ALLERGIC DERMATITIS: Part 1 – What IS Allergic Dermatitis?

If you’ve been a client of ours for a while now, you probably realize that the focus of our attention at Carolina Value Pet Care is on providing basic pet care at an affordable price.   That includes vaccines, heartworm testing, heartworm preventions, flea products and more.

And while we don’t offer services for pets with health problems or medical conditions, we do welcome those dogs and cats that have skin problems, seasonal and environmental allergies and ear problems.  Even in full-service veterinary hospitals, itchy dogs and cats or pets with ear infections are among the 2 or 3 most common complaints seen in day-to-day practice.  And living in the Carolinas, we tend to see more than our share of pets with skin issues.

The medical term we generally use for itchy pets is “Allergic Dermatitis”, which translated means “inflammation and irritation of the skin due to seasonal, environmental or food allergies, resulting in pets that bite, scratch, lick, itch, chew or rub or have ear infections”.

That’s a mouthful.

But that gives an idea of the broad range of causes and effects on so many of the pets we see.

Sadly, so many of these pets are absolutely miserable.  But we do have ways of providing relief in the vast majority of cases.  On occasion, we have a pet parent finally bring their pet in to see us out of desperation.  They admit to “being embarrassed” about the way their dog looks, as if they will be judged for the appearance of their dog.   Let me assure you that we are here to help however we can.  In fact, the “gnarlier” the skin condition (more hair loss, more irritation, more sores, etc.), the more likely you are to be thrilled with the results of therapy for managing the allergies.

Allergies are a fact of life with pets … and people.  We’re here to help.  Not to judge or lay blame.   Please don’t let embarrassment or ego stand in the way of getting help for a pet that is tearing itself to ribbons and living a life in misery.

In our next segment, I’ll do a deeper dive into the causes of Allergic Dermatitis.

Btw, in people Allergic Dermatitis is called Eczema.  We do not use that term in veterinary medicine, instead just referring to ‘allergies”.

– Dr Bob Parrish @ Carolina Value Pet Care