It is allergy season for pets. Although this time of year is usually the same part of year people also get their allergies. People react differently than pets do to allergies. People with allergies often sneeze, have a runny nose and itchy eyes. Pets commonly manifest their allergy symptoms through their skin. Common areas affected by allergies include the face, ears, axillae (armpits) and abdomen. Symptoms of allergies include itching, redness (erythema), and hair loss (alopecia).
Allergy symptoms can also be caused by:
- Fleas, mites (e.g.: scabies and Demodex) and lice. That is why a skin scrape must be done prior to starting any allergy treatment
- Bacterial and yeast infections: which can also accompany allergies
Common types of allergies your pet may be experiencing:
- Fleas: Fleas are the most common cause of allergies. Flea control is imperative for all pets, but particularly in allergic pets
- Food: The most common culprits are beef, chicken, pork, dairy, and fish. (NOT CORN *)
- Food Trial via hydrolyzed or unique food source
- Atopy: Atopy describes a heritable disorder caused by an over-reactive immune system responding to normal things in your pet’s environment. Some breeds are predisposed: Golden Retrievers, Terriers, Bull Dogs. Testing for your pet’s specific allergies helps tailor a specific program for your pet and offers the best results. Options for testing include:
- Allergy testing via blood
- Intradermal skin testing at a specialists place
Your pet’s symptoms can be relieved with a combination of therapies to treat for infections, parasites, and itching. Therapy plans depend on the correct diagnosis of the allergy and compounding infections. You must know what you are treating in order to be able to choose the correct medication or therapy plan.
Patients who undergo allergy testing can begin immunotherapy (allergy shots) to help control symptoms. The goal of therapy is to control the itching and decrease the skin and ear infections which could occur. We will discuss your therapy and individualized plan at your pet’s appointment.