Animal Allergies

Courtesy of Lauren Helm Photography

Just as people suffer from allergies, so do pets.  Allergies can be caused by an array of things, such as plants, household items, bugs, bug bites, food and even types of materials used to make beds or food dishes.  If you notice that your pet is excessively chewing, licking, scratching, or has fur loss, scabs around their chin, neck, or ears, or has chronic episodes of vomiting, you should contact your vet for an allergy consult.  Allergies left untreated can lead to skin infections, general discomfort for your pet, and may even lead to self-inflicted wounds from excessive scratching.

There is an array of treatment options available for pets with allergies.  Just as people can be tested for allergies, so can pets.  Allergy testing done at our hospital consists of taking a simple blood sample that is submitted to an outside lab, which can determine which potential allergens your pet has a reaction to.  The test includes a measure of your pet’s allergic response to common allergens, such as grasses, trees, weeds, insects, dust mites and various danders.

Once it is determined what your pet is allergic to, medications or specialized foods can be prescribed to curb the response to the allergies.  Medications vary, including lifelong prescription diets, bi-monthly to monthly injections, oral tablets given daily or as needed, or even a simple spray or conditioner.

Owners of pets with allergies always need to keep in mind that diagnosing allergies and figuring out how to treat these allergies can be a long process.  Even once a diagnosis has been made and medications have been prescribed, it may take months to see any type of improvement.

If you’ve noticed that your pet may have allergies and if you would like to schedule an allergy consult with our veterinarians, please give us a call to schedule an exam.