What about the other 15%? Quite likely to be food allergies.
Now those are useful stats.
In the claims department at Embrace Pet Insurance, skin conditions are not our friends. That's because they are many times signs of chronic allergies, which often comes as a big surprise to our pet parents especially if the allergies are pre-existing :(.
Who would think that chewing paws could be related to an ear infection, another sign of pollen allergies? Not most of us.
So I was paying attention when I recently came across a fascinating presentation by Dr. Hnilica , an expert on skin conditions, as he had some really useful rules of thumb relating symptoms to diagnosis.
In addition to the statistic above, how about:
- perianal dermatitis (inflammation of the skin around the rear end, ahem) is most likely food allergies
- lumbar dermatitis (inflammation of the skin on the dog's back) is most likely a flea allergy
- with ear dermatitis (inflammation on the outside of the ear), if you rub the edge of the ear and the dog gets a rear leg reflex to scratch, the dermatitis is 80% likely to be scabies (aka positive pinnal-pedal reflex.)
So if you see these signs in your dog, they might be symptoms of a chronic allergy or condition that is not going to go away without treatment. You might just want your vet take a look to see what she thinks.
BTW, Dr. Hnilica has more information on his website http://www.itchnot.com so check it out if you want to learn more (love the name, makes me want to scratch - don't you?)