Skincare for dogs and cats can be a challenge, especially living in Florida. Their hair hides their skin from view, and it can be hard to figure out why they are scratching or biting themselves. Heat allergies and insects are the two primary culprits, but your pet could also be suffering from skin allergies.
Many pet owners in and around Sarasota seek medical help for their pets when they start scratching themselves too much. If you are wondering, should I take my cat to the vet for itchy skin or what to do if my dog has itchy skin, here is some information that should help you.
How Do Allergies Differ For Pets Vs. Humans?
Unlike humans, pets don’t experience the same kind of respiratory issues that humans do when they have allergies. Instead, pet allergies show up in the form of itchy skin.
How To Tell If Your Pet Has Allergies
If you notice that your pet seems to be super itchy or they start scratching and chewing at their legs and feet, they may be experiencing skin allergies.
Another common symptom of pet allergies is ear infections. While some ear infections may be due to things like swimming in water and water getting trapped in the ear, most ear infections in pets are caused by allergens.
If you see that your pet has itchy paws or they are constantly licking their paws, it could also be an indication that they have a food allergy (and typically this is an allergy to proteins like chicken, beef, soy or dairy).
Are There Certain Times Of Year Pet Allergies Are Worse In Florida?
Due to the warmer temperatures in Florida, it is not as easy to gauge seasonality of pet allergies as it is in other locations like the northeast which experiences much more drastic fluctuations in temperature because grasses and pollens may be found year-round.
While it can be harder to narrow down in a climate like Florida, vets like University Animal Clinic can use a blood test (allergy test) to identify the cause of their environmental allergies.
Common Allergies For Cats & Dogs
There are three main types of allergies pets can experience: environmental allergies, food allergies and flea allergies.
Of the environmental allergies, these tend to be some of the most common things pets are allergic to:
- Dust Mites
- Grasses (In Florida, Bermuda grass is a common allergen for pets)
What To Do For Pets With Itchy Skin
Dogs and cats scratch and lick themselves all the time, but when they have itchy skin, their habits are more pronounced. Here are some things to look for to determine if your dog or cat has itchy skin:
- Unusually frequent scratching or chewing on their paws or other parts of their bodies
- One spot that is wet and irritated from biting or licking
- Constant rubbing against furniture or carpet
- Violent scratching behavior, especially in response to your touch
If you notice that your cat or dog is exhibiting some of these symptoms, it may be time to call your vet to have them take a look. In most cases, your pet can be treated with antihistamines or other medications that work at the cellular level. For flea allergies, there are a number of different flea prevention methods available as well.Schedule An Examination For Your Pet
Finding The Reason
For Itchy Skin On Pets In Sarasota, Bradenton And Surrounding Areas
It is important to determine the cause of your pet’s itchy skin since there are different remedies for each. Here are some common causes of itchy skin in dogs and cats:
- Environmental dermatitis: Your dog or cat comes in contact with countless substances in the environment. From rainwater and grass to chemicals on the surface of common household items, there are a lot of ways to develop cracked, flaking and itchy skin.
- Skin allergies: Pets suffer from allergies just like their owners do, only most of the signs of allergies in dogs and cats appear on their skin. Think about how itchy your nose and throat get during seasonal pollen allergies, and imagine that itchiness on your skin instead.
- Fleas or ticks: Certain insects are attracted to dogs and cats because they can live hidden in their fur. Fleas and ticks get on your pet and continue to bite as long as they hang on. Insect bites are itchy and painful and can cause violent scratching that furthers the irritation.
By examining your pet and asking you some routine questions, our veterinary experts at University Animal Clinic can determine the cause of your pet’s itchy skin and suggest the proper treatment. You can also take preventive measures to ensure your dog or cat does not experience the discomfort of itchy skin in the future.
How To Get Rid Of Skin Allergies For Pets
Here are some actions you can take at home to comfort a pet with skin allergies:
- Wash with clear water: Many pet skin allergies are caused by contact with allergens. Washing those allergens off can eliminate the itching and stop the allergic reaction. Be sure not to use harsh soaps that might irritate or dry the skin.
- Stay indoors: During allergy season, it is helpful to keep your pet indoors, away from the environmental factors that trigger his allergies.
- Change food: Cats and dogs can be very sensitive to food additives, and it can be difficult to pinpoint which ones are causing the problem. Switch to a different brand of food and see if the itching stops over time. When you find a food that works for your pet, try to remain consistent with it.
Never give your pet medications intended for humans unless directed to do so by a veterinarian. Human allergy medications are dangerous for pets.
If you have trouble controlling your pet’s skin allergies at home, make an appointment to bring them to University Animal Clinic in Bradenton, Florida. We can diagnose your pet’s itchy skin issues and suggest treatments that will relieve their itching.
The very best of care, the entire staff always gives their all and truly cares about both patient and parents! You won’t find a better clinic in Sarasota.
It is very difficult to find an avian vet who is kind while not sugar coating what can be bad news. I had no idea conures get cataracts as they get older, helped me understand my bird’s actions. The Dr. is wonderful!
Most caring and helpful Vet ever . The staff are amazing and are so wonderful with all pets . They take amazing care of my two fur babies . I wouldn’t trust my two pups with anyone else . You can really tell how much the love animals . Do your pets the biggest favor and take them to this vet clinic .
Incredibly grateful to the staff of University Animal Clinic. We have been a customer for over 20 years. They were able to take care of our dog Duke today for an unscheduled appointment for UTI. Couldn’t imagine going to anybody else.
Awesome reptile vet! I thought there was a problem with my bearded dragon so I made an app to bring him in. Dr. Sara was knowledgeable, professional, and down to earth. UAC is clean and doesn’t smell like urine whatsoever. I love coming here and will continue to bring my pets here. I highly recommend this vet. A+ service. Thanks!!!
Dr Sam and staff are friendly, knowledgeable and truly care about your pets health and happiness! We wouldn’t trust our babies with any one else.
I took my galah Rosie for a general physical. The staff and vet took the time to show me (as a new bird owner) how to clip nails and wings and what to look for as far as outward signs of her health. Can’t say enough good things about this clinic and would recommend them without any hesitation!
Thank you to Doctor Simonson, Casey, Dr. Sam and the rest of the team for taking care of Wrangler! You all treated him like a pet of your own and made me feel so comfortable leaving him with you to watch over after such a scary incident. Everyone at your office is so knowledgeable and caring. Wrangler is feeling so much better and back to normal. Thank you for all your help, you have an amazing team.
Vets and staff are knowledgeable and efficient. Clean and friendly Vet office. My dog now goes in to see her Vet with out balking.
My dogs, Max and Leo, always have a very positive experience at UAC. The staff is friendly and professional. The office is efficient and clean. I appreciate the ability to check on the dogs’ vaccinations, etc., on the pet portal. Great vet practice.
We’ve always had a great experience at University Animal Clinic. The doctors and team are all very knowledgeable and friendly. They get back to you in a timely manner and work with you when it comes to scheduling appointments. They even follow up with you after your visit to make sure that your pet is ok. The office is always clean and they are AAHA accredited. Your pets are in great hands here.
Dr Sam was very sweet, knowledgable and took the time to explain everything to me. The nurses and front desk staff were wonderful.
Very nice and welcoming entree, king and professional vet and nurse. Thank you very much, I will come back and be happy to recommend you