Pruritus: the unpleasant skin sensation that frequently provokes scratching. Image ©

As spring warms up, my own nose and sinuses have detected increasing pollen levels, and there’s been a corresponding increase in pruritic patients coming across the threshold.

I think the role of pyoderma in allergic skin disease is well established and accepted. However, it is not uncommon to see dogs with no obvious skin lesions that are markedly pruritic, and cytology often reveals large numbers of cocci without the correspondingly high levels of inflammatory cells.

In patients with reduced barrier function, this overgrowth can contribute significantly to the levels of pruritus. I find a significant number of dogs’ pruritus reduces by at least 50%, if not more, with appropriate antibiotic and shampoo therapy when overgrowth is identified by cytology.

I usually repeat the cytology in around 2 to 3 weeks to check for resolution, although, of course, given the relapsing nature of the condition periodic treatment is required.

Rosenkrantz W (2010). Proceedings of the NAVC Conference 2010.

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of


related content

Although “off-licence”, immunotherapy is well worth considering in our pruritic feline friends. Of course we … more

3 mins

Histiocytomas are common, benign skin tumours that begin in the immune cells. They usually present … more

2 mins

I’m not going to tell you how long ago I was at university, but I … more

It was my first day at work. I was nervous as heck, keen to impress, … more

Cats, particularly long-haired varieties, can be carriers of ringworm but show no clinical signs at … more

2 mins

Allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) can be a useful tool in cats. I see a number of … more

1 mins