Allergies are quite common in dogs of all breeds and backgrounds. Allergies are typically the result of fleas, but can also be the result of food, or an inhaled irritant like dust or pollen.
Most allergies appear after your pet is six months of age. The majority of affected dogs are age two or older.
The most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized or generalized. Other symptoms include respiratory distress (coughing, sneezing, and wheezing), or digestive problems causing vomiting, flatulence, or diarrhea.
Flea allergy is the most common allergy in cats. A normal cat experiences only minor skin irritation at the site of the bite. The flea allergic cat, on the other hand, has a severe, itch-producing reaction when the flea's saliva is deposited in the skin. Just one bite causes such intense itching that the cat 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 identify the first signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions. These can include the following -
• Scratching, licking, chewing, or biting of 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); or
• Head shaking.
If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, we recommend you make an appointment. 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.