Allergies and Skin Problems in Dogs and Cats
Allergies are quite common in dogs of all breeds and backgrounds. They can be a result of food or an inhaled irritant like dust or pollen. Most allergies appear after the pet is six months of age with the majority of affected dogs over age two. The most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized or generalized. Other symptoms include respiratory distress (e.g. coughing, sneezing, and wheezing) or digestive problems causing vomiting, flatulence or diarrhea.
Flea allergy is the most common allergy in cats. A normal cat experiences only minor skin irritation at the site of the bite. The flea allergic cat, on the other hand, has a severe, itch-producing reaction when the flea’s saliva is deposited in the skin. Just one bite causes such intense itching that the cat may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to hair loss and open sores or scabs on the skin. The area most commonly involved is over the rump or base of the tail.
Symptoms of Pet Skin Allergy
It is important to be able to identify the first signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions. These include:
- Scratching, licking, chewing or biting the skin, feet and ears.
- Red, raised, scaly areas on the skin
- Bumps, crusts or pus filled vesicles on the skin
- Increased skin pigmentation
- Thickened skin
- Loss of hair
- Salivary staining (brown color)
- Head shaking
If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, please make an appointment to have him or her seen by one of our veterinarians at Critter Doctor Animal Hospital. We will evaluate your pet, determine the most effective method of treatment and explain how you can prevent future problems. If left untreated, allergic reactions and skin conditions can become serious medical concerns.
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