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When this largest organ on an animal's body becomes irritated or diseased, his overall quality of life becomes impaired. Let's look at some of the most common threats to your Overland Park or Leawood pet's skin -- and how Blue Valley Animal Hospital can help.
Allergies of all kinds commonly take the form of skin problems. Allergic reactions may produce red, itchy areas all over your pet's body. Even bathing and grooming -- a routine that normally keeps your pet's skin free of irritation -- can cause skin problems if your pet is sensitive to the shampoos you use. The danger is that your pet will be tempted to scratch, lick or bite the irritated skin, with the resulting wounds opening the door to serious bacterial infections. We can test your pet for allergies using elimination diets, or blood testing. Once we have pinpointed the cause of your pet's allergic skin problems, we can recommend lifestyle changes to keep it at bay, from special diets to hypoallergenic shampoos. In the meantime, we can prescribe medications to ease the itching.
Pets may also exhibit allergic reactions and other forms of dermatitis in response to pest infestations. Fleas and ticks can irritate the skin through their bites even as they transfer dangerous diseases. Fleas, for instance, carry bubonic plague and tapeworms, while ticks can infect your pet with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis or Lyme disease. Mites are yet another tiny pest that love to hide out on your pet's skin; the ears of cats are a particularly common refuge. Mites can cause skin diseases such as sarcoptic mange, which resembles allergic dermatitis. Some infestations are fungal in nature -- notably ringworm, a condition that creates ring-shaped patches of hair loss and skin irritation.
Whatever the unwanted guests may be, the more your pet scratches or bites away at these intruders, the more damaged his skin becomes. We can prescribe topical or oral medications to rid your pet of these unwanted guests and help the skin heal. Monthly preventative medications can help your pet remain free of fleas and ticks all year round.
Skin cancers and tumors are more common than many pet owners realize. If you feel a suspicious lump on your pet's skin, bring him to Blue Valley Animal Hospital for evaluation. But don't panic -- the majority of these tumors turn out to be non-malignant. We routinely take needle aspirates of these tumors and send it to the laboratory for testing to see what options are available for treatment.
Blue Valley Animal Hospital provides dermatology as part of its normal menu of services for Overland Park and Leawood pets. We can integrate regular skin examinations and pest prevention into your pet's ongoing wellness routine. Contact our vet center at 913-681-2818 today to schedule an appointment!
New Patients Receive Half Off Exam!
*Applies to Any New Puppy, Kitten, or Adult Pet
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