Our Prestonwood Animal Clinic in Houston, TX Offers Dermatology Care for Pets
Just like people, there are hundreds of skin conditions that can affect your pet. For this reason, your pet’s skin requires constant attention and care in order to maintain optimal health. At the Preston Animal Clinic in Houston, TX we can diagnose and treat your pet’s skin irritation, infections, and allergies and answer any questions you might have.
Types of Skin Conditions
Veterinary Dermatology covers a wide variety of conditions. This includes:
- Hair loss
- Itching due to allergies
- Greasy or dry skin
- Autoimmune skin diseases
- Ear and skin infections
Types of Allergies
Allergies are one of the most common types of skin irritation in pets. Itching, scratching, and hot spots are all signs of an allergic reaction. There are three main types of skin allergies.
- Flea allergy – Animals allergic to fleas may experience intense itching and scratching that can last up to two weeks from a single flea bite.
- Food allergy – Animals with sensitivities to certain foods may experience a skin reaction, including itchy skin, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems.
- Skin allergies – When an allergen comes in contact with the skin, it can lead to skin infections, skin injuries, and excessive scratching.
Dermatology Care for Pets
A pet suffering from skin conditions is first tested for allergies. A skin test is performed by shaving a small area of the fur and then injecting small amounts of allergens under the skin. A blood or serum test is also taken and analyzed in the lab. Both tests determine which allergens in the environment cause an allergic reaction. To test for a food allergy, your pet will eat a specialized diet for approximately 12 weeks. Once the allergic symptoms go away, their regular food may be added back slowly in order to determine which one caused the allergic reaction.
Other more serious conditions that might cause skin problems include Cushing's disease, thyroid disorders, and parasites. All of these conditions can be identified with regular visits to your pet's veterinarian.
Treatment for Skin Conditions
Determining the allergen that caused the skin condition and removing it is the most effective way to treat skin conditions and irritation. Immunotherapy is available for items that can’t be avoided. This involves frequent injections of allergy medications. Cyclosporine therapy is another option for treating allergies. Other treatment options include:
- Anti-itch creams and shampoos
- Topical steroids
- Oral medications