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Home >  Blog >  Allergies in Pets | Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Allergies in Pets | Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Posted on 18 May 2022
Allergies in Pets | Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Like humans, our pets are susceptible to allergies. And also, similar to humans, reactions can be mild or severe.


What are pet allergies?

Allergies are hypersensitivities in the immune system to types of allergens. 

Pet allergies can be mild or severe, with cases ranging from annoyances and discomfort to life-threatening reactions. 

Both dogs and cats can have allergic reactions to things like:

  • Airborne allergens like dust and pollen

  • Plants, grasses- contact allergies can be caused when pets come into contact with a substance that they’re allergic to. 

  • Fleas- some pets can be allergic to flea saliva and when bitten by only one flea can react by developing flea allergy dermatitis (FAD).

  • Insects- bees, mosquitoes

  • Foods- specific ingredients like wheat, grain, and proteins in chicken or beef can cause allergic reactions and are the most common offenders, even in pet-specific foods.


How to know if your pet is having an allergic reaction

If your pet is chewing, licking, scratching, or rubbing, you might suspect that they’re having an allergic reaction, and you might be right.

Some symptoms of allergies in pets include:

  • Redness of skin or inflammation

  • An increase in or excessive licking or chewing

  • Greasy skin, dandruff, hair loss

  • Crusty skin lesions, pimples

  • Ear inflammation or discharge

  • Digestive problems like constipation, vomiting, or diarrhoea

  • Congestion or excessive build-up of mucus in eyes and nose 

  • Difficulty breathing, collapse in an acute and severe allergic reaction- eg bee stings

  • Coughing- eg in feline asthma



Allergy symptoms can be similar.  Diagnosis of allergies is based on:

  • History and physical exam

  • Parasite control

  • Skin smears and scrapings

  • Cultures

  • Urine tests

  • Blood tests

  • Allergy testing

Allergy testing

  • Intradermal skin test
  • Blood allergy test

Treating pets that have allergies

Allergy management may consist of:

  • Eliminating allergens from your pet’s environment

  • Regular flea control

  • A change of diet

  • Dietary supplements such as fatty acids 

  • Veterinary medications to relieve symptoms 

  • Topical treatments such as medicated shampoos or skin ointments

  • Desensitization from allergy testing and shots


If you think your pet may be suffering from an allergy, contact us us to make an appointment, we are here to keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible. 


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