Skin in Spring
The weather’s finally starting to warm up, which means so is skin allergy season.
The weather’s finally starting to warm up, which means so is skin allergy season. For pets that have seasonal flare ups with their skin, now is the time to start getting prepared! Check your pet regularly for signs of skin allergies. It’s important to start treatment at the first signs of a flare up to avoid annoying itchy skin turning into painful skin and ear infections.
But what do you need to look out for? Chewing, licking, biting, scratching, rubbing parts of the body along the ground and excessive grooming are all signs that our pets are itchy. Other signs of skin disease you might notice that your pet’s skin is becoming red, moistness or patches of fur becoming discoloured.
Skin allergies can first appear at almost any age. For example, dogs with food allergies may first show signs as young as 2 months of age, or as old as 14 years. If your pet is showing signs of skin disease, it’s important to establish what is causing the problem. Non-allergic causes of disease such as bacterial and yeast infections, flea infestations, and mite infections all need to be diagnosed and treated before a diagnosis of skin allergies can be made and managed. It’s also important to establish whether your pet has flea allergies, or food allergies, as these conditions can be managed without prescription medication.
However it is important to keep in mind that one of the most common types of allergies affecting our dogs and cats is atopic dermatitis. It affects between 10-20% of dogs and cats. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, and because of this ongoing inflammation pets affected by this disease will typically develop allergies to multiple components in the environment, such as grass seeds or dust mites. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for atopic dermatitis. These pets typically require medication to manage their skin allergies. Often, they will only need medication at a certain time of year initially, but as they get older they start to need the medication all year round.
If your pet is showing signs of itchy skin, get in touch with us today. Together, we can keep your pet comfortable and itch-free!