Helping pets enjoy long-term itch relief in Concord, NC.
Allergies are simply a fact of life for many dogs and cats, but an endless cycle of itching and scratching does not have to be a permanent part of their life. At Mills Creek Animal Hospital, many of our patients are brought to us with itching and skin problems. Allergies are often (but not always) the culprit, and the key to finding a successful treatment plan is to find out what exactly is causing them. Cat and dog allergies present themselves a bit differently from human allergies. We don’t usually develop itchy skin as our pets do–itchy skin, or “pruritus,” is one of the primary symptoms. If you think your pet is suffering from itchy skin, let us know so our veterinary team can help!
What other signs should I look for to know if my pet is itching?
If you’re busy and don’t get the chance to observe your pet all that much during the day, it can be hard to know if they’re scratching themselves frequently. Some helpful physical signs that could point to itchy skin include:
- Raw, red patches of skin
- Bald spots in the coat, including between the toes, under the arms and legs, and on the belly and sides
- Ears are red and inflamed (could signify an ear infection)
- The skin and ears give off an unpleasant odor
Concerns behind itchy skin with pet allergies
The problem with itchy skin isn’t just the itch–it’s the scratching and licking your pet does, which can damage their skin barrier and expose them to bacterial infections. These secondary infections can make the itching worse, and cause other health problems for your pet.
Additional Signs of an Allergy
Other outward signs that could point to allergies in your pet include:
- Runny eyes
- Runny nose
- Rubbing at ears and eyes (with paws or against furniture)
- Vomiting/diarrhea (may occur with a food allergy)
How We Can Treat Cat and Dog Allergies
There is no final cure for allergies in dogs and cats, but we can certainly help them manage the symptoms better and live a happier life. To develop a working treatment plan for your pet, we need to:
- Examine your pet from head to tail
- Possibly perform blood and skin tests to narrow down potential culprits
- Possibly conduct a food trial in which we change your pet’s diet and gradually reintroduce ingredients from their previous diet to see if one of them is responsible for the allergy
- Be confident that we have the most accurate diagnosis for your pet’s condition
In some cases, we may need to refer your pet to an animal dermatologist for more advanced testing. For treatment, we offer a variety of options, such as:
- Oral anti-itch medications
- Injectable anti-itch treatments
- Topical medications
- Anti-itch shampoos
- Hypoallergenic diets and treats
- Methods for reducing or preventing your pet’s exposure to the offending allergen(s)