Allergies are quite common in cats and dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, usually from food or irritants like dust or pollen. The most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized or generalized. Other symptoms include respiratory distress or digestive problems causing vomiting, flatulence or diarrhea.
Flea allergies are common in dogs and cats. A normal pet experiences only minor skin irritation at the site of the bite. On the other hand, a pet that is allergic to fleas has a severe, itch-producing reaction when the flea’s saliva is deposited in the skin. Just one bite causes such intense itching that your pet may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to hair loss and open sores or scabs on the skin. The area most commonly involved is over the rump or base of the tail.
It is important to be able to identify the first signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions. These include:
- Scratching, licking, chewing or biting the skin, feet and ears
- Red, raised, scaly areas on the skin
- Bumps, crusts or pus-filled vesicles on the skin
- Increased skin pigmentation
- Thickened skin
- Loss of hair
- Salivary staining (brown color)
- Head shaking
If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, please make an appointment to have him or her seen by one of the clinic’s veterinarians. At Dakota Veterinary Center, we provide dermatology consultations, allergy testing, hypo-sensitization (allergy shots) and medicated baths.
We will evaluate your pet, determine the most effective method of treatment and explain how you can prevent future problems. If left untreated, allergic reactions and skin conditions can become serious medical concerns.