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Itchy Pet?

Dealing with skin conditions such as allergies can be a long and frustrating process for both you and your furry friend. However, our staff is here to help. By working together, we can come up with a treatment plan that may include diet changes or other therapies to improve your pet's comfort. 

Every pet and their skin is unique, but here is how we usually begin with our treatment plans! 

Stop the Itch! 

If your pet suffers from allergies, it's important to prioritize their comfort. Our veterinarians may discuss anti-itch medications to help while we get to the root of their symptoms. While anti-itch medications can provide relief, it's important to note that they don't actually stop the allergy itself. Instead, they work to eliminate the uncomfortable itch that often accompanies allergic reactions.

Bulldog Scratching

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Deworming and Treating Secondary Infections

When starting down the path of diagnosing a skin ailment, our veterinarians will usually recommend deworming your pet! This first step will ensure that your pet is not dealing with an internal or external parasite that may be causing their discomfort. This includes treating for tapeworms, roundworms, fleas, ticks, mange, lice and more.

Secondary infections (which are infections of the skin caused by ongoing inflammation and scratching) need to addressed immediately as well. These infections can be fungal (yeast) or bacterial, and our veterinarians may want to take swabs and look at them under the microscope to find the best medication to treat the infection.

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Yeast seen under the microscope! 

Environmental or Food Allergy? 

Once we are able to get secondary infections and uncomfortable itchiness under control, we are able to start the process of figuring out how to manage their allergies long-term.

For some pets, this includes transitioning to a hypoallergenic or hydrolyzed protein diet. Hydrolysis is when water molecules are used to make protein molecules very tiny - so tiny that the immune system cannot detect them, which prevents allergic reactions! 

For other pets who do not benefit from a hypoallergenic diet, environmental allergy testing is an option. This involves a blood test that is sent to our reference laboratory to be screened against common allergens in Alberta. If we find that your pet is allergic to one of these allergens, they may be started on immunotherapy to help dampen their immune response to the allergen in the future. 

Some pets have food allergies, some have environmental allergies, and some even have both. We are here to help you through the journey of finding the best treatment plan for your furry family member, and how to get them back to living an itch-free life! 

Family Dog

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