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Allergies in Pets

November 11, 2019 November 2019 No Comments

Just like people, dogs and cats can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognise certain everyday substances—or allergens— as dangerous. Even though these allergens are common in most environments and harmless to most animals, a dog with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them. Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or contact skin. 

What Are the General Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs and Cats?

  • Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin 
  • Increased scratching 
  • Itchy, runny eyes 
  • Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy) 
  • Itchy ears and ear infections 
  • Sneezing 
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws 
  • Constant licking

          

What Substances Can Your Pet Be Allergic To?

A few common allergens include: 

  • Tree, grass, weed pollens, contact with Wandering Dew
  • Mold, mildew
  • Dust mites
  • Food ingredients (e.g. beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat or soy) 
  • Fleas (The bite of a single flea can trigger intense itchiness!) 
  • Cleaning products 
  • Insecticidal treatment 
  • Prescription drugs 

How Can Allergies Be Treated?

The best way to treat allergies is to remove the offending allergens from the environment. 

  • Prevention is the best treatment for allergies caused by fleas. Start a flea control program for all of your pets before the season starts. 
  • Clean your pet’s bedding once a week and vacuum at least twice weekly.
  • Bathing may help relieve itching and remove environmental allergens and pollens from your dog’s skin, however, frequent bathing with the wrong product can dry out skin.    
  • Specialised low allergen food can also help control allergy related problems.
  • Remember, outdoor pets can carry fleas inside to indoor pets.  

Are There Allergy Medications?

Since certain substances cannot be removed from the environment, your vet may recommend medications to control the allergic reaction:

  • Antihistamines can be used, but may only benefit a small percentage of dogs with allergies. Ask your vet first. 
  • Fatty acid supplements might help relieve your dog’s itchy skin.   
  • If the problem is severe, you may have to resort to cortisone type medicines to control the allergy.
              •                           South Wairarapa Vets
              • Photo with 

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