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Top 5 Veterinary Dermatology FAQs

Does your pet frequently scratch, itch or bite his skin? If so, your pet could be suffering from a painful skin condition or an allergy. Since many of these conditions have similar symptoms, veterinary dermatology is a specialized service offered by our practice to diagnose and treat these problems. If you are new to pet dermatology, it’s natural to have a few questions about how this specialized service can help your pet’s health. Below, our veterinary care team has answered five of the most frequently asked questions.

Ocala Veterinarian Treats Pet Skin Conditions

#1: What is veterinary dermatology?

Veterinary dermatology is a specialized service offered by our animal hospital that treats chronic and severe skin conditions. There are hundreds of different skin diseases, many of which have similar symptoms. Our veterinary care team has received special training to treat these different diseases, as well as condition affect the nails and nail beds, ear diseases, and skin manifestations of internal diseases.

#2: How do I know if my pet has an allergy?

Pets can be affected by many of the same allergens that affect humans, including tree pollen, ragweed pollen, mold and dust mites. Dogs are also highly allergic to fleas; a single fleabite can trigger an allergic rash that lasts for up to seven days. Both dogs and cats can be allergic to common pet food ingredients. Unlike humans, however, pets with allergies are not suffering through runny eyes, sneezing and congestion. Instead, pets with allergies have extremely itching skin. Consequently, the most common allergy symptom is frequent biting, scratching and itching at the skin. Pets may bite or itch the same area so much that it becomes raw and moist, leading to a secondary skin infection.

#3: How do you diagnose a skin condition?

A full skin evaluation is the first step to diagnosing a pet’s skin condition. During this evaluation, we look for any unusual discolorations, lumps, bald spots, or obvious signs of infestation by parasites, as well as such obvious giveaways as itchiness, inflammation or tenderness. Depending on the results of this exam, our veterinarian may need to conduct additional tests, such as intradermal skin testing, to determine the precise cause for your pet’s allergies or skin disorder

#4: What treatment options are available?

Treatment depends on the cause for your pet’s skin disorder. If your pet suffers from mild seasonal allergies, then regularly brushing and bathing your pet will help reduce allergen particle exposure. More serious allergies may need medical treatment, like anti-histamine medication. For food allergies, our veterinarian will work with you to create an eliminate diet to identify the allergic ingredients. Other skin conditions, like ringworm, can be treated with topical medication.

#5: What happens if my pet has mites?

Mites are smaller than fleas and can hide inside the ears of dogs and cats or anywhere on the skin. Mites cause hair loss, itchiness and redness. Young puppies and kittens are especially susceptible to mites. Special medical shampoos are necessary to treat mites.

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