Cat and Dog Dermatologist in Laguna Niguel, CA
Cats and dogs can suffer from many of the same health issues that humans do, and among the most common and troublesome of these are allergies and skin conditions. Pet dermatology is a specialized branch of veterinary medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of skin problems. Even minor conditions can make your pet miserable because they lead to constant scratching, biting, and licking of the skin, causing pain, swelling, loss of hair, and open wounds. Left untreated, they can eventually cause other serious health problems. Fortunately, most skin conditions that animals suffer from can be successfully treated by a doctor with training in veterinary dermatology. The Alicia Pacific Veterinary Center of Laguna Niguel, CA, has a board-certified veterinary dermatologist on staff who is fully qualified to diagnose and treat skin problems in dogs and cats.
The Causes And Symptoms Of Skin Problems In Pets
The most common causes of skin conditions in dogs and cats are allergies and parasites. An allergic reaction on the skin can be caused by many different factors in your pet’s environment including the ingredients in their food, dust mites, household cleaning chemicals, outdoor plants, fungal and bacterial infections, dust mites, and mold. These and other environmental factors can lead to a condition known as allergic dermatitis, which causes symptoms of inflamed and itchy skin and rashes. When pets scratch, lick, and bite to relieve their itching, they cause open wounds which invite infection by bacteria and fungus, potentially leading to more serious health problems including damage to internal organs like the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Some types of dermatological problems in animals, including mange and ringworm, are highly contagious and can be contracted by humans also. There are currently no permanent cures for allergies, but they can be controlled by a qualified cat and dog dermatologist, as can parasites. You should be aware of the symptoms of persistent skin conditions in your pet, including:
- Constant scratching, licking, and biting
- Dry, swollen, or scaly skin
- Skin rashes
- Missing fur
- Open scratches and cuts
- Chronic ear infections
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- The presence of fleas and mites
If your dog or cat is showing any of these signs of skin issues, you should bring them to our pet hospital as soon as possible for a thorough examination.
Pet Dermatology At The Alicia Pacific Veterinary Center
When you bring your pet to our hospital for diagnosis and treatment of a skin condition, the first step is a complete physical examination and a thorough review of your pet’s medical history. Your vet will also ask you questions about your pet’s diet, household environment, and lifestyle. Then tests will be done in our fully-equipped diagnostic lab to detect positive allergies. All of these procedures will help your vet to identify the specific cause of your pet’s skin condition and prescribe the most effective treatment. Many pets will show improvement of their symptoms simply by a change in their diet. Your vet may also prescribe changes to their living environment and lifestyle, special shampoos and conditioners, ear flushes, allergy vaccines and medications, or a combination thereof.
Another type of very effective treatment for skin conditions in pets is called hyposensitization treatment. This involves our cat and dog dermatologist using microscopic concentrations of the specific allergen your pet is reacting to, slowly acclimating their immune systems to the presence of the allergens in their body, and alleviating the reaction and the symptoms. Some types of allergy treatment can show fast results, while others are longer-term. With the appropriate testing and treatment, the vast majority of pets will show significant improvement of their symptoms.
When you’re in need of a Laguna Niguel vet to diagnose and treat conditions in your pet, use our online form to contact the Alicia Pacific Veterinary Center to schedule an appointment for an examination.