At Channel Islands Veterinary Hospital skin problems are, by far and above, one of the most common reasons we see dogs and cats. In many cases allergies are the primary culprit; however, hormonal imbalances, infections, autoimmune disease or parasites (such as fleas, ticks and mites) or any combination of the above may cause your pet’s specific symptoms. The skin can only react or show symptoms in a relatively few number of ways, and knowing how to interpret these, in conjunction with a detailed history, helps us to determine the real cause of your pet’s problem and allows us to prescribe the appropriate treatment. In most cases a diagnosis and treatment plan can be accomplished in one visit; however, follow-up rechecks are essential to evaluate your pet’s progress, maintain control, prevent recurrence and adjust medications as needed. In some cases additional diagnostic testing may be required to arrive at the appropriate diagnosis (such as blood tests, biopsies, skin scrapings or cytology, bacterial/fungal cultures or allergy testing). We offer a wide variety of treatments to control your pet’s skin condition, including oral and topical medications, hypoallergenic diets and allergen immunotherapy (desensitization injections).
We also have many effective options for flea and tick control, including topical, oral and, if needed, environmental control. It’s easy to be fooled or confused by the many products found at pet stores, grocery stores or online as many of these are not only ineffective but, if used even slightly incorrectly, can be very harmful to your pet. Inappropriately administered flea products account for a significant percentage of calls made to pet poison control centers, which may subsequently require veterinary care. Our knowledgeable doctors and staff will help guide you to the safest and most appropriate prescription or non-prescription treatments available, depending on you and your pet’s specific needs.
Many clients may think their pet’s constant licking or chewing is a nervous habit; however, this can often be a classic sign of a treatable skin condition. Other common signs of skin problems are scratching, hair loss, scabs, scaling, redness, inflammation, lumps or bumps.
Please contact us if you notice any of the above signs in your dog or cat.