Pet Allergies and Dermatology Services
Just like us, pets can have allergies, too. Their allergy symptoms typically surface as skin conditions. While pet allergies are common in Pasadena, they are not the only skin condition your pet could face. Some skin conditions could be the result of disease, hormonal imbalances, infections, parasites, or another condition. At Spencer Animal Hospital, we take the time to fully understand your pet’s skin condition. By doing so, we hope to develop an effective management solution to give them lasting relief.
Types of Skin Conditions in Pets
Cats and dogs can have either curable or incurable skin conditions. Curable conditions are typically those caused by a topical infection (either bacterial or yeast) or parasites. Incurable skin disorders are those caused by deeper problems including diseases such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease, autoimmune disorders, or conditions such as contact, food, or inhalant allergens. While these conditions might be incurable, they are often manageable. The key is to obtain a thorough understanding of the underlying cause of the skin problem.
Is It an Allergy or Something Else?
Determining whether your pet’s skin condition is the result of pet allergies or a different condition depends heavily on our diagnostic testing. We can run several tests in house to rule out any other condition so we can zero in on allergies.
Signs your pet might have an allergy include:
- Excessive scratching either year-round or during certain seasons
- Licking/biting their paws
- Over-grooming (cats)
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Scabs or bumps on the skin
- Frequent ear infections
- An odor from the skin
To diagnose an allergy, we can take blood to send to an outside lab for allergy testing. The results will hopefully tell us the allergen that is causing your pet’s allergic reactions. This helps us determine if the allergen is avoidable or if your pet needs allergy management medications or topicals.
What is My Pet Allergic To?
Pets can be allergic to many of the same things we are including:
- Dust and dust mites
- Flea saliva (flea bite dermatitis)
- Certain materials
- Food ingredients (dairy, eggs, pork, beef, etc.)
Treating Your Pet’s Skin Condition
Once we understand your pet’s allergy, we’ll be able to recommend a treatment plan to reduce their discomfort. We may recommend one or a combination of the following:
- Cytopoint – an injectable treatment for dogs that stops the itch at its source for up to 4-6 weeks
- Apoquel – a daily anti-itch tablet for dogs
- Atopica – a daily anti-itch tablet for dogs and an oral solution for cats
- Reducing allergen levels by vacuuming more frequently or purchasing allergy-free products
- Medicated shampoos and topical solutions
- Nutraceuticals and supplements
- Anti-fungal medications for secondary fungal infections
- Anti-bacterial medication for secondary bacterial infections
- Elimination diet for food allergies