Were you aware that May is Allergy Awareness Month? Allergies affect everyone, including canine companions and feline friends. An allergy is a hypersensitivity or overreaction of the immune system to a substance called an allergen, and these allergens mainly include proteins from insects, plants, animals, and food. When a person, dog, or cat has allergies, the immune response can be particularly harmful to the body. Let’s examine the causes, symptoms, and treatment of allergies in dogs and cats.
A Breakdown of Allergies in Dogs
Food allergy tops the list of food allergies that affect dogs. The most common food allergens are animal proteins from dairy products, beef, lamb, and chicken. Another leading cause of allergic reactions in canines includes Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Fleabites can make any dog itch, but in some cases, dogs can be allergic to fleas. Environmental elements like dust, pollen, and mold are another leading cause of allergic reactions in canines. The top symptom of allergies in dogs is, itching, particularly in a localized area, but you should also look out for:
- Coughing, Sneezing, and Wheezing
- Inflamed Skin
- Constant Licking
- Runny Eyes Or Noses
- Vomiting and Diarrhea (if the allergies have affected the digestive system)
An Analysis of Allergies in Cats
The common allergens that affect cats are comparable to that of dogs. Exposure to specific environmental factors, food, and fleas can be harmful to your fur baby. Some cats are allergic to cigarette smoke, perfume, and cleaning products, all of which can be toxic to cats and dogs. For that reason, you want to be well aware of poisonous substances.
If you’re a person with allergies, then you know there technically isn’t a cure. However, particular medications can help ease symptoms. Also, special diets can reduce allergic flare-ups. Management merely involves determining what the allergen is and then reducing its presence or removing it entirely. For flea allergies, one of our veterinarians can administer Bravecto.
An elimination diet that gets rid of the allergens causing issues is the best solution for food allergies. For doctor-prescribed diets for pets that need customized allergen-free meals, pet owners can order them directly from our ProPlan VetDirect Store and have food sent directly to their homes. Also, cleaning is the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, your pets, and your home. The less dust there is, the better! For itchy dogs, a daily pill or a monthly injection can ease your canine companion’s discomfort. Finally, immunotherapy shots or drops can also curb allergens.
If you think that your pet has allergies, give us a call today so that you can schedule an appointment. Also, don’t forget to share the news about Allergy Awareness Month!
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!