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Allergies & Dermatology

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Allergies & Dermatology
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Is Itchy Skin a Problem with Your Pet?

Meta: Is itchy skin causing havoc with the pets in your Yorkville home? Check out the best mobile vet near Yorkville, IL that best suits you and your beloved pet.

Itchy skin is one of the most common ailments seen in veterinary practices worldwide, Yorkville included. There are so many reasons behind itching that it can often take some time to diagnose. Safford Veterinary Services, your mobile vet near Yorkville, IL, will get to the root of the problem.

What is Causing the Itch?

Itchy skin in pets can be caused by many different conditions. The most common, however, are allergies or ectoparasites and pets near Yorkville, IL are no exception.  

Just like humans, pets can develop allergies to certain substances. Environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and certain types of grasses or trees found all around your Yorkville home can trigger allergic reactions in pets. Pets could also be allergic to certain food ingredients, such as beef, chicken, dairy, or grains. If your pet suffers from this condition, they likely are constantly chewing their feet and may have developed hotspots and hair loss in various areas. Thankfully, Dr. Lauri, your mobile vet near Yorkville, can easily take the necessary samples at your house-call appointment to get the diagnosis!

Ectoparasites, like fleas, are also a common cause of itchiness in pets. Fleas can infest the pet’s fur and skin, causing irritation and allergic reactions. Other parasites such as ticks, mites, or lice can also cause itching and discomfort for pets. The treatment, unfortunately, can take time if your Yorkville home is already infested or if your pet is suffering from severe hair loss. Additionally, some of these ectoparasites, like Saroptic mange, can be contracted by humans. So, having Dr. Lauri, your mobile vet, coming to your Yorkville, IL home is a good choice to prevent any further issues.

Conditions such as dry skin, bacterial infection, fungal infection, dermatitis, and other skin disorders are also fairly common. It’s important to note that the underlying cause of itchy skin in pets can vary, and proper diagnosis by a veterinarian, such as Dr. Lauri, your mobile vet near Yorkville, IL, is crucial to identify the specific cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment varies but may involve medications, dietary changes, parasite control, or specific topical treatments, depending on the underlying cause of the itching.

The Basics of Pet Allergies

Pet allergies simply refer to allergic reactions that dogs or cats can develop in response to certain substances or allergens. When a dog with allergies comes into contact with these allergens, such as the ones listed above, their immune system perceives them as a threat and launches an immune response to protect the body. This immune response involves the release of histamines and other chemicals, which are intended to defend against the perceived threat.

Histamines, in particular, play a significant role in causing the characteristic symptoms associated with allergies, including itchy skin. When histamines are released into the bloodstream, they cause blood vessels to dilate, leading to increased blood flow to the affected areas. This, in turn, results in inflammation and the stimulation of nerve endings in the skin, leading to itching sensations. The itching can be localized to specific areas or generalized across the dog’s body, depending on the extent of the allergic reaction. Dogs may scratch, lick, chew, or rub the itchy areas in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort caused by the allergic reaction.

Persistent scratching and licking can further damage the skin, leading to secondary skin infections or hot spots. These secondary infections can exacerbate the itching and discomfort for the dog, creating a cycle of itching, scratching, and further skin irritation.

Pets with allergies can vary in severity and presentation. Some dogs or cats may experience mild symptoms, while others may have more severe allergic reactions. If you suspect that your dog or cat has allergies, we recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr Lauri, your mobile veterinarian near Yorkville, for proper diagnosis and treatment options to alleviate the itching and manage the underlying allergies effectively.

How to Avoid the Creepy Crawlies

We all know that the summer months around Yorkville, IL can be brutal with fleas and ticks. To help your pet avoid external parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and mites, you should take the following measures year round:

Preventive medications are the number one best way to prevent and treat flea infestations. Consult with Dr. Lauri, your mobile veterinarian for areas near Yorkville, IL, to determine the most suitable preventive medications for your pet. These may include topical treatments, oral medications, or collars that repel or kill parasites. Administer the preventive medications as recommended by your veterinarian, and ensure that you follow the appropriate dosage for your pet’s size and species.

Controlling potential exposure in your Yorkville home and yard is always a great idea and this can be done in many ways. Regularly clean and vacuum your pet’s bedding, as well as the areas where your pet spends time indoors. This helps to eliminate any potential parasites or their eggs. If you suspect that your pet’s environment, such as your Yorkville home or yard, is infested with fleas or ticks, consider contacting professional pest control services to help eliminate them. Also, it may not always be an option for more rural folks with active pets around Yorkville, but try to keep your pet away from tall grasses and wooded areas where ticks and fleas are commonly found and avoid contact with other infested animals. This is particularly important if you know the other animals have existing parasite problems.

Regular veterinary check-ups with your convenient, Yorkville local mobile vet service provider, Dr. Lauri, are super important. During these visits, she can examine your pet for any signs of parasites and recommend appropriate treatments or preventive measures. During these mobile vet appointments at your Yorkville home, Dr. Lauri may also suggest your pet be up-to-date on vaccinations, as some diseases transmitted by parasites can be prevented through vaccination.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to external parasites because once an infestation begins, it can be rather difficult to get a handle on. By implementing these measures and staying vigilant within your Yorkville home, you can greatly reduce the risk of your pet encountering and being affected by any pesky creepy crawlies.

Keep Calm and Call Safford Veterinary Services in Geneva, IL

We know that allergies are a pain for everyone. Your pet is itchy and feels generally miserable. You are probably very tired of hearing them lick, chew, and itch themselves. You know they can’t help it, but the noise that they make while doing this is particularly stimulating to the senses.

Bringing your pet to the local Geneva vet may be a problem for your pet or simply inconvenient for you. Dr. Lauri, your Geneva, IL mobile vet, is the answer to your prayers! If you are in the Geneva, IL area, Dr. Lauri and her team of veterinary professionals will come to your Geneva home and give your pet an exam. From here, she will determine if further diagnostics are needed and how to proceed with the treatment. 

What to Expect for Your Geneva Mobile Vet Appointment

Once Dr. Lauri arrives in your Geneva, IL home, the process moves rather quickly. Here is what you need to prepare for and expect.

Medical History 

Before the mobile vet arrives, gather your pet’s full medical history, including past health issues, previous allergy treatments, changes in diet, and any potential triggers that seem to worsen the symptoms.

Physical Examination

When the mobile vet arrives at your Geneva home, they will conduct a thorough physical examination of your pet. They will check for any signs of skin issues, infections, or other allergic reactions.

Diagnostic Techniques

If your pet is showing any signs or symptoms of rashes, itchy skin, or patches of missing fur, Dr. Lauri will then do any number of tests that she deems necessary in your Geneva, IL house. Diagnostics could be a multitude of various tests that may or may not include the common measures listed below. However, in many instances, these diagnostic tests could be any one or more of the following:

Skin Scraping

In cases where external parasites such as fleas, ticks, or mites are suspected, the vet may perform a skin scraping. A small blade or scalpel is used to gently scrape the skin to collect samples. Sometimes a few hairs are plucked to determine if any parasites are found at the base of the hair follicle. These samples are then examined under a microscope to identify the presence of any parasites. 


Cytology involves taking samples from the affected skin or lesions and examining the cellular components under a microscope. This technique helps identify bacterial or fungal infections, as well as certain types of skin cells and inflammatory cells that can indicate various skin conditions.


In some cases, a skin biopsy may be necessary to obtain a deeper understanding of the skin condition. A small piece of affected skin is surgically removed under local or general anesthesia. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for histopathological analysis, where a veterinary pathologist examines it microscopically to determine the nature of the skin condition.

Allergy Testing

Allergies can manifest as skin conditions in pets. Allergy testing, as mentioned earlier, can help identify specific allergens causing an allergic reaction. This can be done through intradermal skin testing or serologic allergy testing.

Fungal Cultures

If a fungal infection, such as ringworm, is suspected, the veterinarian may collect samples from the skin using a sterile swab or brush. These samples are then cultured in a laboratory to identify the presence of fungi and determine the most appropriate treatment.

Blood Tests

In some cases, blood tests may be conducted to evaluate your pet’s overall health, assess organ function, and rule out certain systemic diseases that can manifest with skin conditions.

Response to Treatment

A diagnostic technique often employed by veterinarians is observing how your pet responds to treatment. If the symptoms improve or resolve with specific treatments, it can help confirm the diagnosis or narrow down the potential causes of the skin condition. If your pet positively responds to any of the above conditions or treatments, lovely! This means a source has been identified and your Geneva, IL area pet will be on the mend in no time. However, if the initial results are inconclusive, this means we must move on to other measures.

Elimination Diet Trial

In some cases, the vet may suggest an elimination diet trial to identify food allergies. During this trial, you may be asked to remove your pet from certain main proteins such as beef, chicken, turkey, or salmon. Depending on the severity, it may be decided that your Geneva, IL pet should be fed a hypoallergenic diet with novel protein and carbohydrate sources for several weeks. If the symptoms improve, it indicates a possible food allergy. Results of this trial take at least 3 months to notice any change in symptoms, so please don’t give up!

Environmental Control

The vet may provide guidance on reducing exposure to potential environmental allergens, such as dust mites, pollen, or mold, in your Geneva, IL area home. Exposure to various toxic plants may also be a cause of itchy skin and Dr. Lauri will take this possibility into consideration when visiting your Geneva, IL home.


To alleviate your pet’s symptoms, the mobile vet may prescribe medications such as antihistamines, corticosteroids, or immune-modulating drugs. These can help manage allergic reactions and, at the very least, provide some alleviation of itchiness.

Follow-up Visits

Allergy management often requires ongoing monitoring and adjustments to the treatment plan. Schedule follow-up visits with Dr. Lauri, the mobile vet, as needed to track your pet’s progress and make any necessary changes to the treatment.

Be sure to always follow Dr. Lauri’s advice and treatment plan carefully to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet. Allergies can be managed effectively with proper care and attention.

Is Your Pet Itching Up a Storm?

Dr. Lauri Safford with Safford Veterinary Services near Yorkville, IL can come examine your pet with her mobile veterinary services! Dr. Lauri is a mobile veterinarian who brings the care of a veterinary clinic to your Yorkville doorstep. She has been a veterinarian for Yorkville, Illinois area pets since 2013 when she graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Alongside a team of mobile vet professionals, Dr. Lauri will visit your home near Yorkville, IL and provide a full physical examination. This examination will help gauge what diagnostics and treatments may be necessary for your pet to stop their itching. Once the plan of action has been addressed in the comfort of your Yorkville home, your pet will soon be on the road to recovery!
Are you near Yorkville, IL and are interested in setting up a mobile veterinary appointment? Take action today to give your beloved pet some sweet relief by calling Dr. Lauri with Safford Veterinary Services near Yorkville, IL. Call us now at 331-212-0836 or visit the website to schedule your first mobile veterinary appointment.

Safford Veterinary Services

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