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Skin / Allergies

  • If your dog has recurring ear infections that do not respond well to treatment, consider this: in some dogs with food allergy, the only symptom is inflammation in the ear(s). Talk to one of our doctors.
  • Ear mites are the primary cause of 50% of inflammatory ear conditions in cats. Highly contagious, they are often spread between pets directly or on contaminated bedding.
  • The most common food allergens for dogs are beef, dairy and wheat products. The most common food allergens for cats are beef, dairy and fish products.
  • Flea-allergy dermatitis is a skin disease caused by a pet’s unusual sensitivity to flea bites. Intense scratching and biting are the most common signs. Reddened skin, bumps, self-inflicted abrasions and hair loss are also common.
  • Ear infections in dogs are often secondary to other problems, such as allergies, foxtails, hypothyroidism and skin disorders. Recurrent infections warrant a thorough exam and lab tests.
  • Our pets can be allergic to the same things we are. This includes environmental allergens, food allergies and reactions to insect bites.
  • Dogs and cats don’t react to allergies the same way people do. While humans usually have respiratory symptoms, pets manifest their symptoms through the skin and/or gastrointestinal tract.
  • Older dogs can commonly develop skin growths called papillomas (warts) which can become irritated and bleed easily, especially during grooming.They can be removed painlessly, without anesthesia, with the use of cryosurgery (freezing).
  • Rattling dog tags keeping you awake? One flea bite may be all it takes to make your pet itch. Left untreated, itchy skin can become infected. Your veterinarian can help keep your pet healthy, itch-free and quiet!
  • Your pet’s skin should be smooth and soft with no flaking, redness or signs of irritation. It should be neither too dry nor too oily and have no areas of hair loss. Many pets with skin conditions can be helped if you feed the right food, even if the cause of the condition is not dietary.
  • Hot spots are very uncomfortable and painful for your dog, so veterinary care is warranted. Flea allergy is the most common cause of hot spots. Lesions are most commonly found on the rump or near the tail.
  • Allergies are just one of many causes of ear problems in pets. Other causes include ear mites, bacterial or yeast infections, a foreign object or mass within the ear or medical conditions that allow infection to develop.
  • Flea allergy dermatitis accounts for one half of all canine and feline dermatological cases. In dogs, watch for scratching around the tail base, rear and groin. Cats may scratch and lick and have crusty bumps around the neck.
  • There is no accurate blood/skin test that can diagnose whether a pet has a food allergy. Diagnosis involves placing a dog or cat on an appropriate elimination food-trial diet. One of our doctors can discuss this with you.
  • One of the causes of otitis externa (inflammation of the external ear canal) is food allergy. The top three food allergens in dog are beef, dairy products and wheat. The top three for cats are beef, dairy and fish.
  • Inhaled allergens like pollen, grass, dust and mold afect pets differently. Instead of sneezing and itchy eyes, dogs and cats get itchy skin. Talk to one of the doctors about ways to fight the itch and control discomfort.
  • If your pet has been diagnosed with a food allergy, it’s important he or she is fed only the diet prescribed by the veterinarian. If you need to use treats for rewards or training purposes, use some of this diet.
  • Flavored products, such as those found in some pet medications and monthly heartworm preventives, pet toothpaste and certain plastic toys, must be avoided in pets with food allergies. These products may contain protein sources to which the pet is allergic.
  • Is your pet chewing and scratching? Environmental allergens like fleas, pollen and grass are the most common sources of itching in dogs and cats. Your veterinarian has many treatment options to make your pet comfortable.
  • Dogs and cats can have allergies to dust and dust mites. Symptoms range from itchy skin to cough and bronchitis. Wash your pet’s bedding frequently and limit access to dusty nooks
  • Apoquel® is a drug that can be used for dogs over one year of age to help lessen itch and inflammation due to allergic skin disease. It starts to relieve the itch within four hours and effectively controls the itch within 24 hours.
  • In people, inhalant allergies cause respiratory symptoms (sneeze, cough, itchy eyes & throat). In dogs, this is called “atopy” or “atopic dermatitis”. Affected dogs will chew, lick and scratch all over. Ask us how we can help relieve these symptoms in your dog.
  • A cat that is allergic to fleas has a severe, itch-producing reaction at the site of the bite. This causes intense itching leading to scratching, chewing and removal of large amounts of hair.
  • Check your pet’s coat and skin often. You will have a better chance of detecting any unusual lumps, bumps or areas of sensitivity on your pet’s body at an early stage.
  • Check your dog’s ears regularly, particularly if he or she swims. Dogs with pendulous ears are more prone to ear infections, which wet ears promote.
  • White cats and dogs are at risk for squamous cell carcinoma, a skin cancer that can develop on exposed skin, such as ears, nose and eyelids. Pet-safe sun block can help protect them.
  • Regularly check your pet for lumps and bumps. If you find anything unusual, schedule a visit with one of our veterinarians.
  • One of the primary causes of otitis externa (inflammation of the external ear canal) is food allergy. The top three food allergens in dogs are beef, dairy products and wheat. The top three food allergens in cats are beef, dairy products and fish.
  • Hot spots are a common skin disorder in dogs, caused by intense chewing and licking. They are often caused by an insect bite, most commonly a flea. It’s common for a dog to experience recurrences.
  • Does anyone in your family have allergies? If so, what are they? Consider all family members who may spend time with a pet before getting one.
  • There’s no accurate blood/skin test that can diagnose whether a pet has a food allergy. The best way to diagnose is to put a dog or cat on an appropriate elimination food-trial diet. Our doctors can discuss this with you.
  • Medicated baths can help ease many skin conditions in your pet. If he or she suffers from seborrhea (a noncontagious condition that can cause skin to become dry and flaky or oily and scaly), a medicated bath can help alleviate the itching. Pets with allergies, flea infestations and other skin issues may also find relief with a medicated bath.
  • We can recommend a bath after we’ve examined your pet and diagnosed the problem. Illnesses unrelated to the skin, such as thyroid disease, can also cause skin problems in pets, so we want to be sure we’re treating the root of the problem, not just a symptom.
  • Pets can be allergic to almost all of the same allergens as people—even pet dander. Some breeds are more prone to allergens than others, especially flat-faced breeds.
  • Is your pet shaking his head or scratching his ears? Do you notice odor from his ears? Your pet may have one of a variety of ear infections. See your veterinarian to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Dogs in temperate climates such as Southern California seem to shed year round. This is because it is never cold enough here to signal their body to hold on to fur. Brush furry pups daily to maintain a healthy coat.
  • Avoid sunburns in pets. Speak to your vet to learn if your pets are sensitive to sun and how to protect them. Pink noses and skin are especially prone, and skin cancer is a risk for pets just as in people.
  • Keep your pet well-groomed. Long hair and hair mats can decrease your pet’s ability to keep cool and contribute to skin disease. Brush him or her regularly and trim hair as needed.
  • Pets can get sunburned, especially if they have light skin and short or thin coat. Apply a fragrance free, non-staining, UVA and UVB barrier sunscreen or a special sunscreen made for pets to help prevent sunburn.
  • Hot spots are very uncomfortable and painful for your dog, so veterinary care is warranted. Flea allergy is the most common cause of hot spots. Lesions are most commonly found on the rump or near the tail.
  • Allergies in pets may continue into September. The combination of allergic responses with the increase in dry, warm temperatures adds to the discomfort and expression of seasonal allergies.