Treating Pet Skin Conditions & Allergies
There are a variety of chronic and inflammatory skin conditions that can affect dogs and cats, but some of the more common issues are allergies, bacterial infections, fungal infections, chronic scratching, skin parasites, and hair loss.
At Community Veterinary Clinic, our veterinarians are committed to making sure that your pet gets the treatment that they need, regardless of what the health issue they are facing is. While dermatological conditions are rarely life-threatening, they are never comfortable.
Getting prompt diagnosis and treatment for your companion animal's dermatological health issue is critical to maintaining their quality of life and helping to ensure their good health and well-being, whether they are in their first year or their golden years
With years of training and experience, our veterinarians can accurately diagnose your pet and work with you to develop a treatment plan to help them feel better, faster.
What is an Allergy in Pets?
In many cases, the uncomfortable allergic reactions on the ears, skin, coat, and nails of dogs and cats can be attributed to either food or environmental factors.
These can sometimes irritate your pet's gastrointestinal system or cause inflammation on their skin, ears, or other areas of their body. Untreated, symptoms may progress to causing discomfort or even severe pain.
With early detection, allergy testing, and treatment, our veterinary team in Turlock can pinpoint the cause of these issues and develop an effective, customized plan to successfully manage them.
If you suspect your pet may have an allergy, we will work to determine what type of allergy we are dealing with and what the triggers are. In addition to completing a full physical examination, testing for numerous allergies, and eliminating other potential causes, your vet will work with you to develop a treatment or management plan to keep your pet's reactions at a minimum, and help them enjoy a more pleasant existence.
Types Of Allergies In Pets
There is a variety of allergies that can cause a reaction in pets, including:
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis
For some dogs and cats, the saliva from a flea bite can trigger an allergic reaction resulting in an extremely uncomfortable condition known as flea allergy dermatitis. This can lead to very itchy skin — especially at the base of the tail. You might find their skin becomes scabbed, red, and inflamed. Other signs of fleas include flea dirt (feces), and you may sometimes see fleas themselves.
- Food Allergies
If your pet has itchy skin, it might be surprising to know that the source could potentially be a symptom of food allergies or sensitivities. Get in touch with your vet if you notice symptoms including scratching at their ears or paws, along with potential gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or a combination of both.
It's important to know the difference between food allergies and food sensitivities (intolerances). Unlike food allergies, food sensitivities are a gradual reaction to a specific ingredient such as wheat, milk, beef, or chicken.
Symptoms can range from itchiness and chronic infections in the foot or ear to GI distress. True food allergies trigger an immune response that can cause skin conditions such as hives and facial swelling.
- Environmental Allergens
Atopic dermatitis or atopic allergic reactions can be caused by allergens in your pet's environment, including mold, pollen, and dust. Seasonal allergies can also be a frustrating issue, as they may only affect your pet during certain seasons or times of the year.
As with food allergies, check your cat or dog's paws and ears for clues that they may be suffering from environmental allergies. Also do a quick check of the muzzle, around the eyes, wrists, underarms, ankles, and between toes.
Allergy Symptoms In Pets
Symptoms of allergies in our pets will vary depending on the underlying cause. These signs can include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Hair loss
- Respiratory congestion
- Skin rash or hives
- Patchy, itchy, or flaky skin
- Shaking head and/or scratching