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Dermatology

Pet Allergy Testing, Treatment, and Prevention

If your pet is constantly scratching and chewing at their skin or even if you notice excessive licking, it might be the result of irritants that can cause lasting damage. Pets frequently experience skin problems and the best way to prevent those problems from leaving scars or scabs is by consulting with a veterinary and getting the appropriate medication. Northlake Animal Hospital is dedicated to improving the lives of all pets so if your furry friend is experiencing skin irritation, come to us for help.

What are the Signs that Your Pet has a Skin Allergy?

Some of the most common signs that your pet might have been exposed to an allergen and is experiencing a negative reaction include:

Here are some signs that your pet might have a skin problem:

  • Excessive licking, chewing, biting or scratching
  • Hair loss
  • Changes in the skin: sores, scabs, flaky skin
  • Runny, itchy eyes
  • Itchy ears, red and inflamed ear canals, ear discharge
  • Head shaking
  • Body odor
  • Foot chewing

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact us right away as skin conditions can worsen and threaten the quality of life of your pet.

What Causes Skin Problems for My Pet?

Skin conditions in animals can be the result of many variables that range from intestinal problems to exposure to dangerous chemicals. However, the most common causes of skin reactions are parasite and allergies.

What are Skin Parasites?

Skin parasites are tiny critters that use your pet as a host by clinging to their skin and often feed on their blood. If it sounds gross, it’s because they are!

The most common parasites include fleas or ticks. When these bugs bite on the skin, their saliva often causes allergic reactions that lead to skin irritation. This is the source of scratching and biting.

At Northlake Animal Hospital, we provide several safe and effective parasite prevention medications and treatments. Our goal is not only to stop the current irritation but also to protect your pet from having to endure that discomfort in the future. This is especially important here in Florida, as fleas and ticks thrive in warm weather. That’s why we only offer the best and most proven products like Nexgard (a delicious once a month oral medication) to protect your furry friend.  

What are Skin Infections?

Constant biting or scratching often causes minor cuts and other lacerations which makes your pet vulnerable to infections. Infections are caused by bacteria and yeast entering an open wound which only makes the problem worse as they cause pets to scratch even more.

Infections leave visible sing in the form for red, crusty, and flaky skin or hair loss, pimples, and bumps. To prevent further damage, Northlake Animal Hospital can treat your pet with antibiotics, antifungals, steroids, or topical treatments. We also offer medications for at-home use and specialized therapeutic shampoos.  

Does My Pet Have Allergies?

Allergens are one of the most dreaded enemies of the pet owner because they can be found just about anywhere. Dogs and cats can be allergic to so many things in the environment that trying to protect your pet can seem like an insurmountable task but regular visits to the veterinary and watchful eye can go a long way to reducing the risk of infection and skin damage.

Food presents an especially sensitive source for allergies as pets can develop a food allergy even if their diet doesn’t change. Diagnosing and treating food allergies can be a little tricking because it’s best achieved by doing food trials and not with traditional pet allergy testing. If you suspect that your pet is developing a food allergy, you should contact your vet right away.

How to Test my Pet for Allergies?

Determining the source or cause for an allergy requires specialized testing or trials.

When you bring your pets to Northlake Animal Hospital, our veterinarians will perform a comprehensive physical exam as well as a series of tests to determine the root cause of the allergic reaction.

Once we narrow down the source of the allergy, we can dispense the necessary treatment. Medication for your pet’s allergies often resemble the types of medication used in humans – for example, shots are a very common treatment to desensitize your pet to allergens. Even though allergy hyposensitization is not necessarily an immediate cure, it has been shown to decrease symptoms in 70-75% of cases and address the source of the allergies as well.

Are there Other Options for Treating My Pet’s Allergies?

Advancements in veterinary technology have allowed for new cutting-edge treatment for canine and feline allergies. Before we disperse any treatment, we always conduct a thorough examination to diagnose and determine which option will work best for your pet. Once we have determined the cause of the allergies, we use a combination of traditional therapies and new treatments like Apoquel or Cytopoint.

  • Apoquel is a daily medication that your dog is to take orally. It has proven to stop allergic reactions without the negative side effects associated with steroids.
  • Cytopointis is an injection that is administered every four to eight weeks. This is a biological therapy that works with your dog’s immune system to overcome allergic reactions.

Does Your Pet Need Allergy Treatment Near Lake Park, Florida, and Palm Beach Gardens?  

You should always remember the treatment for allergies is not the same as a cure. Managing your pet’s allergies is an ongoing process that requires a joint effort between you as the owner and your veterinarian. Staying on top of allergies is the best way to prevent infection and lasting damage to the skin.

At Northlake Animal Hospital you’ll find a dedicated team of professionals committed to improving the life of your pet. If your furry friend can’t seem to stop scratching, come to our clinic for quality testing and general care you can rely on. Contact us today to make an appointment!

Northlake Animal Hospital
1428 10th Street
Lake Park, FL 33403
If you won’t settle for anything short of excellent care for your pet

Come Visit Northlake Animal Hospital, Where We Treat Your Pet Like Family

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