Allergies & Dermatology

The Immune System

Most skin and ear conditions in dogs are a result of the immune system responding to environmental conditions or food proteins. Since allergies are a product of the immune system, without intervention, the reactions will intensify with each exposure.

Flea Allergies

The most common allergic reaction in pets is flea allergy dermatitis. You may not have seen a flea on them if you keep them on preventatives, but you can bet they’ve run across one outside. Flea preventatives work to kill fleas after they’ve bitten your pet rather than repel them. The saliva from even one or two microscopic flea bites is enough to cause some dogs and cats to be itchy and scratch for days.

Food Allergies

Hypersensitivities to foods account for 10% of dog allergies. Most likely, it’s their immune system reacting to proteins like beef and chicken. Reactions rarely occur from foods like soy, grain, or corn. Since there is no accurate blood or skin test to determine if your dog has a food allergy, the only method is to place your dog on a prescription or homemade hypoallergenic diet for several weeks, which is called a food trial. Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital has had great success with food trials and has enjoyed hearing the testimonials of how it changed their pet’s behavior and most importantly their life.

Atopic Dermatitis (AD or Atopy)

Considering environmental/airborne allergens, AD is an inherited predisposition to developing skin problems from exposure to a variety of commonplace and otherwise harmless substances including weed/grass/tree pollen, dust mites, and mold spores.

Symptoms present as follows:

  • Scratching
  • Chewing
  • Licking
  • Rubbing their Face
  • Recurrent ear and/or skin infections
  • Hair Loss
  • Skin Flaking
  • Skin Redness

Secondary infections are likely as open sores begin to appear from scratching and licking, and bacteria begin to breed infection. Now, we’re treating two conditions.

While there are several anti-allergy medications available, you can help minimize exposure to these allergens by bathing (not too often, approximately every three weeks in the summer), wiping down their coat and paws when they return from outside with a damp cloth. Our team of knowledgeable doctors at Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital frequently treat this condition and can guide you with the best treatment for your pet.

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Give the experienced professionals at Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital a call. We can help your loved one live a more comfortable life.

Contact Info

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Boarding | Day-Play | Grooming

“I cannot speak highly enough about every single person at Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital. They truly embody their mission statement “Where we treat you like family and your pets as our own.”

Anisha S.
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“The attention and service provided to my two dogs by the vet technician (Ms. Wilder) and the Vet (Dr. McDonald) were impressive. They really put my two dogs first and made me feel they care about the health of my pets.”

Jonathan D.
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“We just put our three-year-old through training at day camp at Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital. Cheyenne and Will are great and Serena’s improved so much that we have taken her to Marietta Market, baseball games for the grandkids, and other little outings.”

Nancy A.
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“Had to board for four days. I called to check on her and was given in detail how she did. Picked her up and she was not shaking (which she normally does when we are at vets). I will definitely use them again. Love this group. Very friendly and caring!”

Freda B.

“If you need a cat groomer, I recommend Marissa! She was patient with my baby Oliver and made him feel comfortable. And he looks great!!!!”

Jennifer B.
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Frequently Asked Questions

As veterinarians we deal with a wide range of complicated issues in the course of our day-to-day work. If you don’t have all the answers, we might. We have some FAQ documents on a wide range of subjects for your pet. Whether you’re looking for answers to common questions or just curious, our FAQs could be the fastest route to the answers you need.

A puppy’s critical development period is 8 – 14 weeks, training is crucial during this period and is fine, given they’re at the appropriate level of vaccines. Puppies can meet other vaccinated puppies…we require all training participants to be at the appropriate stage of vaccination for their age.
They pose a variety of health and safety hazards. Without knowledge of the other dog’s backgrounds, it’s a risky situation at best. Other pet owners may not be aware of the risks…nor mindful of their pet.
Imagine not brushing your teeth for five years? Infection occurs when bacteria collects between the gums and teeth as they separate; it then enters the blood stream and sets up in the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Absolutely, NOT! Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Dogs are extremely sensitive to the gastrointestinal effects of NSAIDs, resulting in pain, bleeding, and ulceration.
Change in appetite, lethargy, low energy, aggressiveness, inappropriate elimination, and vocalization are all signs of an underlying issue. Though the symptoms began recently, the issue began well before the symptoms began to show.
Our wellness plans spread out the cost of services throughout the year…much easier on your wallet. Part of your savings includes no exam fee when you come for a visit.
It provides a baseline of values to reference the next time your pet needs treatment. It also detects early signs of cancer, infection and disease, and ensures organs are properly functioning.
On July 19, 2018, the U.S. FDA issued an alert regarding grain-free diets and a possible link to dilated cardiomyopathy (a decreased ability to pump blood); often resulting in congestive heart failure. The correlation of peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans, and potatoes is the focus of the investigation and if your pet is currently on a grain free diet, the FDA urges pet owners to consult their veterinarian.

Call us today, we want to be your partner in your pet’s healthcare!