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Did you know the #1 reason owners take their pets to veterinarians is skin problems? Cummings Veterinary Hospital has a special interest in pet dermatology and underlying allergy issues. Does your pet exhibit any of these symptoms of skin problems? Constant licking, chewing, biting, or scratching, shaking of the head, waxy or smelly ears, hair loss, scabs, or dandruff, or changes in his or her skin or coat? For the comfort and health of your pet, you will want to contact us if you see any of these signs. Here’s the good news—once the cause is identified, most skin problems respond well to treatment.
There are hundreds of different types of skin diseases that can afflict cats and dogs. Sometimes fleas and ticks are the culprit, but there are a number of irritants that can affect the skin. Often skin problems are actually allergies.
Canine allergies tend to be caused by: Fleas and other biting insects (flea allergy dermatitis), inhaled allergens such as dust mites, grasses, molds, and tree and weed pollens (canine atopy), food allergies, and contact with irritants (shampoos, cleaners, cigarette smoke, etc.) Did you know some dog breeds are more prone to allergies and skin issues? They include: Golden Retrievers, Labs, Terriers, Boxers, German Shepherds, Pugs and Mixed Breeds.
At Cummings Veterinary Hospital, we utilize a number of diagnostic tools and capabilities to get to the root cause of the skin problem. Surprisingly often, food allergies cause skin problems and accompanying inflammation. Food allergies are the over-response of your pet’s immune system to an invading protein. For cats, common allergies are fish and dairy. In the case of dogs, wheat, dairy, corn, beef, and other various proteins are typical offenders.
Through whatever means necessary—skin and blood tests, food trials, elimination diets, hypoallergenic veterinary food formulas—we’ll work diligently to identify the allergen and get your pet’s allergy under control. Shampoos, antihistamines, and nutraceuticals, such as omega fatty acids, help to manage the allergic condition and provide relief. If necessary, we will administer steroids to ease the inflammation and resulting discomfort.
Read more about food allergies in dogs from Modern Dog Magazine.