How to Know If Your Pet Has Allergies
Pets frequently experience allergies that often worsen as they age. To diagnose and treat allergies in pets, you must learn to recognize their symptoms. Firstly, remember that skin, ear, respiratory, and gastrointestinal issues are the most typical signs of allergies.
Different Pet Allergy Types
Food allergy, atopic dermatitis, and flea allergy are three of the most prevalent types of pet allergies. Contact allergy is less common.
Some pets are allergic to specific food ingredients or foods, like wheat, beef, or chicken. Veterinarians can recommend a prescription diet made for animals with food allergies. Sometimes, switching commercial pet food brands might not help.
Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition caused by allergens. These include mold, pollen, or dust mites inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
The immune system can overreact to flea saliva, resulting in fleabite allergy. This allergy can cause itchiness, hair loss, and skin inflammation.
Lesions can develop on the skin where allergens come into contact with it, leading to contact allergy.
Animal Allergy Symptoms
Pets that are sensitive to specific allergens will produce antibodies. These antibodies release chemicals into the bloodstream, causing uncomfortable reactions. These can affect the digestive system, skin, nose, ears, eyes, and throat.
Pet Allergy Symptoms to Look Out For
Scaly, red, and swollen skin conditions can signal allergies. Your furry friend may bite, lick, or scratch the affected area. Doing so can exacerbate the irritation and result in skin infections or hair loss. Hives can also appear on such pets.
Allergy-prone pets may experience ear infections or ear irritation. Head shaking, scratching, ear redness, ear discharge, and a foul smell are all signs of ear issues. If ignored, these symptoms may develop into more severe infections.
Although respiratory symptoms are less frequent in pets, they are still possible. You may notice your furry friend sneezing, wheezing, or coughing. These breathing problems are symptoms of allergic reactions in the respiratory system. Also, they might have a runny nose and watery eyes.
Does your animal companion have a food allergy? If so, they may experience constipation, diarrhea, and excessive gas. The allergen may require changing your pet's diet if these symptoms are severe. Scooting or redness around the anus may also suggest infection or inflammation.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis may involve a thorough examination and appropriate blood or skin tests. These tests can help identify the allergen causing the allergic reaction. Do you suspect a food ingredient? If so, an elimination diet can help identify the specific element your pet should avoid.
Severe allergies may necessitate a referral to a veterinary dermatologist. Following the identification of the allergen, avoiding those things is crucial. Certain actions can help reduce exposure to potential allergens. These include routine bathing, clean bedding, and flea medication. Other possible treatments include:
Fatty acid supplements
Short-term steroid therapy
It is best to consult a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. After all, there are many potential allergens, allergic reaction types, and treatments available. Do not attempt to diagnose your furry friend's condition on your own.
For more on pet allergies, visit Port Royal Veterinary Hospital at our Port Royal, South Carolina office. Call 843-379-7387 to schedule an appointment today.