Many people have either experienced allergies themselves or seen their loved ones experience the symptoms of allergies. Though this is incredibly common for humans, allergies are also extremely common for pets. Understanding how allergies impact your pets can go a long way toward keeping your pet comfortable and happy. If you suspect that your pet may be suffering from allergies, you should contact our office. We will be able to diagnose an allergic reaction, as well as help to find the cause of the allergic reactions. After the cause has been diagnosed, we will be able to provide you with the appropriate treatment plan to restore your pet to the best possible health and comfort. There are many kinds of allergies in pets.
What are Allergies?
Allergies are essentially a result of hypersensitivity to a specific foreign substance. These hypersensitivities cause the immune system to overreact to the substance. This overreaction results in the excessive production of white blood cells, as well as histamines. These imbalances tend to lead to the other symptoms that are associated with allergies. This is the way that allergies impact both humans and pets. Allergies are generally chronic problems, but treatments can be implemented to provide relief from the symptoms.
Different Allergy Types
There are multiple types of allergies that pets may experience. The first type is flea-related allergies. These allergies are caused when pets are sensitive to chemicals that are present in the saliva of fleas. This often results in redness, bumps, scabs, and hair loss, as they will excessively itch or bite the area where flea bites are located. The second type is a food-related allergy. These allergies occur as a reaction to a food that the pet is sensitive to. This tends to cause extreme itching, as well as other skin problems. It is important to note that this is different from food intolerance. Intolerance may cause the pet to have gastrointestinal issues, such as excessive gas or an upset stomach, but it generally doesn’t result in itching.
Another type of allergy that pets frequently experience is inhalant allergies. These allergies are from exposure to inhalants in the air. They often cause generalized itching or chronic ear infections. This type of allergy may be seasonal, when it comes from exposure to pollen, but they may last year-round when they occur from exposure to an environmental factor within your building. The fourth common type of allergy is contact allergies. These allergies occur when the pet comes into physical contact with a specific allergen, such as weeds or grass.
Common Causes of Allergies in Pets
Essentially, the cause of allergies is from exposure to allergens that the pet is hypersensitive to. There are multiple allergens that commonly cause allergic symptoms to occur. Some pets are hypersensitive to a chemical that is in the saliva of fleas. Unlike the regular discomfort that a pet may experience when it has fleas, a pet that is sensitive to fleas will experience much more severe reactions.
Other common causes of allergies are often a result of food components or environmental factors. Food allergies are generally caused by proteins that are present in beef, lamb, dairy products, venison, or wheat. However, keep in mind that food allergies can result from any food. Inhalant allergens are often caused by pollens, dust, or mold particles. Contact-related allergens are often weeds, vegetation, flowers, dirt, grass, and more. It can be difficult to determine the exact cause of your pet’s allergies, as there are many common allergens. The appropriate testing can help to determine the most likely causes of your pet’s allergies.
Signs of Allergies in Pets
Understanding the signs and symptoms of your pet’s allergies can help you to obtain the appropriate treatment. Note all of the signs that your pet is exhibiting in order to provide us with as much information as possible. This will help us to make a more accurate diagnosis for pet, which will also ensure the best possible treatment. Flea allergies can often be determined when the symptoms of allergies are present along with signs of fleas, eggs, or feces. If you notice that your pet is chewing, scratching, or licking excessively at bite sites, they may be experiencing hypersensitivity to fleas. This often also results in localized hair loss, sores, or scabbing.
The presence of a rash, hives, and itching on the face, side, limbs, or anal region are common indications that your pet is experiencing allergies. Severe itching, excessive scratching, licking, biting, and sneezing all indicate that your pet has allergies. Pay attention to all of the symptoms that your pet is exhibiting, as these may help you to determine the allergy type and, ultimately, the allergen that is impacting your pet.
Treatment for your Pet’s Allergies
The best way to minimize your pet’s allergy-related symptoms is by preventing them from being exposed to the allergens that cause their symptoms. Certain medications and prescriptions may be used to help reduce the severity of symptoms that your pet has. It may be necessary to provide a specific diet to prevent food-related allergies from occurring. Specialized shampoos can be incredibly useful in dealing with allergies that are caused by contact to allergens. Allergy shots may be used to help desensitize a pet that is experiencing allergies by using repeated exposure to the allergens. Implementing the ideal treatment can both help to control the allergy symptoms of your pet or prevent the symptoms from surfacing. Pets that experience sensitivity to fleas will require intensive flea treatment whenever they experience flea infestation. These treatments can go a long way toward reducing their discomfort and pain whenever they are bitten by a flea.
Here at Borrett Animal Hospital, we strive to provide you with the solutions that you need to enhance the comfort of your pet and improve their health. Though there aren’t really any “cures” for allergies, your pets don’t have to suffer with the discomfort that they cause. If you suspect that your pet is experiencing the negative symptoms of allergies, you should contact our office to schedule an appointment.