Scratching is the natural reaction when your skin itches, whether you're a person or an animal. Although a few seconds of vigorous scratching may feel good initially, raking your nails over your s ...View Article
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If your pet is frequently itching, scratching or biting his skin, he may be suffering from an allergy or skin condition. Mercer Street veterinary dermatology service treats common skin conditions and pet allergies, addressing both the underlying cause for your pet’s discomfort as well as providing immediate relief from painful symptoms. Our veterinarians have significant experience treating pet allergies and skin conditions. Our advanced diagnostic allergy tests make it easier for our veterinary dermatology team to precisely identify the skin condition affecting your pet and take immediate steps to relieve your pet’s pain.
Flea Allergy dermatitis: Some pets are allergic to flea bites or even flea contact. This is very common here in Pacific Northwest. Such allergies can lead to series of skin problem starting often with itching or scratching and resulting into severe skin infections if left untreated. We at Mercer Street Veterinary Hospital treat these complications resulting from flea allergy dermatitis and also recommend year around flea prevention on all pets (indoor or outdoor) to minimize these allergies.
Atopy (Atopic Dermatitis): Your dog or cat can suffer from the same seasonal allergies that affect humans, called Atopic or Allergic dermatitis. It is one of the most common conditions affecting pets. Pollen, mold, ragweed and dust mites may trigger pet allergies. Rather than experiencing watery eyes or congestion, however, pets suffer from itchy skin. Repeated biting and scratching creates irritated, moist skin that is susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. Prompt treatment for pet allergies is essential to relieving a pet’s painful itching symptoms and preventing secondary skin infections or more complex dermatological problems.
Food Allergies: Food allergies to common pet food ingredients, including beef and chicken byproducts, diary, soy, wheat and corn, also cause pets to itch or scratch their skin. In addition to itchy skin, food allergies can trigger gastrointestinal upset and ear inflammation. Pets with a food allergy may bite or scratch at their skin, frequently bite or lick their paws, and even drag their rear across the ground in an attempt to scratch it. Since pets with food allergies are often allergic to more than one food ingredient, diagnosing a food allergy can be a complicated process.
Mercer Street veterinarians have substantial experience diagnosing and treating pet allergies, both those caused by food and by environmental allergens, such as pollen. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from an allergy, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. Diagnostic tests or an elimination diet may be necessary to precisely identify the cause for your pet’s allergies. Once the allergen triggers are identified, our team works closely with pet owners to create a custom treatment plan. Depending on the trigger, this may include a dietary change, reduced exposure to a seasonal allergy, and/or medication to manage allergy symptoms.
In addition to treating pet allergies, our veterinary dermatology team also treats common skin conditions such as mange, mites and ringworm. Ringworm is a common bacterial infection that can affect both cats and dogs. Pets with a ringworm infection have circular lesions on their limbs and head. The skin will be flaky and some pets may even appear to be “bald.” Ringworm can easily spread to other pets, so prompt treatment is critical. Mange is caused by tiny parasites called mites; symptoms of mange include intense scratching and biting of the skin. Mites like Demodex are natural inhabitants of pets' hair follicles but under stress or weak immune system, may flare up to generalized demodicosis.
If your pet is itching, scratching or biting his skin, schedule an appointment with us at 206.285.0395.