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Veterinarians urged to discuss skin health with clients

Zoetis’s “Itchy Pet Awareness Month” aims to scratch the surface of clinic-based dermatological conversations

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Recent years have seen a rash of skin conditions in pets, and Zoetis is urging animal health professionals to speak up on the issue.

The company has deemed August “Itchy Pet Awareness Month” to draw attention to the growing dermatological health needs of companion animals, particularly dogs.

“Dermatology is the fastest-growing therapeutic category in veterinary medicine and, over the past five years, we’ve seen an almost 50 percent increase in the number of itchy dogs being presented to veterinary practices,” says Zoetis Petcare’s Andrew Hillier, BVSc, MANZCVS (canine medicine), Dipl. ACVD.

Skin related issues, including allergies, ear infections, lumps/bumps, and infections, top the list of the most common reasons why owners bring their dogs to the clinic, Zoetis says. These conditions, however, often go undetected by owners, as symptoms can be difficult to discern from “normal” dog behaviors.

Frequent itching and scratching in dogs are most commonly caused by infection, parasites, or food/environmental allergens. In many cases, long-term solutions and/or treatments are available if a cause is identified.

“At Zoetis, we want all itchy dogs to get the help and relief they deserve,” Hillier says. “We are committed to innovative dermatology solutions, so veterinarians can restore the quality of life of dogs with allergic dermatitis long-term and build a strong ongoing relationship with their owners. Itchy Pet Awareness Month will encourage more conversations and create more opportunity for dogs to be relieved from problematic itch behavior and get back to normal again.”

Zoetis has introduced an “Itchy Pet Awareness Month Practice Toolkit” to help veterinarians generate conversations with clients. Animal care professionals are also encouraged to direct owners to ItchingForHelp.com for additional information and resources.

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