Do your cats and dogs scratch incessantly, causing dry, exposed patches on their coats? Your dogs’ itchy skin and cats’ itchy skin may be more than just a reaction to dry air. They may be having an allergic reaction to food, fabric or something else in their environment. A visit to the veterinarian to identify and treat any pet skin allergies should be part of general pet wellness.
Studies estimate that as many as one in seven American dogs and cats suffer from some kind of allergy. While humans tend to have upper respiratory reactions to allergies, cats and dogs tend to exhibit skin problems as a result of allergies. Pet allergies can be triggered by a number of things. Common allergy triggers include exposure to fleas; inhaled allergens, such as grass, mold, and pollens; foods; and topical allergens, such as an allergy to wool or cotton.
Importance of Pet Dermatology
Flea dermatitis, the most common pet allergy problem, can be cured by eliminating fleas. This is done most effectively by using monthly, Flea preventives such as Activyl, Comfortis, Nexgard, and Bravecto. Our veterinarians may also prescribe antihistamines or other medicines to control your cats’ itchy skin while the flea medications take effect. It’s important to treat all pets in the household at the same time for fleas, even if the other pets have no skin issues so that the fleas don’t just jump to the other pets.
Hives can be a cause of your dogs’ itchy skin. These raised welts are a common reaction to insect bites and stings as well as topical agents, such as flea shampoos or accidental exposure to insecticides. Hives generally respond well to antihistamines, such as Benadryl, administered under a veterinarian’s supervision. If the hives are caused by a topical agent, a thorough bath in warm, soapy water will also help.
Our animal hospital feels strongly that treating pet allergies should be part of any pet wellness routine. Our clinic is equipped to diagnose and treat skin allergies in pets, and our animal hospital’s attention to pet dermatology can help you determine if your pet’s itchy skin is a reaction to something digested, fleas or an environmental factor.
Your pets don’t have to suffer with allergies. Call University Veterinary Hospital at 510-841-4412 to schedule a dermatology appointment and make it a regular routine.