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
Skin smears and scrapings
- 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.