Sponsored by VCA Hawaii
Hawaii’s climate and environment commonly causes skin allergies in many animals. Dr. Christopher Rampersad at VCA Kanehoe Animal Hospital says that it’s something that needs to be managed rather than cured. The ears, toes, and rest of the body are areas to pay attention to for pinkness, moistness, and loss of hair. Missing hair in the ears, small scratches, or yellow gunk in the ear canal can be signs of skin irritation or ear infection. Small pink bumps between the toes are signs of impacted hair follicles due to allergies. Dr. Rampersad says to recognize when your pet is uncomfortable so they may receive the treatment they need.
If you are concerned about your pet having skin allergies, VCA Hawaii performs a skin test called a cytology. Doctors take samples of the ears, toes and anywhere on the body with lesions and checks it under a microscope. If you come across any symptoms of infection or skin irritation, Dr. Rampersad recommends consulting with your veterinarian.
Other serious health complications like skin cancer, ticks, or parasites can mask themselves as skin allergies. It’s difficult to tell what the issue is by simply looking at your pet, and even doctors need to run extra tests to determine the problem. “There’s some things that we can’t prevent. The things we can, though, I think we should and that includes routine monthly oral clean tick preventative,” says Dr. Rampersad. It’s common for pets to have a hyperactive immune response to fleas, and clean tick preventative is an easy way to avoid skin lesions.
Skin allergies in pets is very common in Hawaii and is easily manageable with the right care. For more information, please visit www.vcahospitals.com.