COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – an update for our clients.

How we diagnose allergic skin in pets

July 15, 2021

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The skin protects an animal from infection so damaged skin leaves it vulnerable to infection.  In many cases of allergic skin, the skin is damaged from the incessant scratching to try to alleviate the itch and any infection will require treatment. If the allergy isn’t identified and managed then the skin infections will continue as long as the pet is scratching trying to ease the itch.  It’s a vicious cycle which is costly for the pet owner and not pleasant for the pet.

Finding the cause of the allergy is the obvious solution but the process is one of a process of elimination.  It needs to be approached in a logical fashion and here’s how we can help.

If a vet suspects your pet may have an allergy we are now able to refer you to a specialist skin clinic run by Laura, one of our experienced vets.  These skin clinics have been developed so that clients can access a more affordable, local service. 

There is a tried and trusted method used by Laura to help diagnose an allergy.  It’s a method that requires commitment and support of the owner.  An owner is ALWAYS integral to any treatment process but more so in the case of skin allergies.  The process is:

  • Initial – A full history which means LOTS of questions being asked by the vet of the owner – we did say you were an important part of the process.
  • Stage 1 – Rule out parasites – even if your pet doesn’t have visible fleas, treating the home regularly too is very important as it reduces the likelihood of exposure for your pet.
  • Stage 2 – Skin scrapes – to check that the natural “balance” of the skin’s natural flora and fauna is as it should be and that there are no infections of the skin.
  • Stage 3 – Hair plucks – this process is useful if there are already bald patches to check hair growth, whether the patches have been chewed or have fallen out.
  • Stage 4 – Food allergy – usually as a result of an overreaction to a protein source in food.  We will be looking at this particular allergy in more detail later in the month.
  • Stage 5 – Atopic dermatitis – allergies to the environment or genetic links to allergies.  Again, we will be looking at this specific area in more detail later in the month.

At each stage Laura is looking to either identify or eliminate the cause of the allergy so she can develop a bespoke allergy management treatment programme for your pet. 

Why not take an allergy quiz HERE to see if your pet might be allergic. We also have a handy leaflet on itchy dogs – HERE and a tracking sheet HERE to monitor how itchy your dog is.

If you suspect your pet is affected by an allergy, call the team today on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352 or why not open a chat on PetsApp.

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