Dermatology

Skin and ear problems are two of the most common problems in dogs and cats. A primary cause is typically due to allergies. The major allergies are likely flea allergy dermatitis, chronic adverse food reactions, atopy (indoor/outdoor allergies), and contact allergies. Secondary infections occur as a result of the allergy and cause the skin and ear lesions. In order to treat the allergy, we must first completely remove the secondary infection and then over 8-12 weeks attempt to rule out flea allergies, contact allergies, and food allergies by placing all animals in the house on a flea preventative, removing any air fresheners/carpet cleaners, and starting the allergic animal on a hypoallergenic food trial. After a food trial is performed, it is important to rechallenge your pet with the old diet to determine if the food was the cause of the allergic reaction. Unfortunately, frustration can mount with allergic animals and a course steroids and antibiotics may be needed sparingly for comfort until a solution can be found. Although costly, allergy testing and injections may need to be given to alleviate the overactive immune system.