Pet Dermatology and Allergy Care in Kittery, ME
At Piscataqua Animal Hospital, we see a significant number of patients with allergies, ear infections, and other skin issues, all of which tend to be interconnected. Itchy skin is one of the biggest indicators of an allergy in dogs and cats. The scratching and licking they do to relieve the itch can damage their skin barrier and cause secondary infections that make the itching worse. To save your companion from this itchy and maddening cycle, reach out to your veterinarian to schedule a checkup. Our experience in diagnosing and treating allergies and skin disorders can help your pet get the lasting relief they need.
Does Your Pet have These Symptoms?
Symptoms often associated with allergies in dogs and cats include:
- Continuous itching of the skin
- Dry, scaly patches of skin
- Red, raw skin
- Red or irritated eyes
- Hair loss (from licking and scratching)
- Ear infections
- Odor (from infected ears or skin)
If your pet has any of these symptoms, contact Piscataqua Animal Hospital as soon as possible.
The Most Common Types of Allergies in Pets
Some of the most common types of allergies we see in dogs (and some cats) include:
Food allergies occur year round. Symptoms include itchy skin (especially of the face, paws, and ears) and chronic diarrhea/vomiting. To diagnose a food allergy in your pet, they’ll need to undergo a food trial. They’ll be kept on a strict diet for several months, and then they’ll be put back on their original diet to see if their allergy symptoms return. Pets with food allergies will need to be prescribed a new, hypoallergenic diet by their veterinarian to keep their symptoms under control.
Unlike food allergies, which occur year round, environmental allergies tend to flare up in spring and summer, and fade in fall and winter. These allergies are also characterized by itchy skin. Some pets may see improvement with antihistamines, but others might need more aggressive treatment. We offer allergy testing here at our practice to help you figure out which allergens are affecting your pet, and can work with you to formulate a treatment plan that best suits their needs.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Some pets can become allergic to flea saliva, and just one bite can cause a reaction. Flea allergy dermatitis can be managed by addressing your pet’s itching with medication and reducing their exposure to fleas as much as possible. They should be taking flea preventatives throughout the year as prescribed by their vet to keep the fleas (and allergy symptoms) at bay.
Catching Symptoms Early can Prevent Secondary Infection
Secondary infections often accompany allergies in dogs and cats. With all the licking and scratching your pet does to get relief from their itchy skin, they can end up damaging their skin barrier, which puts them at risk for a bacterial or yeast infection. If you see your pet licking and scratching at their skin regularly, you should contact your vet as soon as possible. In many cases, pets with allergies require treatment for the underlying cause and for their secondary infections.
Allergies and skin conditions are easier to treat when we catch them early. Contact us today at (207) 439-2661 to make an appointment!