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Sunday, January 24, 2010


I honestly don't remember how many times I've written about allergies in dogs and cats (seriously, I don't know if it's once, twice, or more, but I digress...).
At least a quarter of all patients I see have skin problems, the vast majority of them, allergies.
The white or cream-coloured dog trotting in the park with four stained paws (red-brown colour) elicits an easy spot-diagnosis: allergies.
If your dog or cat is constantly licking or munching on her paws, licking her forearms, scratching her armpits and or groin, shaking her head, scratching her ears, munching or licking her behind, or scratching any part of her outer anatomy, she has allergies.
The problem lies when a careful history is not taken. If you can imagine a pyramid, allergies in the vast majority of these cases figures at the top of it. These allergies cause variable itchiness, which in turn very often cause chronic skin and ear infections.
These infections will disappear with treatment, but unfortunately will invariably recur if the top of the pyramid is unknown. These dogs require antihistamines. Plain and simple. There's a whole gamut of them and often (but not always) one or more will work well.
Dogs and cats can be allergic to inhaled allergens (indoor or outdoor allergens), which will cause seasonal symptoms, while they can also have a food allergy (adverse food reaction), which will cause non-seasonal or year-round symptoms.
They can also have contact allergies (to perfumes, plastic, etc). Dogs and cats can also be allergic to traffic jams (oh, no, wait a minute, that's me).
Bottom line: dogs and cats with allergies have itchy skin, and that could mean anywhere on the body. More to come on allergies.

Dalmatian with a primary allergy and a secondary pyoderma (likely also has a dermal yeast infection but I can't tell from here - need the microscope for that one).


GoLightly said...

VERY timely post.

Thank you!

Leslie Lim said...

Good article. I was really enjoyed reading your post. This is truly worthy to read. Good content and good information. God bless!