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Pruritus is the medical term used to define the sensation to itch, or the sensation that provokes a desire to scratch, rub, chew, or lick hair and skin. Pruritus is also an indicator of inflamed skin. Intense scratching can eventually lead to partial or full hair loss, but with treatment, prognosis is positive. There are many causes of pruritus in pets, including fleas, scabies, lice, allergies, bacterial infections, abnormal cell development (neoplasia), and immune disorders. Diagnosing the underlying cause is critical to managing skin disorders. Cytology, cultures, biopsy and potentially allergy testing will help determine those causes, and a treatment plan can be devised based on the results. Treating skin diseases can be difficult and frustrating for pet owners, but it is critical to follow your pets prescribed treatment plan consistently.