"It is not normal for a dog or cat to chew its paws, lick excessively, or constantly scratch," says Lowell Ackerman, DVM, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist in the Boston area.
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Skin problems rank among the top reasons a person books a veterinary appointment for their pet. Most often, your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction to fleas, dust mites, pollen, molds, or even certain foods. However, red sores, missing patches of fur, or skin with an odor may be due to a bacterial or fungal infection or parasitic infestation. Or he could be battling a combination.
Untreated, the symptoms can worsen. The itching, chewing, or licking may lead to serious sores and infections. Although there is no cure for allergies in pets (or people), the conditions can be controlled and managed with medications and special diets and by eliminating the culprit from the household environment.