#1: Your allergic pet will not need a tissue

When pets suffer from allergies, they do not have a runny nose or itchy, watery eyes. 

  • Allergic pets are excessively itchy and will scratch, rub, chew, and lick incessantly. 
  • They will be extremely restless and unsettled because of their discomfort.
  • The extreme grooming may cause hair loss in affected areas.
  • Dogs may develop crusty lesions at their tail base, inner thighs, and along their back.
  • Cats may develop crusty lesions on their neck, face, and back.
  • Pets affected by a food allergy may vomit or have diarrhea, but itchiness is the most common sign.
  • Allergic pets frequently suffer from secondary skin and ear infections. These bacterial or yeast infections may require long-term antibiotic or antifungal treatment.

#2: A tiny flea bite can profoundly affect your pet

Flea bite allergies are the most common hypersensitivity to cause problems for pets. A single flea bite is enough to cause a substantial response. 

  • When a flea bites your pet, they inject saliva into your pet’s skin. This saliva contains substances that cause the allergic response.
  • Flea bite allergies are most often seen in warmer months but can be problematic year-round.
  • If you discover fleas on your itchy pet, they likely have a flea bite allergy. If the condition is extreme, you may not find fleas on your pet, because they groom excessively to try to banish the irritant, and may remove all fleas from their coat. You should inspect their bedding for fleas and flea droppings.
  • The first step toward your pet’s relief is removing all fleas from your pet. Medicated shampoos and flea combs can help.
  • The next step is to eradicate all fleas from your home
  • The final step is to provide continuous, year-round flea prevention.

#3: Your pet feels your pain when you are suffering from springtime allergies

Pets can be allergic to elements in their environment such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander. While they may not be sneezing, they are miserable, too.

  • The proper name for environmental allergies in pets is atopic dermatitis. 
  • Medicated shampoos can be used to bathe your pet frequently to calm their inflamed skin and remove allergens from their coat.
  • Pets do not respond well to antihistamines, but our veterinary team will be happy to discuss other medications and treatments that can help control the itchiness.
  • Steroids are often used to quiet down the initial inflammatory response but should not be used long-term, because they can suppress your pet’s immune system and result in unwanted side effects.

#4: Allergy testing can be performed on your pet

Allergy testing helps identify the environmental factors that are causing your pet’s allergic response. 

  • Serologic tests are typically not reliable.
  • Intradermal testing tends to be more accurate. This involves injecting a small dose of the suspected allergen into your pet’s skin. If your pet is allergic to the substance, a red bump will form at the location. 
  • Once you know the causative agents, you can eliminate them from your pet’s life. However, this is not always possible if the offending agent is pervasive in the environment.
  • Allergy testing is not accurate if your pet is suffering from a food allergy.

#5: Your pet can be desensitized

Hyposensitization therapy is implemented to decrease your pet’s response to an environmental allergen.

  • A small dose of the offending allergen is injected into your pet’s skin in gradually increasing doses, to help desensitize your pet to the allergen.
  • This therapy is not curative, and your pet will need lifelong veterinary care.

#6: Your pet may need to eat a kangaroo

Pets can become allergic to substances in their food. Proteins are the most likely offenders, but carbohydrates and preservatives may also cause issues.

  • Food trials are the only way to diagnose and treat a food allergy.
  • Food trials require feeding your pet a novel diet for at least 10 to 12 weeks. A novel diet does not contain any ingredients that your pet has eaten before. 
  • Common novel diet ingredients include kangaroo, buffalo, venison, and salmon. 
  • A hydrolyzed diet also may be employed for the food trial. In a hydrolyzed diet, the protein is broken down so small that the body does not recognize the element as a threat. Rice or starch is usually used as a carbohydrate, since they typically do not cause hypersensitivities.
  • Once the offending ingredient has been discovered, the substance should be eliminated from your pet’s diet forever.

Anyone who has experienced the distress an allergy can cause never wants their pet to suffer needlessly. We want to help ensure your pet gets relief. If your pet has been itchy lately, or if you have any questions concerning your pet, do not hesitate to contact our team at Animal Clinic of Council Bluffs.