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Skin allergies are one of the most common conditions that we treat at Compassionate Care Veterinary Hospital of Charlotte. There are numerous causes for frequent itching, scratching, or biting of the skin. Examples include flea allergy dermatitis, food allergy, contact dermatitis, and atopy (environmental allergy). Other causes of skin flare-ups include mites (demodex or sarcoptic mange), bacterial infections, fungal infections, thyroid problems, and cushings disease. Our veterinarians have significant experience treating pet allergies and skin conditions. Advanced diagnostic tests help our veterinary team to identify the type of skin condition affecting your pet, and allow them to take immediate steps to relieve your pet’s pain and discomfort.
Your dog or cat can suffer from the same seasonal allergies that affect humans. Allergic dermatitis is one of the most common conditions affecting pets. Pollen, mold, ragweed and dust mites may trigger pet allergies. Rather than experiencing watery eyes or congestion, however, pets suffer from itchy skin. Repeated biting and scratching creates irritated, moist skin that is susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. Prompt treatment for pet allergies is essential to relieving a pet’s painful itching symptoms and preventing secondary skin infections or more complex dermatological problems.
Food allergies to common pet food ingredients including beef, chicken, and lamb also cause pets to itch or scratch their skin. In addition to itchy skin, food allergies can trigger gastrointestinal upset and ear inflammation. Pets with a food allergy may bite or scratch at their skin, frequently bite or lick their paws, and even drag their bottoms across the ground in an attempt to scratch it. Since pets with food allergies are often allergic to more than one food ingredient, diagnosing a food allergy can be a complicated process.
Our veterinarians have substantial experience diagnosing and treating pet allergies, both those caused by food and by environmental allergens, such as pollen. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from an allergy, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Diagnostic tests or an elimination diet may be necessary to precisely identify the cause for your pet’s allergies. Once the allergen triggers are identified, our doctors will work closely with pet owners to create a custom treatment plan. Depending on the trigger, this may include a dietary change, reduced exposure to a seasonal allergen, and/or medication to manage allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, allergies are something that need to be managed, not cured. If your pet has allergies, just as in humans, it is a lifelong condition. Treatment is aimed at controlling the animals symptoms and making them as comfortable as possible.
In addition to treating pet allergies, our veterinary team also treats common skin conditions such as mange and ringworm. Ringworm is a common fungal infection that can affect both cats and dogs. Pets with a ringworm infection have circular lesions on their limbs, trunk, and head. The skin will be flaky and some pets may even appear to be “bald.” Ringworm can easily spread to other pets, people, and the environment so prompt treatment is critical. Ringworm is diagnosed by obtaining a sample for fungal culture.
Mange is caused by tiny parasites called mites. There are two types of mange in dogs. The first is called sarcoptic mange. Symptoms include intense scratching and biting, hair loss, and skin infection and irritation. This form of mange can affect humans and be spread easily to other dogs in the home as well. The second form is more common and called demodectic mange. This mite causes small regions of hair loss on the head, trunk, and limbs. It tends to cause less itching and does not spread to humans or other dogs. Diagnosis is obtained by performing a skin scrape and looking for the organisms under a microscope.
If your pet is itching, scratching, or biting their skin, schedule an appointment with our veterinary team today and start the road to relief for your beloved companion!
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|Monday||7:30 - 5:30|
|Tuesday||7:30 - 5:30|
|Wednesday||7:30 - 5:30|
|Thursday||7:30 - 5:30|
|Friday||7:30 - 12:00||2:00 - 5:30|
|Saturday||8:00 - 12:00|
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|2:00 - 5:30|
I have used Dr Johnson ever since she opened this office and my pets love her to death. She is very caring and does not rush you and always answers your questions in layman's terms. She loves her work along with her associates.