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Pet Allergy & Dermatology

Diagnose and treat skin conditions.

From ear infections to itchy rashes, skin conditions and allergic reactions in pets are more common than you may think. Pets’ skin can suffer rashes, hair loss, parasites, growths, and infections. You can tell a lot about your pet’s overall health by the condition of their skin, so it’s crucial that you bring your pet in for a dermatology checkup if you notice any signs of irritation or irregularities.  

When it comes to canine dermatology, the primary goal is to identify the root of the problem. In some cases, the cause may be clear. A simple skin test can often reveal the presence of a fungal infection or parasites, such as lice, mites, or fleas. In other cases, such as irritation caused by unknown allergies, identifying the cause of irritation may require some trial and error.

What can cause and relieve allergies in my dog?

There are four general types of allergens: insect, inhalant, contact and food.

Insect. The main insect allergy is to flea saliva. Just one flea bite can cause a severe allergic reaction called FAD (flea allergy dermatitis). Intense itching, particularly at the base of the tail, can result in loss of hair and even infection when scratching breaks the skin. Talk to your veterinarian about strategies for protecting your dog against fleas. After all, prevention is the best medicine!

Inhalant. Pollens are the most common inhalant allergies in dogs. They include tree, grass, and weed pollens. While human symptoms usually include sneezing and runny nose, the main symptom of inhalant allergies in dogs is most likely to be itchiness (especially at the face, feet, and underarms). But sometimes bronchitis and rhinitis can occur. Your veterinarian can suggest therapies to help control this type of allergy.

Contact. Although not as common as the other types of allergy in dogs, contact allergies can result from virtually any substance that comes into contact with a dog’s skin. Chemicals and compounds found in flea collars and pesticides, perfumes and cleaning products, rugs and bedding, can all generate skin irritation and itching where they make contact on your dog. The best remedy is to remove the offending substances from your dog’s environment (once they are identified).

Food. Most dog owners think that their dog couldn't possibly have a food allergy because they haven't changed their dog's diet recently. What they don't know is that most food allergies develop in response to ingredients that their dog has had a lot of exposure to. Food allergies are most commonly diagnosed in young dogs (less than a year and half old) and older dogs (over seven years old). In older dogs, most have been eating the same food for months, years, or even their entire lives.

Skin Allergies in Cats and Dogs

Allergies are common in pets, dogs especially. Typical symptoms of allergies in dogs and cats include:

  • Excessive itching
  • Biting at skin and paws
  • Ear infections
  • Swollen, pink skin
  • Fur loss
  • Coughing and/or sneezing 
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Vomiting and diarrhea 

Pet Dermatology in St. Petersburg, Florida

Every pet is different, so if you feel that your pet has an allergy, reach out to us at Northeast Animal Hospital, and we will work with you to recommend a course of treatment tailored to your pet's unique condition. 

Call us at (727) 822-8501 or request online to schedule a consultation.

Pet Skin Allergies: scabs

Northeast Animal Hospital