Pet Allergies – They Are a Real

Dog scratching on grass

Many of us know how unpleasant allergies can be; sneezing, wheezing, coughing and sputter, itchiness and rashes – the list goes on! Allergies are the immune system’s overly sensitive response to some particular substance or environment. Dogs and cats have allergies, too, and it’s tough to always know what’s causing it so we’ve put together this simple guide for owners!

 

Signs Your Pet Might Have an Allergy

• Coughing/sneezing/wheezing
• Itchy skin and increased scratching
• Leaky/itchy eyes
• Ear inflammation/infections
• Snoring caused by throat inflammation
• Excessive licking or chewing of paws/swelling
• Diarrhoea/vomiting

Common Pet Allergies

Here are a few things that might be triggering an allergic reaction in your pet:

• Pollen (like hay fever in humans)
• Mould
• Dusty environments
• Feathers
• Tobacco smoke
• Particular foods
• Some medications
• Fleas
• Shampoos/soaps

What Can I Do?

What steps to take will depend on the duration and severity of the reaction. Just as if a human was exhibiting a severe and acute allergic response, it is essential to take quick action and seek medical help straight away. If the allergic response is less severe, it’s worth considering what new substances, foods or environments your pet has been exposed to.

Spring creates more pollen in the environment and may trigger an allergic response in which case, it may be best to avoid too much time on the grass. If a new food has been introduced into your pet’s diet, try removing it and seeing if that makes a difference. Additionally, maintaining a clean environment may help, as pets may be responding to excessive dust in the air. Weekly bathing may help to remove pollens and allergens that are clinging to your pet’s skin.

If you’re concerned about your pet, it’s best to visit a vet. Blood and skin tests can be performed to try and ascertain the nature of the allergy. If your vet suspects it’s food related, it may be necessary to place your pet on a restricted diet aimed at eliminating potential allergy-inducing foods. After sufficient time has passed, foods can be re-entered to the diet and responses to each monitored.

Your vet may also recommend medications (such as antihistamines or steroidal treatments) or dietary supplements aimed at alleviating allergic reactions.

Don’t Leave the Symptoms Untreated

If your precious pet is displaying symptoms of allergies, get them to a veterinarian quickly! We here at Floreat Veterinary Centre are open Monday-Saturday and until late on weekdays. We’ll also be happy to talk to you about who you can call in case of emergencies if we’re unavailable. Your pet’s health is our priority.

Allergic reactions can range from the slightly annoying to the immediately threatening. Keep vigilant about keeping a clean environment and monitoring your pet’s behaviour. Contact our friendly team if you’re concerned your pet might be suffering from allergies.