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1855 Senseny Rd Ste 7 | Winchester VA 22602

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Itchy Pets? Pets Get Allergies Too

Winchester pet owners - Does your pet itch all the time? Notice a foul smell on their skin or in ears, balding spots or skin/hair discoloration? Is your pet scratching certain areas or licking paws obsessively?

Occasional itching in pets is common – especially for dogs. Frequent, recurring itching may be a sign of skin disease or pet allergies and can cause your pet hair loss or skin damage. Plus, it can be an annoyance to you, even keeping you up at night. If not addressed early, your pets may have a hard time battling this skin issue and it can be harder to treat and control allergies.

Four Common Pet Allergies and Pet Skin Diseases:

  • Flea allergy

  • Food allergy

  • Contact allergy or contact dermatitis

  • Atopic dermatitis 

Our Winchester veterinarians will examine your pet to make a skin diagnosis and develop a treatment plan for potential allergies.


Flea bite hypersensitivity causes severe pet itching. One or two flea bites can cause pruritis (itchy skin) with the hind end affected most often. Fleas and flea feces that contain your pet’s blood are not always visible to your eye. Plaza Pet Clinic recommends year-round flea prevention and, if needed, medicated flea baths to limit fleas on your pet and stop their itch.

Food Allergy in Pets

A food trial might be recommended to determine if your pet has food allergies. A referral to a veterinary dermatologist might be recommended. Pets will be fed a diet with one protein and one carbohydrate for up to 8 weeks. No other foods or treats are allowed. If symptoms disappear, food allergies are likely to blame.

Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is rare but occurs when a pet’s skin overreacts to molecules in the environment such as nickel, rubber, wool, dyes and chemicals.

Atopic Dermatitis

A common diagnosis is atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disorder brought on by environmental allergens such as grass, mold, pollen or cigarette smoke.

Talk to your veterinarian about skin and blood tests for dermatitis.  A referral to a veterinary dermatologist might be recommended. In a skin test, a small level of allergens is injected under your pet’s skin to test for reactions. In a blood test, your pet’s blood will be analyzed for which allergens specific to your pet’s environment could be causing the reaction.


Pet Allergy & Itch Treatment

Once the pet allergens have been identified, we can develop a program to eliminate the source of the allergy in your pet’s environment and treat the skin.

Common options for pet allergies and itch relief can include:

  • Antihistamines

  • Anti-itch shampoo and conditioners such

  • Anti-fungal shampoo

  • Cyclosporine therapy

  • Essential fatty acids (such as Omega 3)

  • Hypoallergenic diets

  • Immunotherapy

  • Injections such as Cytopoint

  • Oral steroids in low doses to treat sporadic outbreaks

  • Prescriptions such as Apoquel

  • Topical steroid sprays

*** May Only – Purchase Bayer shampoo or any DVM Pharmaceutical product and receive a HyLyt travel shampoo for FREE. Some rebates available.  Purchase any Dechra skin care product for a chance to WIN a Dechra goodie basket!

Contact Plaza Pet Clinic today to discuss your pet’s allergy and itch issues and how we can provide relief.

Want to take a quick 6-question quiz to learn more about your dog’s itching AND help military, police and service dogs?

Each time the quiz is taken, Zoetis will make a donation to K-9 Courage™ Program.  K-9 Courage provides healthcare assistance to retired military and active police dogs as well as active service dogs that assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Once admitted into the program, each dog receives a $300 credit every year for the rest of its life to help cover veterinary expenses like wellness and emergency visits, vaccines, prescription medications, food and treats.

Take the Itch Instinct Quiz


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Plaza Pet Clinic © 2016
1855 Senseny Rd Ste 7
Winchester, VA 22602
540 • 722 • 3200
Veterinary Website Design by Cheshire Partners

Hospital Affiliations:

Southern Veterinary Partners
American Animal Hospital Association Virginia Veterinary Medical Association

Plaza Pet Clinic! © 2016
1855 Senseny Rd Ste 7
Winchester, VA 22602
540 • 722 • 3200
Veterinary Website Design by Cheshire Partners