Most pets enjoy a good scratching under the collar, a rub behind the ears, or that coveted belly rub, but excessive itching and scratching could mean your pet has a skin condition. Pets can be affected by allergic reactions or dermatologic conditions just like humans. Thankfully, most skin conditions are very manageable and, with a little instruction, most pet owners find they can treat or maintain their pet’s skin health with little assistance.
Dogs or cats that come to Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital and are experiencing recurrent ear infections, frequent skin infections, hair loss, or exceptional itchiness may be evaluated using skin scraping or allergen tests.
Skin scraping—As the name of the test implies, a sample of skin cells is collected from the dog or cat by gently scraping over the surface of the skin. This test can be used to check for a number of conditions including:
- The presence of abnormal skin cells
- Fungi (yeasts)
- Bacterial infections
Allergen tests—By taking a blood sample, our hospital can send out to check for the possibility of 40 different skin allergies. From trees and grass to ingredients in food, dogs and cats can be allergic to many different things.
Depending on the results of the dermatology and allergy testing, pets can be treated with oral medications, allergy shots, ear medications, antibiotics, antifungal agents, or medicated shampoos. It is very common for pet owners to find that the allergies or skin conditions their pets face are treatable and, with proper management, their dogs or cats can return to comfortable living again.
The staff and veterinarians of Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital will provide you with the instruction and tools you need to manage your pet’s dermatology condition.
Protecting Your Pets from Fleas, Ticks & Heartworm
Fleas and ticks are not only a source of irritation to your pet, but they can also harbor disease and adversely affect your pet’s health. Heartworm is a dangerous parasite that lives in the heart of dogs and cats, damages the heart muscle, and can be fatal. Thankfully, all of these can be prevented and Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital can help you keep your pet safe.
- Fleas are small, jumping insects that live off of the blood of animals. They can carry dangerous diseases and will often cause allergic dermatitis “severe itching” in pets.
- Infestations of fleas can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to get rid of, and, since flea eggs are able to survive a very long time, it is difficult to completely get rid of them. It is much better to prevent fleas than to have to try to eliminate them.
- Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital has monthly flea preventives for dogs and cats. Our knowledgeable staff can help you select the type of preventive that best fits your pet’s needs.
- Ticks are external parasites that live off of the bodily fluids of animals. They can carry diseases from one animal to another and are the main cause of the spread of diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Dogs and cats that contract a tick-borne disease experience painful symptoms that can leave permanent damage. Prevention is the best course of action.
- Lyme vaccination—Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital recommends all dogs receive annual vaccinations including the vaccination to prevent Lyme disease.
- We recommend that both dogs and cats remain on monthly tick preventive. Our knowledgeable staff can help you select the type of preventive that is best suited for your pet.
- Heartworm is a parasite that can live in the heart of dogs and cats. Mosquitoes carry the worm from one infected animal to another. Several hundred worms can live in the heart of a dog and infection from the parasite causes significant damage and can be fatal.
- Our area has seen an increase in cases of heartworm infection due to pets from the southern states being brought north.
- The vets at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital recommend that dogs be tested for heartworm once a year and that both dogs and cats remain on heartworm preventive medication. Our experienced staff can help you select the preventive medication that is best suited to your pet.
While fleas, ticks, and heartworm can be a serious threat to your pet’s health, Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital can help you avert issues and diseases caused by these parasites.