Cat & Dog Allergies in Big Rapids, Michigan

If you have allergies, you know how unpleasant it can be. If severe conditions are left untreated, it can mean more than discomfort—it can affect your pet’s health. Dog and cat allergies and dermatological conditions are often related, but learning which is which requires professional diagnostics.

Common Pet Skin Conditions and Causes

Skin conditions are caused by a variety of factors. Whatever the case, our diagnostic team will figure out the cause of the problem, so we can start the proper treatment.

Here are some common causes of skin conditions:

  • Allergies, whether food or environmental
  • Parasites such as fleas, mites, and other insects
  • Infections caused by bacteria or yeast

Just like us, pet allergies can be seasonal, so treatment can vary throughout the year. Parasites on the other hand are often persistent, so require continuous, year-round prevention.

Common Pet Allergy Symptoms

Symptoms are typically itching and scratching behaviors:

  • obsessive licking
  • rubbing and scooting
  • chewing or biting

Severe itching can cause secondary infections, which can further damage the skin. Damaged skin leaves your pet vulnerable to infection. In many instances, pets treated for allergies or other dermatology problems receive treatment for both allergy symptoms and any subsequent infections. Additionally, if the allergen is environmental, such as dust or pollen, your pet may also suffer from sneezing and nasal and eye discharge.

cat lying on floor

Diagnosis and Treatment

If your pet requires allergy testing, this can be facilitated and will determine whether your pet has allergies or another dermatology issue. Food allergies pose a more challenging diagnosis as a restrictive diet is the only way to identify which food is the culprit. A diet excluding those food types will then need to be followed.

For most skin conditions, treatment may include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Hypoallergenic shampoos
  • Topical treatments such as moisturizers or steroid creams
  • Allergy shots

Fleas and mites are major culprits of pest-induced skin conditions. The best treatment is year-round parasite prevention to deter allergic reactions altogether. However, for conditions that cannot be easily prevented, the above treatments may help reduce the severity of your pet's symptoms.

If you think your pet suffers from any pet allergies or any other serious skin condition, call us today to schedule an appointment!