May 14, 2019
Dermatologic conditions can be challenging for pets, owners, and veterinarians. While your primary veterinarian can treat most skin problems, severe or chronic conditions may require expertise from a specialist. Virginia Veterinary Center’s (VVC) board-certified veterinary dermatologist is available to treat difficult cases.
Conditions commonly treated by VVC’s Dermatology and Allergy Department include:
During spring and summer, pollen from flowers, trees, and grasses circulates in large amounts and causes problems for allergic pets. Atopic dermatitis, or seasonal allergies, is a common skin condition our dermatology and allergy department treats. Pets develop atopic dermatitis when pollen they inhale triggers an allergic reaction, typically manifested as itchy skin. Pets may itch over their entire body, although signs are often concentrated around the feet, ears, face, and hind end. Chronic ear infections are also often linked to allergies. A pet’s signs can range from mild itching to intense, constant itching, hair loss, and skin infections.
Two methods can be used to diagnose atopic dermatitis and determine the source of a pet’s allergies:
Your family veterinarian can likely treat mild atopic dermatitis cases with anti-inflammatory medications. VVC’s Dermatology and Allergy Department can help with more challenging cases that require allergy testing and long-term management. Once testing reveals which substances trigger a pet’s allergic reactions, immunotherapy, or allergy injections, can begin. The pet is administered a formulation of a number of allergens she is sensitive to, by injection or under the tongue, according to a specific schedule. The goal of immunotherapy is to slowly desensitize an animal’s immune system to allergens. Some pets may eventually be weaned off immunotherapy, but most will require lifelong treatment.
In addition to pollen, pets can be allergic to other environmental substances, including:
Call your family veterinarian if you have questions about pet allergies, and our Dermatology and Allergy Department will be here when your veterinarian determines your pet needs advanced specialty care.