Can Pets Have Allergies?

Dog&Cat

Once spring hits in Oklahoma, it’s almost inevitable for many people to start getting a stuffy nose or itchy eyes. According to recent reports, nearly half of all pet owners don’t know that environmental allergens could also affect their pets and make them feel just as miserable as the people they depend on most.  

Both canines and felines can show signs of pet allergies – even when their immune system interacts with everyday substances that it deems as dangerous. Most allergens common in many environments are harmless to animals; however, some allergens may cause an extreme reaction when ingested, inhaled, or made with the animal’s skin. 

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergies in Pets? 

In humans, allergies are most likely to make themselves known throughout the respiratory tract. In dogs, allergies will often be more apparent through signs such as skin irritation or inflammation, a condition known as allergic dermatitis. If a dog begins obsessively scratching or chewing at certain areas of their body, they may be trying to tell you that they are suffering from allergies. 

Pet allergies are often one of the most common medical conditions that affect cats. When a cat’s immune system overreacts or has a sensitivity to an allergen, the cat may begin scratching their skin, sneezing, coughing, wheezing or have nasal or ocular discharge. In extreme cases, pet allergies may also cause a cat to have a disrupted digestive system that results in vomiting, flatulence or diarrhea. If serious side effects occur, medical intervention may be needed. 

What Should You Do If Your Pet Has Allergies? 

Suppose a pet owner notices that their dog or cat is showing signs of allergies for extended periods. In that case, it is critical to speak with your veterinarian to ensure a proper diagnosis. In most cases, this will require blood and skin tests to determine what is causing the allergic reaction; however, a special elimination diet may also be required. 

If pet allergies continue to persist beyond initial treatment methods, allergy testing from a veterinary dermatologist may be needed. Like intradermal tests used for humans, these tests can help pinpoint any allergens that the cat or dog may be sensitive to. With this information, the pet owner can make a more informed decision about food and environmental options to accommodate the pet’s needs better. 

The best way to eliminate pet allergies is to remove any allergens that are affecting them. To achieve this, pet owners must remain vigilant in ensuring that pets have appropriate medications, including flea prevention, and may need to clean bedding regularly to remove dust or increase the frequency of baths that the cat or dog receives. While pet allergies will likely not be curable, managing exposure to allergens can often help ensure a cat or dog lives a comfortable, happy life. 

Why Choose Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital? 

If you believe that your cat or dog is suffering from pet allergies, the experienced veterinarians at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital are here to help. We provide comprehensive services designed to determine the root cause of allergies and ensure that the pet remains healthy and comfortable at all times. If you are ready to get started, contact us today to schedule your appointment with one of our experienced and compassionate veterinarians!