Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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Answer: Dogs itch for many different reasons, and sometimes, for no reason, and it’s not uncommon for the scratching to seem worse at night, when the house is quiet. Clinical research has shown that one important way to reduce the likelihood that dogs will develop allergies is to give them high-potency cultures of beneficial probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bifidus when they are very young. Cats will lick excessively, sometimes biting out their fur in clumps or excoriating the skin about the head and face with their claws. This is the second most common reason people take their dogs to the vet (gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea top the list).
If you live in a region with low humidity, it’s more likely that your dog will have dry skin, which is fairly easy to recognize. Allergies may make your dog’s skin dry, greasy, or slightly dry and oily, and are accompanied by frequent scratching, licking or chewing.


In the worst cases, afflicted dogs require strong (and potentially toxic) pharmaceuticals just to get some relief. Probiotics are relatively inexpensive, absolutely safe to use, and can save both dog and the owner tons of grief—and visits to the vet—later in life.
Dogs will scratch repetitively with their paws or gnaw incessantly; target areas can include the whole body, or specific areas, like the backside, legs, and feet. Make sure you are using products that are approved for your pet (don't use dog products on cats, for example).
Scraping the very surface of the skin with a metal scalpel blade and examining the cells under a microscope can help your veterinarian determine whether mites might be living just beneath the surface of the skin.
But when a dog is incessantly licking, scratching, biting and chewing to the point of wounding herself, then scratching becomes a symptom of an underlying pathology.


When you part your dog’s hair, you see flakes of dandruff in the undercoat, and the skin itself may be cracked and tough. When examining the skin itself, your veterinarian will check for the presence of lesions (bald areas, rashes, redness, pustules, scratches, etc.) and evidence of external parasites. The slightest stimulation of the skin—your gentlest touch—can provoke your dog to scratch violently.
Different species tend to infest dogs and cats, but the result is often the same: pruritus.



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