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Biting, scratching, licking, recurrent skin and ear infections, and recurrent “hot spots” are often signs that your pet has allergic skin disease. Allergic skin disease in cats and dogs commonly affects the feet, armpits, inguinal region, rump, neck, ears and chin. Secondary infections are commonly seen in combination with allergic skin disease. However, other conditions may mimic allergic disease symptoms such as parasitic (e.g. Sarcoptes, Demodex, Cheyletiella, biting lice, fleas) and infectious causes (e.g. fungal and bacterial infections). Therefore, Dr. Hansen will need to carefully examine your pet’s medical history and perform a thorough dermatologic examination complete with several basic tests to make sure that allergic dermatitis is present.

Allergic symptoms can be seasonal and only last a few months or can be year-round. Allergies usually start somewhere between 6 months of age to 3 years of age, but can develop at any age. Unlike people, pets with allergies seldom "outgrow" them, likely because their lifespan is much shorter than humans. Allergies commonly worsen with time and become less responsive to therapy each passing year.