Pet Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Like people, pets are susceptible to allergies. Allergies can make your kit or pup’s life miserable, to say the least. Allergic reactions can range from uncontrolled itching and skin problems to digestive and respiratory issues. If your pet shows signs of allergies, bring him to the Oaks Pet Hospital in Bakersfield for a checkup. We’ll pinpoint the source of his symptoms so he can get prompt and effective treatment.
Allergies occur when your pet’s immune system has an adverse reaction to an allergen, which could be substances in the environment, fleas, or certain foods. Environmental allergies can be caused by indoor or outdoor allergens such as tree pollen, ragweed, dust mites, or chemicals in grooming or cleaning products. If your pet inhales or ingests the allergen, he may experience a negative reaction.
Many dogs and cats are allergic to flea saliva. Flea allergies can cause irritating allergic reactions on your pet’s skin. Food allergies can trigger skin, digestive, or respiratory problems.
As allergies are genetic, there’s a good chance your pet inherited his allergies from his parents. It’s not unusual for pets to be exposed to allergens for years before experiencing allergic reactions. Most pets that have allergies don’t exhibit symptoms until they’re between 2 and 4 years old.
Symptoms of environmental and flea bite allergies usually show up on a dog or cat’s skin, beginning with uncontrollable itching. Frenzied itching produces non-stop scratching or biting of the afflicted areas which can easily lead to skin infections, open sores, and scabbing. Excessive grooming, fur loss, frequent ear infections, and itchy bottoms are other common signs of environmental or flea saliva allergies. Food allergies may trigger such symptoms as asthma, diarrhea, and vomiting along with skin irritations.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your Bakersfield vet will use various means to confirm a pet allergy. First, we’ll review your pet’s medical history to see if allergies run in his family. We’ll conduct a thorough physical examination of your pet and evaluate his symptoms. If necessary, we’ll do blood and skin tests to confirm our diagnosis and pinpoint the cause of his symptoms.
To diagnose a food allergy, we may put your kit or pup on a strict diet, introducing different foods one at a time to identify the source of his allergic reactions.
Although there’s no cure for pet allergies, we can recommend treatments to manage your pet’s symptoms, ranging from medications like antihistamines, steroids, or allergy shots, to fatty acid supplements to help minimize symptoms.
See Your Bakersfield Vet for Pet Allergy Diagnosis and Treatment
To learn more about pet allergies or to schedule an appointment for pet allergy treatment, contact At The Oaks Pet Hospital in Bakersfield at (661) 665-8950.