. Flea allergy is indeed high on the list. However, severe itchiness doesn’t come from the fleas alone but an allergic reaction to their bites. While canine flea allergy dermatitis is common, what are the odds of both dogs reacting this way? Are the other causes you can think of?
Buster and Echo’s story
Buster and Echo are give-year-old housemates. Each of the dogs is a different breed, and they’ve always been healthy with lustrous coats and no history of skin issues. Yet, suddenly, both dogs became itchy at the same time.
Both dogs were itchy on their bellies. A closer inspection revealed that their skin was inflamed, as if sunburned. Both dogs also had lesions on their legs. It stood to reason that the dogs might have run through some vegetation that triggered the reaction.
The itchiness remains
Buster and Echo’s dad checked for fleas but found no evidence. He decided to keep them off the grass and tried a hypoallergenic diet. However, the itchiness wasn’t going away. The poor guys were miserable, so their dad brought them to a veterinarian.
At the veterinarian
When two dogs who live together become itchy simultaneously, an environmental cause is most likely. The veterinarian asked Buster and Echo’s dad many questions, trying to pinpoint what might have changed and caused the reaction. Any new floor cleaner? Bedding or a detergent? However, they weren’t able to identify the potential culprit.
With the itchy parts being bellies and lower legs, there was one more suspicion to investigate. The veterinarian took skin scrapings to examine under a microscope. At first, it seemed the veterinarian wasn’t going to find what he was looking for—there was nothing on the scrapings he examined first. Because his suspicion would explain the problem, though, the veterinarian kept looking. And then he found it—a tiny mite—Sarcoptes scabei. The veterinarian has to be quite determined to find it—only 20% of skin scrapes might contain any at all.
Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious and causes intense itching. Fortunately, the treatment is straightforward. Both dogs received their topical medication and anti-inflammatories. Their dad had to clean up their bedding and living area thoroughly.
It only two days for the dogs to stop itching.
Buster and Echo Are Both Five-Year-Old Dogs
Sarcoptic Mange in Dogs