Managing Cat & Dog Allergies and Skin Conditions in Lansing, MI

Allergies are a very strong focus at our animal hospital. Dr. Leppanen has extensive experience and a record of successes diagnosing and treating cats and dogs with skin conditions. He takes a unique approach that involves diagnostics and work with an outside lab to determine exactly what your pet is allergic to. From there, we’re able to develop more customized treatment plans, including immunotherapy injections for some allergies, that help to reduce your pet’s sensitivity to the allergen over time. At Pennsylvania Veterinary Care, we want to help relieve the itch so your pet can be comfortable in their own skin again!

Is your pet’s itchy skin keeping you both up at night?

Get them relief with a visit to the vet!

Call us at (517) 393-8010 or

Scratching cat

Pet Allergy Causes & Symptoms

The substances that cause pet allergies are similar to those that affect us and may include:

  • Pollen from trees and flowers
  • Grass
  • Mold and mold spores
  • Dust and dust mites
  • Flea bites
  • Certain materials
  • Cleaning products
  • Food ingredients*

*True food allergies are actually quite rare in cats and dogs. Usually, reactions to food ingredients are a food sensitivity rather than an allergy. Still, we treat food sensitivities with the same seriousness as allergies!

If your pet experiences any of the following, it might be allergies:

  • Scratching, licking, and chewing at skin excessively
  • Skin that looks red and raw
  • Increased dandruff
  • Hair loss
  • Hot spots
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Vomiting/diarrhea (in the case of food allergies)
brown dog scratching itself

How We Diagnose and Manage Cat & Dog Allergies

While allergies are the most common skin conditions in pets, they are not the only skin conditions. Therefore, it’s important to run several tests with our in-house lab to rule out other issues such as parasites, skin infections, or an underlying disease. We also work with Heska labs to whom we send a blood sample for an allergy test which can tell us exactly what your pet is allergic to. With the results, we’ll work with Heska to create an allergy injection or oral drop that weakens your pet’s sensitivity to the allergen over time.

Other possible treatment options for allergies include:

  • Anti-itch medications like Cytopoint and Apoquel that help to control the itch at its source
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Topical creams that help to soothe irritation
  • Medicated shampoos that remove allergens from the coat and skin
  • Flea prevention (for flea allergy dermatitis)
  • Hypoallergenic diet (for food sensitivities)