One of the most common conditions that I am called upon to treat in practice is dermatitis.

While some cases of dermatitis can easily be chalked up to fleas or even poor hygiene, many are caused by underlying allergies.  Let’s face it, we live in what is called “The Allergy Belt.”  In fact, right now it is February and the television weather and newscasters have been talking about the pollen count for two weeks.

My latest presentation is about skin allergies.  Briefly, skin allergies result in itching/chewing/licking/rubbing in both dogs and cats.  Sometimes pets are so itchy that they will self-mutilate to the point of creating sores, scabs or hotspots.

And though ear mites or getting water in the ears are often blamed for “ear infections,” many infections are not infections at all but are itchy inflammation caused by environmental allergies, also called atopy or seasonal inhaled allergies.

By no means does this slide presentation cover all causes of skin disease in pets.  There are two types of mange, pyoderma (skin infection), immune-medicated (autoimmune) diseases and even hormone inbalances that cause dermatitis.

This slide show walks you through some causes and treatment options if your pet has been diagnosed with allergic ear or skin disease: