Animal Allergies and Skin Problems
Animal Clinic of Billings veterinarians have years of experience in pet dermatology diagnosing and treating a variety of skin and ear conditions. Along with addressing pet dermatology related problems, we also create a treatment plan for your pet to provide long-term management of chronic skin and ear diseases. The plan is tailored to each pet’s condition to ensure the best care possible.
A typical dermatology visit consists of obtaining the dog or cat’s history and performing a thorough examination of the skin and ears. Following the exam, diagnostic tests will be recommended by one of our veterinarians and include one or more of the following:
- Food allergy trials
- Skin scrapes
- Skin cytology
- Skin cultures
- Skin biopsies
Once a diagnosis is made, the vet will suggest a treatment plan for your dog or cat. Treatment options may include oral medications, supplements, medicated shampoos, and other topical treatments. For your convenience, the Animal Clinic of Billings carries a wide variety of these products. Sometimes, changing a pet’s diet resolves skin and ear problems as well.
COMMON SKIN PROBLEMS IN CATS AND DOGS
One of the most common skin diseases we treat at the Animal Clinic of Billings is dermatitis. This disease involve inflammation of the skin and is associated with allergies, but there are other causes as well.
MOST COMMON CAUSES OF DERMATITIS IN CATS AND DOGS
- Pachydermatitis (yeast infection)
- Immune-mediated skin disease
- External parasites (fleas, ticks, and mites)
- Lick granulomas
- Hot spots
- Skin tumors
- Pyoderma (bacterial infections)
SYMPTOMS OF CAT AND DOG SKIN PROBLEMS
- Itching / scratching
- Red spots, sores, or scabs
- Dandruff / flaky skin
- Bald patches / hair loss
- Abnormal odor from skin or ears
- Scratching / pawing at ears
- Head shaking
- Tilting head to one side
- Holding an ear lower than the other
- Dry or oily skin
- Constant licking of paws
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above in your pet, we recommend an examination with one of our veterinarians ASAP.
IF YOUR PET HAS A SKIN PROBLEM
Like humans, your pet can also get a skin rash or an ear infection. Because our furry friends are covered in hair, many skin problems often go unnoticed. It is essential to watch for signs that your cat or dog is experiencing skin or inner ear discomfort.
Since your dog or cat relies on you for their care. It is ultimately your responsibility to identify that something is wrong and contact a veterinarian.
Skin problem symptoms in pets include itching, licking, or nibbling the infected area until they can’t anymore. The longer your pet is allowed to do this, the worse it becomes. If you don’t seek treatment, the scratching or biting at the infection or irritation could break their skin and create a secondary infection. For these reasons, watch for any signs that your dog or cat is unusually itchy or irritated by their skin or ears. Contact us immediately if you feel that something is wrong.
OUR DERMATOLOGY SERVICES:
- Allergy testing
- Allergen Specific Immunotherapy (injectable allergy shots and/or oral drops)
- Infection management for skin and ears
- CT scans
- Video otoscopy and deep ear flush
- Local anesthesia for most biopsies and mass removals
- Medical bathing
- Management of hormonal and autoimmune diseases, which affect the skin and ears
ALLERGY TESTING AND TREATMENT FOR DOGS AND CATS
Our first step in identifying potential problems begins with a simple exam room visit. If one of our veterinarians believes your dog or cat is suffering from a possible skin or ear infection, we conduct a few short tests to identify an infection. Treatment is relatively simple. . .
Following allergy testing, the veterinarian will confirm that the infection is the result of an allergy your pet is experiencing, and what your pet is reacting to. Also, tests will indicate an underlying infection or rare skin or ear conditions. This information will determine the length of the treatment and the gravity of the issue.
At the Animal Clinic of Billings, we offer serum antibody allergy testing which involves blood test checks for food, environmental, and inhalant allergies specific to your pet’s home zip code.
This is a minimally invasive way to understand why your allergic pet is so uncomfortable. Test results may include food recommendations that can be used to prepare a customized treatment plan for injections administered either in our clinic or at home.
Let our highly trained and experienced team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians help you keep your pet as happy and healthy as they can be.
Call the Animal Clinic of Billings to schedule your pets next wellness examination with us today!
406-252-9499 REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT