Allergies & Dermatology

Allergies can cause severe discomfort for pets, causing itching, hair loss, and infections. Our veterinarians can quickly diagnose and treat allergies, plus a variety of other skin conditions including ringworm, ear infections, and alopecia (hair loss).

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Cat & Dog Allergy FAQs

  • Can my pet’s allergies be cured?


    While allergies cannot be cured, they can usually be managed well with medication and/or lifestyle changes. Treatment may include anti-allergy medication such as antihistamines, steroids, or other immune-modulating drugs; providing allergy shots; preventing exposure to allergens; prescribing a special diet; and treating secondary skin infections with antibiotics, antifungals, and/or ear medications.

  • Can my pet develop allergies later in life?


    Yes, pets can develop allergies at any stage in life. Sometimes, you may find that your pet suddenly becomes allergic to a stimulus that never caused issues before. If you notice any symptoms of skin problems, itchiness or gastrointestinal issues, you should discuss with your veterinarian.

  • Are some breeds more prone to allergies and skin conditions than others?


    Yes. French bulldogs, Westhighland White Terriers, Pitbulls, Boston Terriers, German Shepherds, Labradors and Golden Retrievers, amongst others, are more predisposed to allergies and skin conditions.

  • Can an allergic reaction be fatal?


    Thankfully, pets suffer from severe anaphylactic allergic reactions very rarely; these may occur if bitten by an insect (bee or wasp) or if they take medication they are allergic to, but they are thankfully very infrequent. More common allergic reactions include allergic dermatitis (skin inflammation) and less commonly, facial swelling and hives.

  • Should I cook for my pet, rather than buy their food?


    Many people value home cooked diets for their pets, as they know exactly what is going in it. However, it’s unfortunately very difficult to create a properly balanced diet with all the nutrients your pet needs to thrive. If you’d like to provide homemade food for your pet, you should speak to our doctors to ensure there are no underlying medical issues that may make certain types of diets less desirable for your pet. To create a diet plan, we recommend either using the Balance It website which helps to formulate a balanced diet for your pet, or working directly with a veterinary nutritionist. Some good alternatives include NomNomNow or Just Food For Dogs/Just Food For Cats; they’re fresh pet foods delivered to your door that are precisely formulated under the supervision of veterinary nutritionists, so you can ensure your pet is getting the nutrients needed.

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Dog with allergies scratching himselfDog with allergies scratching himself
From the Learning Center The symptoms of food allergies and seasonal allergies may be similar, but they require different treatments. Learn more about how to identify and deal with allergies.