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Forum Veterinary Clinic

If your pet is experiencing the following issues then you have probably wondered what to do:

  • Continuous scratching
  • Face rubbing
  • Biting/chewing at the skin
  • Excessive licking of feet, legs and belly region
  • Hair loss
  • Recurring skin infections
  • Ear infections

Pet owners know the sounds animals make when grooming or shaking their head, and they sometimes notice that the frequency has increased, or may have noticed that their pet is behaving differently, perhaps sluggishly. These can all be signs that your furry friend is suffering from an infection or condition that will require veterinary care. Fortunately, veterinary medicine has improved significantly over the years, and there are many treatments that can be administered in the office and at home to keep your pet healthy.

Clinic Hours: By Appointment Only
Monday 8:30am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 3:00pm
Thursday 8:30am - 5:30pm
Friday 8:30am - 12:00pm
Saturday 8:30am - 12:30pm
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Pet Allergies

There are three main types of pet allergies: environmental, skin, and food allergies. Pets suffer from allergies similarly to humans, but it’s important to know how they manifest in animals and how to prevent them, if possible.

Environmental allergies include dust, pollen, and other outdoor irritants, as well as plants and other small critters they come in contact with. Irritants in grasses that your pet may have come in contact with during walks can cause allergic reactions.

Food allergies are very common, and can actually be a surprising culprit of chronic ear infections for pet owners to learn about since the ears are not commonly thought of as being affected by food. In fact, the disruption of the fluids, and homeostasis in the body, can have a variety of effects on pets. If your pet is allergic to their food, you will notice this to be a daily occurrence until you change their food. However, if your pet suddenly shows symptoms of a food allergy and you have not changed their food, then you may have to consider that they have recently become allergic to one or more ingredients in their current diet.

Pets can suffer from skin allergies from contact with pollen, plants that may or may not be harmful to humans (poison ivy, for example), the sap of plants, topical medications, or as a reaction to something your pet has eaten.It is very important to discuss flea and tick treatments for your pet and to use the right one.

Pets can also suffer from anaphylactic shock just like humans do. This is a rare but dangerous emergency. Anaphylaxis can be caused by a range of things, including vaccines and insect stings. It is important to monitor your pet for 48 hours after they have received a vaccine and to contact us immediately if your pet looks lethargic, won’t eat or drink water, is vomiting, has diarrhea, or shows other sudden symptoms. With bee stings, you may notice that your pet is drooling a lot more, has a swollen lump on their body or has broken out in hives, and they may be whining. These are signs that your pet has been seriously injured and needs care urgently.

Let’s face it: people feed their animals food from their own table all the time, and pets happen to catch pieces of food when their luck literally falls down on them. But this is strongly discouraged for reasons. Among them is the fact that several foods are known to be toxic to pets, or cause allergic reactions. You should never feed a pet any of the following food or beverages:

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List Of Things You Shouldn't Feed Your Pet

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  • Alcohol of any kind
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Avocados
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy products
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Nuts
  • Onions, garlic, or other herbs
  • Peaches and plums
  • Raw meat, eggs, or fish
  • Yeast

Even if your pet has survived eating any of the items on this list, that doesn’t mean they are able to handle them, should handle them, or that they aren’t suffering some unnoticed side effects from them. Alcohol and chemotherapy are toxic drugs that humans put into their own bodies and can survive, but they cause destruction to the body anyway. Putting it that way may make it easier to understand why it is so important not to take your pet’s tolerance of a toxin or allergen for granted.

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Ear Infections

Ear infections are incredibly common and can be caused by ear mites, vigorous shaking of yeast, wax or bacteria build-up. Ear infections can be noticeable with inflammation on the outside of the ear or on the flap, or if you notice a foul-smelling discharge coming from the ears. Pet owners usually remark that their pet smelled really bad near the ears. If you can, carefully lift your pet’s ear flaps. You may see the inflammation and build-up inside. These symptoms must be treated immediately.

If your pet has recurring ear infections then ask us at Forum Veterinary Clinic to suggest what products will be safe to use to keep your pet’s ears clean. For bigger or more wiggly dogs or animals, we can also teach you how to safely and properly administer the treatment. Many families and pets have enjoyed years without ear infections, and maintaining healthy ears is just as important as preventing fleas and ticks or staying up-to-date with your vaccines.

It is important not to treat an ear infection before you see a vet, especially in older pets. Unfortunately, animals can be hurt far worse by owners who misdiagnose what the underlying problem is, and insert a lot of unnecessary liquids into their pet’s ears that don’t help and will worsen their suffering.

Again, chronic ear infections can be a sign of a food allergy, so if you notice any of the symptoms from food allergies above along with head shaking, then ask your vet about whether or not changing your pet’s diet will help.

Skin Problems

Skin problems can be caused by parasites, allergies to foods or allergens in the environment, fleas, bacterial infections, and mites. Depending on what is causing your pet’s skin problem, the treatment may include a topical ointment, oral medication, or a collar (the well-known cone-shaped guard) to allow the spot to heal.

Hair loss, or alopecia, is another sign of a skin problem. This hair loss often occurs due to persistent itching due to a variety causes that must be diagnosed.A skin biopsy may even be necessary to come to a conclusion.

Severe symptoms can look very painful indeed. If you notice any of these symptoms on your pet, then bring them in immediately. Severe symptoms of skin problems include:

  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Swelling of the face or tongue
  • Red lumps on the skin
  • Patches of missing fur
  • Discolored patches of skin
  • Bleeding
  • Crusting over of old wounds
  • Open sores
Picture of Dog
Picture of Dog

Behaviors you may see your pet doing to relieve themselves of pain or itching include:

  • Licking
  • Pawing at their ears or the itchy spot
  • Biting or gnawing
  • Whining and whimpering more often

It’s also important to see a veterinarian if you notice your pet is more lethargic than usual, or not eating. It is vital that you seek treatment immediately for your pet’s condition because it will continue to get worse. Many owners wait to see if the condition will get better, but you don’t want to take the risk of having fleas in your home, for example, if you let the issue go for too long. In the case of parasites, they will continue to breed, and can possibly infect other pets in the home. In order to tell what is causing the issue, your veterinarian will have to take a sample from your pet’s skin or some of their fur, and analyze it. You will need to continue follow-up care and be sure that you understand the instructions from your veterinarian regarding how to apply or administer any medication at home.

How Do I Prevent Infections And Allergies?

Fortunately, many of these ailments are not only treatable but preventable. Whether it’s by flea preventatives, changing your pet’s diet, or trimming a dangerous plant growing in your backyard, your veterinarian will recommend to you specifically what can be done to help your adorable pet get back into running and playing in no time. You may have to consider environmental factors, such as whether or not you need to hire a professional pest control service to help with a flea and tick infection. Let us help your pet live a healthy, happy life!