fox in a grassy field


Scabies, or sarcoptic mange, is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. This mite burrows into the skin and makes the animal intensely itchy! Scabies can be confused for allergies because of redness, hair loss, crusting and scratching. It is commonly contracted from wildlife, including foxes, and can cause skin disease and intense itching in pet owners as well. Listen to this week’s episode with special guest Dr. Curtis Plowgian, who has saved many miserable families from these mites.

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Demodex mites are a common cause of hair loss, redness and crusting in young dogs whose immune systems are still developing, as well as older dogs and cats with an underlying immune abnormality. Listen to this week’s episode to hear where these mites come from, what problems they cause, how they can be treated, and why they are Dr. Lancellotti’s favorite parasite.

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happy senior toy poodle

Cushing’s Disease – Treatment

Cushing’s disease is a disease where the body produces too much of the natural steroid hormone called cortisol. When we test for this disease, we will often use an eight hour low dose dexamethasone suppression test, potentially a one hour ACTH stimulation test and an abdominal ultrasound to look at the adrenal glands and measure their size. In our final episode of the series on Cushing’s disease, we talk about treatment options, including a medication called trilostane that inhibits the enzyme to produce cortisol within the adrenal glands or an alternative medication like mitotane. The ACTH stimulation test is used to monitor the medication safely. Remember, this disease requires a lot of diligence and a lot of close monitoring with your veterinarian. We will work with you to make sure that your pet is getting the dosage of medication that is just right to control the clinical signs at home. 85 to 95% of dogs will do great with just a single medication. Find out more here.

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old dog lying down

Cushing’s Disease – Testing

Cushing’s disease is caused by an overproduction of the body’s natural steroid hormone or stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is needed to maintain a lot of the body’s normal functions, but, when the body starts making too much, cortisol can suppress the immune system, leading to infections of the skin, ears and urinary tract. Cortisol can also make dogs excessively hungry, thirsty, or have accidents in the house. These patients have weakened muscles, which gives them a potbellied appearance. Because there’s a wide range of body systems that are affected by cortisol, not all dogs with Cushing’s disease will look the same and there can be a wide range of severity to the signs as well. If you and your family veterinarian are suspicious for Cushing’s disease, this episode discusses the different tests available.

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Dog drinking water

Cushing’s disease – Clinical Signs

Cushing’s disease is caused by an overproduction of cortisol, the body’s natural steroid hormone. Increased thirst and urination, infections, low energy, hair loss, and muscle wasting can be indicators of this disease. This episode discusses signs of this hormonal disease in dogs.

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Immunotherapy with allergy shots or drops is the only therapy which can reverse underlying environmental allergies. If your allergic dog or allergic cat has received symptomatic medications like Apoquel, Cytopoint, steroids, Atopica or antibiotics, check out this week’s episode to learn all about allergy testing and desensitization for long term management of allergies to be able to reduce the need for other anti-itch and antibiotic medications.

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Atopica (cyclosporine) is a commonly used symptomatic treatment for allergic dermatitis in dogs and cats. Atopica works to decrease swollen paws and ears, as well as provide safer long term relief than steroids. Learn about the benefits and drawbacks to this therapy.

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cat stretching paws lying on side


Steroids are commonly used medications for a wide variety of diseases, including allergic skin disease. In this episode, Dr. Curtis Plowgian discusses the benefits and risks of steroids in the treatment of allergic cats and dogs.

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Cytopoint is a revolutionary new anti-itch therapy for symptomatic treatment of itch in dogs with allergies. This therapy provides an average of 4 weeks of itch relief and can be used in many dogs who cannot use other anti-itch treatments because of other medical conditions. Find out more about the benefits and drawbacks of this therapy.

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