6 Things You Don't Know about Itchy Pets
Itchy skin is more correctly referred to as “pruritus,” which is defined as an unpleasant sensation within the skin that provokes the desire to scratch. Itchy skin is the result of inflammation or irritation associated with the release of chemicals from inflammatory cells in the skin. When these cells are stimulated by a chemical trigger, they release a variety of chemicals that initiate the discomfort of itching. That is one reason that the more you scratch, the more you itch. The key is to break the cycle, let these 6 surprising itch facts help you with that.
1. Itching is not a disease
It's a clinical sign, and every effort should be made to find the cause, not just treat. Skin diseases can be very challenging to diagnose and treat. This may result in some tests that seem a bit confusing to you:
- Skin scrapings
- Skin biopsies
- Blood tests to check for hormonal diseases (such as thyroid deficiency)
- Allergy testing and trial treatments
If you're confused by any of the testing, ask your veterinarian to clarify.