Saturday, 13 May, 2017
Your Pets and Allergy Season

Ahhh spring! Warmer weather, flowers blooming and blossoms on the trees. Unfortunately for many, the arrival of Spring also means the arrival of allergy season and it’s not just people who are impacted. Many pets suffer from allergies but they are not only seasonal. So we have put together a simple guide to help you recognize if your pet may have allergies.

What is an allergy? An allergy is when the body overreacts to a typically harmless substance.

What are the Major Types of Allergies? 1) Flea Allergic Dermatitis: the pet is allergic to the flea saliva. 2) Atopy: the pet is allergic to common things found in the environment. The things could include pollens, house dust mites, grasses, molds, cigarette smoke, feathers, perfume, cleaning products, rubber & plastic products. 3) Food allergies or Adverse Food Reactions: when the pet overreacts to a single protein or carbohydrate source. Unfortunately, allergies to fleas, environmental allergens (atopy) and food can look exactly the same.

What do allergies usually look like in a dog? • Itchy ears and ear infections • Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin • Increased scratching & licking especially feet, belly and armpits • Itchy, runny eyes • Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy) • Sneezing • Vomiting • Diarrhea • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat • Constant licking

What do allergies usually look like in cats? • Itchy skin/increased scratching especially around the face • Sneezing, coughing (if the cat has asthma), wheezing • Itchy, runny eyes • Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly seen in flea allergies) • Itchy ears and ear infections • Vomiting • Diarrhea • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat

What Can I Do? Visit your Veterinarian. We will take a thorough history and work with the you to take a stepwise approach which usually includes ensuring continual flea prevention, then possibly picking a special diet for a food trial to help rule out food allergy. If the allergic reaction isn’t caused by fleas or a food, then we will work closely with you to discover the cause.