Allergies are one thing people and pets have in common. Pets are prone to many of the same allergens as people, such as dust, pollen, or ingredients in their food. Whereas people tend to outgrow allergies, your pet’s allergies may worsen with time. These FAQs from Avalon Animal Clinic in Indianapolis provide greater insight into the causes, symptoms, and treatment of pet allergies.
What is an allergy?
Allergies are your immune system’s response to foreign substances in your body. Like people, some pets develop allergies and others do not. Your pet’s allergies may be genetic or prompted by substances in its indoor or outdoor environment.
What types of allergies can pets get?
Like people, pets are susceptible to food allergies, environmental allergies, and seasonal allergies. Food allergies are generally triggered by one or more ingredients in your pet’s food. Seasonal allergies can be triggered by pollen, blooming plants, or other airborne substances during certain times of the year. Environmental allergies can be triggered by your pet coming into contact with allergens in its immediate environment. Pets can also be allergic to flea saliva.
What are some common pet allergy symptoms?
Pet allergy symptoms vary depending on the type of allergy your pet has. Some pets' allergy symptoms are severe while other pets’ symptoms are mild. In general, some symptoms to watch out for include:
- Dry, itchy skin
- Incessant scratching, licking, biting, or rubbing of itchy skin
- Red, irritated skin
- Skin rash or infection
- Bald spots caused by fur loss
- Teary eyes
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
In the case of food allergies, your pet may develop problems with diarrhea or vomiting. If you notice these symptoms in your dog or cat, contact your veterinarian.
How are pet allergies diagnosed?
A check-up by your veterinarian can help determine if your furry friend has allergies. Your vet can conduct skin and blood tests and take culture samples to diagnose your pet’s condition to pinpoint the allergen triggering his symptoms. For food allergies, we can conduct food trials to identify the ingredients he’s allergic to.
How are pet allergies treated?
Although there’s no cure for pet allergies, your veterinarian can recommend treatments to manage your pet’s symptoms. One way to drastically reduce or eliminate your pet’s symptoms is to keep him from coming into contact with the allergen triggering a reaction. This may require changes to your pet’s diet, environment, or lifestyle. Your vet may also recommend oral medication, medicated shampoos, or topical ointments to help manage the allergic symptoms.
See Our Veterinarians for Pet Allergy Treatment
To schedule a consultation for pet allergy diagnosis and treatment, contact Avalon Animal Clinic in Indianapolis. Call our team today at (317) 842-4618 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.