veterinarian examining dog

Does Your Pet Have Allergies?

Just like people, our four-legged friends can develop allergies. An autoimmune response to an everyday substance can be triggered without warning and your pet may then show signs of distress. The agent causing the reaction is known as the allergen and can be nearly anything in your pet’s environment. Identifying the allergen and then determining the best course of treatment is how the caring vets at our animal hospital in Lakeshore want to help. If you suspect your cat or dog has allergies, make an appointment at one of our four locations in the area.


Signs Your Pet Has Allergies

Allergic reactions in pets can vary. Two similar animals with the same allergy may display different symptoms, so it’s not always immediately obvious that your pet is having a reaction. Some of the more common signs in dogs and cats include:

  • Itching
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny eyes
  • Snoring (caused by an inflamed throat)
  • Frequent licking
  • Paw chewing
  • Scabbed or otherwise irritated skin
  • Hair loss


Common Allergens
All cats and dogs have the potential of developing allergies. However, among dogs the potential is greater in specific breeds including terriers, retrievers, setters, and flat-faced types (pugs, bulldogs, etc.). In addition to food and prescribed medications, common allergens for both canines and felines include:

  • Various pollens
  • Mould spores
  • Fleas
  • Cleaning products
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Perfumes
  • Rubber or plastic
  • Dust


Diagnosis
The process for diagnosing allergies in pets is much the same as it is for diagnosing them in humans. If a food allergy is suspected, an elimination diet will be prescribed to determine the particular food causing the reaction. Other allergies are tested for via intradermal skin testing. This process involves shaving a patch of hair off your animal companion and injecting a series of potential allergens under the skin. Substances that trigger a reaction are determined to be allergens for your pet.

Treatment
If the allergen is not one that can easily be removed from the environment then a prescribed medication may be required for your cat or dog. Immunotherapy is another possibility for treating your pet’s allergy and involves administering a series of shots that contain small amounts of the allergen(s). Over time your pet will develop greater tolerance to the problematic agents.

Choose a Veterinarian Experienced with Allergy Treatments
At Windsor Essex Vets, our veterinarians are adept at treating pets with allergies. If you suspect your cat or dog has an allergy, make an appointment at our animal hospital in the Lakeshore area. We have four locations available to you and also provide emergency services.

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