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  • Writer's pictureDr. Nell Li

Dealing with Skin Allergies in Dogs and Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

Skin allergies are a common concern for pet owners, affecting both dogs and cats. These allergies can cause discomfort and distress to your furry companions. In this blog post, we'll delve into the causes, symptoms, and strategies to manage skin allergies in dogs and cat, helping your pets live a more comfortable life.

Itching and scratching dog


Causes of Skin Allergies In Dogs and Cats:

  1. Environmental Allergens: Pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and grasses are common environmental allergens that can trigger kin allergies in pets

  2. Flea Allergy Dermatitis: Some dogs and cats are hypersensitive to flea saliva. Even a single flea bite can lead to intense itching and skin irritation.

  3. Food Allergies: Sensitivities to specific ingredients in pet food can manifest as skin allergies. Common allergens include beef, chicken, dairy, and grains.

  4. Contact Allergens: Certain substances or materials, such as certain cleaning products, plants, or fabrics, can causes allergic reactions when they come into contact with your pet's skin.

Symptoms of Skin Allergies:

  1. Itching: Persistent itching, scratching, biting, or licking are hallmark signs of skin allergies. Pets may focus on specific areas like their paws, ears or belly.

  2. Redness and Inflammation: Allergic reactions often result in red, inflamed, and irritated skin. This can lead to hair loss and open sores.

  3. Hot Spots: Hot sots are localised areas or intense itching and inflammation. They can quickly become painful and infected if left untreated.

  4. Ear Infections: Pets with skin allergies may also be prone to ear infections, indicated by head shaking, ear scratching, and discharge.

  5. Gastrointestinal Symptoms: In some cases, food allergies can causes digestive problems like diarrhoea or vomiting in addition to skin issues.

Management of Skin Allergies:

  1. Consult a Veterinarian: If you suspect your pet has a skin allergy, consult our veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. We will examine your pet and determine the cause and severity of the allergy.

  2. Flea Control: Use a good quality flea product to protect your pet from flea bites. Regular grooming and cleaning of bedding can help as well.

  3. Topical treatments: Use medicated shampoos or sprays as recommended by a veterinarian to soothe irritated skin.

  4. Medications: If your pet's symptoms persist, medications may be prescribed to alleviate itchy and inflammation.

  5. Environmental Management: Minimise exposure to environmental allergens by keeping your home clean, regular bathing of your pet, and avoiding known triggers.

  6. Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy): In some severe cases, referral to veterinary dermatologist is recommended for immunotherapy to desensitize your pet to specific allergens over time.


Itchy skin in dogs and cats is a common issue with various underlying causes. Identifying the root cause is essential for effective treatment and long-term relief. If your pet is suffering from persistent itchy, consult our veterinarian for a thorough examination and personalised treatment plan. Remember, a healthy pet is a happy pet, and addressing itchy skin promptly can improve your furry friend's quality of life!

Our mobile veterinary vehicle services Boondall, Fitzgibbon, Taigum, Deagon, Geebung, Zillmere, Bracken Ridge, Carseldine, Northgate, Wavell Heights, Virginia, Aspley, Banyo, Chermside and surrounding suburbs.

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