LAKEWOOD, Colo., Aug. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pets that are excessively scratching, itching or biting their skin may be suffering from one or more allergies, according to Wadsworth Animal Hospital. Pets are allergic to many of the same allergens that trigger problems in humans, including tree pollen, ragweed pollen, dust mites and molds. Some pets are also highly allergic to fleas; a single fleabite can trigger an allergic reaction lasting up to two weeks. Failure to promptly treat allergies can lead to secondary skin conditions, including bacterial infections. Veterinarians with experience in pet dermatology have the experience and training necessary to correctly identify skin problems.
Pets with allergies and skin conditions can benefit from specialized dermatological care, says the veterinary care team at Wadsworth Animal Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado. The vet care team is raising awareness about the importance of treating pet skin conditions, including allergies. "Allergies can be incredibly painful for pets," said the Lakewood veterinarians at Wadsworth Animal Hospital. "Prompt treatment is essential to relieving allergy pain and preventing secondary skin conditions. The sooner pet owners seek treatment for their pets, the more a veterinary care team can do to relieve a pet's pain."
Unlike human allergy symptoms (e.g., congestion, watery eyes, nasal discharge), the primary pet allergy symptoms are scratching, itching and biting at the skin. Consequently, pet owners can mistake these symptoms as "normal" behavior or fail to identify them in a timely manner. The Lakewood veterinarians warn that failure to promptly treat allergy symptoms will cause pets to continue itching and biting at their skin. Chewing the skin creates a moist surface that is susceptible to bacterial infections, leading to further complications.
"Seasonal allergies are just as frustrating for pets as they are for humans," said the veterinarians. "Since many skin conditions have similar symptoms, pet dermatology is essential to identifying the precise trigger for a pet's skin problem. We recommend regular skin evaluations as part of a pet's wellness exam."
While the veterinarians say it can be difficult to distinguish between normal scratching and an allergic reaction, close observation will yield clues. For example, a cat that regularly vomits hairballs may be 'over grooming', which is a symptom of allergies, say the veterinarians. Depending on the severity of a pet's allergies, intradermal skin testing may be necessary to determine the specific trigger for allergens. Intradermal skin testing will measure a pet's sensitivity to different allergens, such as types of pollen, household cleaning products, mold, and mites. "Depending on the results of intradermal skin testing, lifestyle modifications may be able to help avoid the allergen trigger," said the veterinarians. "Even with seasonal allergies, avoiding outdoor activities during peak pollen periods will limit exposure." In severe cases, pets may need allergy shots or oral drops to manage symptoms.
Wadsworth Animal Hospital provides pet dermatology, as well as wellness care and pet surgery. To learn more about pet dermatology please visit Wadsworth Animal Hospital's website at: http://www.wadsworthanimalhospital.com/.
CONTACT: Wadsworth Animal Hospital 888-667-5235Source:Wadsworth Animal Hospital