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If your pet is frequently itching, scratching or biting his skin, he or she 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 veterinarian Dr. Sharp has experience treating pet allergies and skin conditions. Our advanced diagnostic tests make it easier for our veterinarian to precisely identify the skin condition affecting your pet and take immediate steps to relieve your pet’s discomfort.
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, dairy, 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. This usually involves a hypoallergenic food trial for at least 45 days.
Our veterinarian has substantial experience diagnosing and treating pet allergies, both those caused by food and by environmental allergens, such as pollen. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from an allergy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sharp as soon as possible. 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, Dr. Sharp works closely with pet owners 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 veterinarian also treats common skin conditions such as bacterial infections, mange and ringworm. Ringworm is a common fungal infection that can affect both cats and dogs. Pets with ringworm have circular lesions that can occur on any part of their body. Ringworm can easily spread to other pets and to family members, so prompt treatment is critical. Mange is caused by tiny parasites called mites that burrow in the skin. Symptoms of mange can include intense scratching and biting of the skin, hair loss and an odor to the skin. There are several types of mange. The type can be determined by performing a scraping of the skin which is examined under a microscope. Some types of mange are transmissible to people so getting a proper and prompt diagnosis is important.
If your pet is itching, scratching or biting his skin, schedule an appointment with our veterinarian today!