This has been an abnormal winter as far as weather goes in Central Illinois. We are definitely seeing the effects of this at West Lake Animal Hospital as well. Typically, our case load declines a little during the months of November through March, but boy have we been busy! We have seen a high number of skin and allergy cases this winter compared to most. The warm winter months have also been perfect for fleas to continue their life cycle. It is extremely rare to see fleas on patients during December, January, and February, but we have been seeing fleas weekly this winter.
What does this mean for the rest of the year? We expect an exceptionally high number of allergy and skin disease cases this year. Plants are growing now that normally do not, which is causing dogs to react when they never have before. This will get worse once spring is officially here. Fleas will likely be out in full force much earlier in the year as well.
The most common causes of itchy pets are environmental allergens (grass, pollens, weeds, trees), food allergies, and external parasites (fleas). Problems with skin can be very frustrating and complicated to diagnose and treat, but once the patient is doing better, they are some of the most rewarding cases because the animal feels so much better! If you notice your pet has been itching more than normal, contact your veterinarian or calls us at 217-529-4499 to discuss what is going on and how to correct it.
Our mission is to provide high quality, compassionate veterinary care with a personal touch. We strive to maintain a friendly and comfortable environment for pets and owners and are committed to building strong, respectful, and honest relationships with our clients. Through teamwork, we are dedicated to ensuring the best care possible and treating pets as if they were our own.