Allergies and Pets - They don't mix!
Date Posted:14 January 2016
Just like humans, cats and dogs have allergies as well. Depending on the type of allergy, pets can experience itchy skin, hair loss, skin & ear infections, sneezing, watery eyes, vomiting and soft stools.
The three most common allergies in dogs and cats are environmental allergies, food allergies, and flea allergies.
So how do you know if you pets are having an allergic reaction? We will break them down for you now.
- Environmental allergies, this is caused by allergens in the environment like dust, dander and pollen. Your pet could be allergic to anything from dust mites in the house, weeds or grass in the backyard, even cockroaches and mould. More often than not, this particular allergic reaction is most common in the spring months, but will generally improve coming into winter. If you do however live in a warmer climate where your grass and garden blooms and grows all year round, you may find the allergy may also stick around all year.
Indications: Things you want to look out for to see if your pet may have a potential allergy; excessive licking or chewing of paws, knocking at their ears to indicate an ear ache, itchy, red or inflamed skin and coat, even hair loss. In mild cases your pets will have red and watery eyes or even sneezing fits.
Treatments, just like there are anti-histamines for humans, there are also ones for pets. In severe cases your vet may conduct blood tests to create a personalised shot for your animal to treat any and all symptoms.
- Food Allergies, this particular allergic reaction is not as common as environmental allergies, but can be just as severe and is a cause for concern. If your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction to food, majority of the time it is because of protein in the meat source of the food. The meats that are most likely to cause this reaction are chicken, pork and beef. Other proteins that can also be a culprit are dairy, soy and egg.
Indications: Most of the reactions your pets will experience are internal in the intestines; these include soft stools, excessive gas and vomiting. Externally you may see itchy and red skin, hair loss and also ear and skin infections.
Treatments, if you suspect your pet might be experiencing an allergic reaction to food consult your vet as soon as possible. There are some amazing specialist vet diets available on the market; however these diets need to be strictly followed.
- Flea Allergies, not all pets are allergic to fleas, but some pets can have a severe reaction from one single bite. It is so very important to make sure you are treating your pets for fleas ALL YEAR ROUND, not just in the warmer months. One bite can set off a chain reaction; one bite is all it can take.
Indications: the most common reaction is hair loss, itchy skin and skin infections.
Treatments protect from fleas and prevent them from becoming a problem rather than waiting for the fleas to become a problem. It’s that simple. It is also suggested that you treat your environment for fleas every few months as well.