Does My Pet Have Allergies In Dubuque Ia

Does My Pet Have Allergies?

Have you ever seen your dog or cat rubbing his face on the carpet or chewing her legs like a corn cob? These are all symptoms of allergies which are common in dogs and cats. Allergies in dogs and cats can show up in many ways. Skin irritation such as infections and hot spots, ear infections, red staining to fur and hair loss, and gastrointestinal issues are the most common signs. Your veterinarian can help you determine if your pet has allergies or something else going on.

Dogs and cats can have all the same kinds of allergies as people. As veterinarians we break down allergies into groups.

  1. Environmental Allergies: Examples are pollen from trees and plants, mold, dust mites, etc. These allergens often lead to symptoms such as itching, red or inflamed skin, sneezing, and watery eyes.
  2. Food Allergies: Can be due to certain ingredients in their food, such as beef, chicken, dairy, eggs, or grains. Symptoms of food allergies often include gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea, as well as skin problems like itching, redness, and ear infections.
  3. Flea Allergy Dermatitis: This is an allergic response caused by flea saliva. Even a single flea bite can trigger intense itching and discomfort in your dog or cat for weeks.

There is no single treatment for allergies that works for every dog or cat. If there was, our veterinarians would have an easy job! Our vets do recommend several different treatment strategies which are talked about below.

  1. Environmental Control: Try to minimize exposure to the thing your pet is allergic too. This can involve frequent bathing to remove pollen or dust from your pet’s coat, using air purifiers, and regularly cleaning your home to reduce dust and mold. Of course, it helps to know what your pet is allergic to, and our veterinarians can help you decide on the right testing for your dog or cat.
  2. Dietary Changes: This would include switching to a hydrolyzed or limited ingredient diet. Hydrolyzed diet reduces the size of the protein source microscopically (for instance chicken or beef), so the body doesn’t react to it. Limited ingredient diet removes a protein source completely so your dog or cat can’t react to it.
  3. Flea Control: Preventing flea infestations will help control flea allergy dermatitis. Our vets recommend the regular use of flea preventatives such as Nexgard Plus or Nexgard Combo which kill the cause of the allergen.
  4. Medications: In some cases, your vet may recommend prescription medications to improve quality of life. These include antihistamines like Zyrtec, Benadryl, and Claritin. Medications to help reduce the immune response such as steroids, Apoquel, or Cytopoint.
  5. Topical Treatments: soothing oatmeal shampoos, creams, and ointments can provide relief from itching and inflammation.

Managing your pet’s allergies and working with your vet is just – management. There is no cure for allergies; but you and your vet can work together to keep your dog or cat comfortable and healthy!