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July 31, 2019

Press release: Zoetis

Zoetis is launching Itchy Pet Awareness Month this August to encourage pet owners and veterinarians to engage in conversation about “itch behavior” and to raise awareness about pet skin health needs. Skin-related issues are the top four reasons pet owners bring their dogs in for veterinary visits, including skin allergies, ear infections, skin lumps/bumps and skin infections. Symptoms can be difficult to discern from “normal” dog behavior; therefore, Zoetis is encouraging dog owners to visit www.ItchingForHelp.com to take the itch quiz and identify when an itch is more than just an itch.

“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,” said Andrew Hillier, BVSc, MANZCVS (Canine Medicine), Diplomate ACVD, Assoc. Director, Dermatology Medical Strategy and Medical Lead, Veterinary Specialty Operations, Zoetis Petcare. “At Zoetis, we want all itchy dogs to get the help and relief they deserve. 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.”

Frequent itching and scratching in dogs are most commonly caused by infection, parasites or allergies to fleas, food or environmental allergens. Dog owners and veterinarians should have candid conversations about possible treatments, as long-term solutions are available for most dogs.

Veterinarians know that itch can take an emotional toll on pet owners—and can, in turn, affect their relationships with veterinarians. Chronic itch behavior can get in the way of everyday activities, including disrupting the sleeping patterns of both dogs and their owners. As dogs become even more a part of the family, they are increasingly finding their way into their owners’ beds—in fact, according to a 2018 study, more than half (55 percent) of the adult women participants shared their bed with at least one dog. This makes it more important to identify itch behavior to ensure all involved are maintaining their quality of life. Itchy dogs and their owners also have different needs; therefore, providing them options for customized treatment of skin allergies in dogs is key, and will protect the bonds that matter most.

Zoetis has provided an Itchy Pet Awareness Month Practice Toolkit for veterinarians to generate conversations with pet owners within their practice this August. Pet owners are encouraged to visit www.ItchingForHelp.com for more information and resources.

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