Can you tell if a cat will be friendly, aggressive or laid-back simply by taking a quick look at its color? That question has perplexed cat owners and scientists alike for years. Although it's pos ...View Article
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If your pet is frequently itching, scratching or biting his skin, he may be suffering from an allergy or skin condition. Veterinary dermatology treats common skin conditions and pet allergies, addressing both the underlying cause for your pet’s discomfort as well as providing immediate relief from painful symptoms. Our emergency veterinarians have experience treating pet allergies and skin conditions.
Your dog or cat can suffer from the same seasonal allergies that affect humans. Allergic dermatitis is one of the most common conditions affecting pets. Pollen, mold, ragweed and dust mites may trigger pet allergies. Rather than experiencing watery eyes or congestion, however, pets suffer from itchy skin. Repeated biting and scratching creates irritated, moist skin that is susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. Prompt treatment for pet allergies is essential to relieving a pet’s painful itching symptoms and preventing secondary skin infections or more complex dermatological problems.
Food allergies to common pet food ingredients, including beef and chicken byproducts, diary, soy, wheat and corn, also cause pets to itch or scratch their skin. In addition to itchy skin, food allergies can trigger gastrointestinal upset and ear inflammation. Pets with a food allergy may bite or scratch at their skin, frequently bite or lick their paws, and even drag their rear across the ground in an attempt to scratch it. Since pets with food allergies are often allergic to more than one food ingredient, diagnosing a food allergy can be a complicated process.
Our veterinarians have experience diagnosing and treating pet allergies, both those caused by food and by environmental allergens, such as pollen. Diagnostic tests or an elimination diet may be necessary to precisely identify the cause for your pet’s allergies. Once the allergen triggers are identified, our veterinarians can work closely with your family veterinarian to create a custom treatment plan. Depending on the trigger, this may include a dietary change, reduced exposure to a seasonal allergy, and/or medication to manage allergy symptoms.
In addition to treating pet allergies, our veterinary team also treats common skin conditions such as mange and ringworm. Ringworm is a common bacterial infection that can affect both cats and dogs. Pets with a ringworm infection have circular lesions on their limbs and head. The skin will be flaky and some pets may even appear to be “bald.” Ringworm can easily spread to other pets, so prompt treatment is critical. Mange is caused by tiny parasites called mites; symptoms of mange include intense scratching and biting of the skin.
If your pet is itching, scratching or biting his skin, and your pet can't wait to see his or her family veterinarian we can see your pet and provide urgent care.