Skin problems are common in dogs and cats and can be caused by hormonal disorders, allergies, infections, or parasites such as fleas and mites. These issues can be difficult to treat and should be addressed promptly.
At Byron Animal Clinic, we can often diagnose a skin problem by simply examining your pet. Some dermatologic diseases or conditions do require additional diagnostic procedures to ensure a correct diagnosis. Depending on your pet’s symptoms and the results of our physical exam, we may run blood work or perform a urinalysis, skin scraping, tape prep, skin cytology or even skin biopsies.
We can eliminate parasites and sometimes food allergy with a special diet called a hypoallergenic diet. In most cases, allergies are a lifelong symptomatic problem that is managed not cured. We have many options for this but the key to all of them is consistency of care by the owner.
Treatments for allergy are often MULT-MODAL – meaning you need to use more than just one treatment at once. At Byron this can include medicated wipes, sprays, shampoos, ointments, or creams. It can include anti-parasiticides to eliminate ectoparasites. It can include antibiotics or anti-fungal medications to treat secondary infections. It can include over the counter anti-histamines. It can also include veterinary prescription drugs like Apoquel, Atopica, prednisolone, dexamethasone, or Depo-medrol.
In the near future, we hope to use monoclonal antibodies as targeted therapy for chronic allergies. There are some interesting new therapies that are coming soon.
In severe cases or if owners are interested, we can refer your pet to a Board-Certified Veterinary Dermatologist. These specialists can offer intra-dermal and blood allergy testing. These tests attempt to identify specific allergens that can in some cases be avoided. In other cases they can create immunotherapy injections (“allergy shots”) that are targeted at specific allergies. In some cases, this can cure an allergy over time. Or – at least minimize the severity of the allergy. Besides these allergy tests and treatments – dermatologists can diagnose and treat rare and extremely difficult to control dermatology patients.
Contact us at (519) 472-3770 if you notice your dog or cat scratching excessively or if he or she develops any bare patches, scabs, scaling, redness, inflammation, lumps, or bumps.