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Pet Allergy Testing & Animal Dermatology

While allergies may seem like a minor inconvenience, these conditions can become more serious health issues if left untreated. We feel it is critical to quickly identify symptoms of these dermatological conditions and allergies so we can provide appropriate treatments.

Symptoms of Skin Disorders

Pet Allergy Testing & Animal Dermatology ChicagoAnimals often hide their discomfort and pain on instinct. When it comes to skin disorders, however, symptoms are easier to identify.

These may include:

  • Odor coming from the skin or ears
  • Inflamed or uncomfortable ears
  • Scratching or rubbing
  • Hotspots
  • Chronic itchiness
  • Flaking/Dandruff
  • Excessive licking
  • Lesions on the skin
  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Hair loss
  • Red itchy bumps
  • Frequent shaking of the head
  • Odor

Any of these symptoms can be the sign of a dermatological condition or an allergic reaction caused by pollen, foods, dust or fleas. We recommend bringing your pet in for an examination as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.

Potential Underlying Causes

Many conditions can manifest themselves as skin and ear issues. In most cases, allergies are the prime cause. Pet allergies can be similar to those from which humans suffer, such as dust, mold spores, and pollen. At MetroVet, we can perform allergy testing and provide a customized treatment plan to help your pet get relief from his symptoms.

Household pets can also be allergic to fleas. Just one small bite can trigger an extreme reaction from your cat or dog. If your pet is suffering from fleas, we can recommend a flea treatment to help eliminate the problem.

Symptoms of Pet Allergies

Pet allergies are relatively easy to determine, but symptoms vary depending on the type. For instance, food allergies may present as diarrhea, skin issues and vomiting, while those with inhalant allergies may experience itchiness and other similar symptoms.

Inhalant allergy symptoms may include:

  • Chronic itchiness, particularly at the tail base, between paw pads, the eyes, and ears
  • Hair loss
  • Ear or skin infections
  • Excessive licking
  • Skin redness or hot spots
  • Odors coming from the skin and ears

Other common maladies include:

Endocrine disorders may also be responsible for skin conditions. If your pet is suffering from hypothyroidism, it can cause skin disease, along with a variety of other symptoms. More than half of pets that have this endocrine disorder will have hair loss, particularly around the tail and collar areas.

Ringworm—This condition is a fungal infection, not a worm infestation as the name implies.

Sarcoptic mange (scabies)—Microscopic mites cause this disorder, resulting in itchy skin.

Ear mites—If your pet has itchy ears with black discharge, he may be suffering from ear mites.

Yeast infections—These infections cause a terrible odor and can affect both the ears and the skin.

The treatment of skin conditions will be customized for your pet based on the cause. These treatments may include ointments, drops, medicated shampoos, or specialized medications. We will make sure your pet receives a treatment plan that will suit him best.

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If your pet is showing any of these symptoms, we will conduct an allergy test. The final report can identify the allergens that are causing your pet’s symptoms.

In situations where inhalants are causing the symptoms, we can create a treatment plan to help eliminate the symptoms. Allergy shots can desensitize your pet to the allergens and provide relief. These shots work by administering small doses of the allergen to trigger an immune response that builds up a tolerance.

In cases of food allergies, diet changes may be needed. We can offer nutritional counseling to help you choose the right food to eliminate the allergies and will continue to protect your pet’s health.

As you wait for your pet to receive relief, the right pet shampoo and medication can be used to handle the symptoms.

MetroVet can test for and treat a variety of allergies and other dermatologic treatment. We take great care to explain the outcome of the testing and help you prevent allergic reactions, through medical and home treatments.