ExcelVets Robina

237 Scottsdale Dr
Robina Qld 4226
Phone: 07 5562 5777
Fax: 07 5562 5522

Business Hours

8:00 - 5:30 Mon - Fri
8:30 - 11:30 Sat

After Hours Emergency

07 5559 1599


Skin Problems

Here are a few questions to help identify problems:

  • Do your pets ever scratch, bite or chew at their skin?
  • Do they lick their feet constantly?
  • Have you ever noticed that your pet has weepy eyes?
  • Are their ears ever itchy and inflamed, or do they have a strange odour coming from them?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions it is possible that your pet may be suffering from an allergic dermatitis.

Skin problem - foot

Yes, believe it or not, just like people, dogs and cats can suffer from allergies too! The difference is that while most people that suffer from allergies tend to sneeze, in pets, allergies tend to cause skin problems.  The main symptoms of allergies in pets include itching, scratching, chewing, licking and biting.

There are a number of causes of itchy and irritated skin in dogs and cats, but they mainly fall within the following categories:

1) Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)

Flea allergy dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction to flea saliva. Even one single flea bite can cause intense itching. Dogs with FAD often chew and bite their backs, back legs, bellies and tails especially the tops of their tails; while cats tend to scratch their necks, sides, bellies, inner thighs and above their tails.  Remember, if your pet is allergic to fleas, it only takes one bite. Sometimes you may not even see a flea, but it has already done the damage by injecting its saliva.  If your pet shows any of these signs, they should be on a very strict flea control routine. If you are not sure which flea control product best suits your pet’s needs, feel free to ask our friendly staff.

2) Atopic Dermatitis (Canine or Feline Atopy)

Atopy is a bit like hay fever in people, it is an environmental allergy. Atopic pets can be allergic to things such as pollens (from grasses, plants, trees and weeds); house dust mites, mould and fungal spores. It might not necessarily be coming from your house and yard, as sometimes the wind can blow pollens in your direction from a neighbouring park or yard.
Symptoms of Atopy in dogs often include itchiness around the ears, eyes and feet. You may have noticed your dog constantly licking, chewing or biting around his or her paws .The insides of the legs and the tummy can also be itchy. Cats can have generalized itchiness, but can often be especially irritated around the head.
The itch may come and go with seasonal changes in pollen numbers and types, though some atopic pets can be itchy all year round. Sometimes the intense itchiness can cause animals to chew, scratch and bite themselves constantly, which results in inflammation (redness of the skin), brown saliva staining of the fur from constant licking and hair loss. Atopic pets can develop redness of the eyes and recurrent ear infections.  Most atopic animals start to show signs between 1 and 3 years of age.

3) Food Allergy

Pets can become allergic to protein in their food, treats or table scraps at any time in their life, even if they have always eaten the same food. They can develop skin problems similar to those with Atopy, such as rashes, itchiness, red ears and eyes as well as hair loss. They can also develop gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting and diarrhoea.  If a food allergy is suspected, we can arrange an elimination food trial or put them on a low allergy diet food.

4) Contact allergy

A contact allergy is where an animal comes into direct contact with something that irritates the skin. These can include things such as grasses, plants, carpets or other materials and fabrics. Topical products such as shampoos or rinses can also occasionally cause contact allergies.  As the coat of an animal generally offers protection against direct contact, it is often the non-haired areas that are affected. Areas such as the tummy, inside the legs and the skin in between the toes are the main areas that become inflamed with contact allergies.


So, what can you do?

If you feel that your pet may have any of the signs and symptoms mentioned, it might be worth coming in to have a chat with us. People that have allergies know how uncomfortable they can be if not supported, and dogs and cats feel exactly the same way. If you feel that your pet is uncomfortable and may be suffering from an allergy, come in and let us help you to create a skin support plan tailored to suit your pet’s individual needs – your pet will thank you for it!!