Veterinarian Help for Allergic Pets
Now that autumn is here in North Carolina, you may find yourself battling seasonal allergies from tree pollen and other allergens in nature. Did you know that our pets also battle allergies? While most pet allergies are not caused by airborne allergens, allergies in dogs and cats are quite common. Perhaps your pet has been scratching a lot lately or has an increased problem with flatulence. Maybe you have been tempted to call your veterinarian because you have noticed your dog or cat scooting across your floors on their bottom. All of these behaviors could be symptoms of allergies in your pet.
Your pet could be allergic to a number of allergens and antigens. Your dog may develop an allergy because of cigarette smoke in the home. Your cat may have an allergic reaction to the food it is eating. Pets can be allergic to a number of substances that they eat, breathe in, or come in contact with. The number one cause of allergies in cats and dogs are fleas and the greatest symptom of pet allergies is scratching.
Your veterinarian will tell you that, like in humans, when your pet develops an allergic reaction, their bodies will release histamine. When histamine is released in the body, it causes allergy symptoms to appear. This is why your veterinarian may prescribe a common antihistamine such as Benadryl to treat your dog or cat.
Common symptoms that your veterinarian will look for to make an allergy diagnosis besides scratching and itching in your pet include skin infections, a foul odor, diarrhea, excessive gas, scooting across floors, and ear infections. Ear infections can be found in half of dogs that are diagnosed with an allergy. If not treated, these ear infections can eventually cause deafness.
There are several ways to treat allergies in your pets, and your veterinarian will know exactly what your pet needs. When your veterinarian examines your pet for possible allergies, they will likely do blood work to check serum levels, or adjust their food intake if a food allergy is suspected.
While there is no cure for pet allergies, your veterinarian will be able to put together the best treatment plan for your dog or cat. This may include medications, including an antihistamine or steroids. Your veterinarian will instruct you on how to best reduce or eliminate allergens with your control in order to provide your pet with the best possible environment.
Do you suspect your dog or cat may be having an allergic reaction? The veterinarians at Cumberland Animal Hospital can help! Give us a call today at (910) 822-3337 or to learn more, visit us online at canimalhospitalnc.com.