If you suffer from allergies, you know how uncomfortable and miserable they can make you feel. Now imagine how unhappy you would feel if you didn’t have the proper medications to alleviate the symptoms or a means to tell someone you had allergies. For this reason, it is important to know that, just like humans, animals can suffer at the hands of allergies that are triggered by an array of environmental factors and allergens. Pet allergies are inherited traits passed from parent to offspring. If one parent is allergic to a specific allergen, then it is highly likely the offspring will be allergic to the same allergen. Just like it is with humans, pets may be allergic to:
- Pollen from trees, grass and weeds
- Dust mites
- Insect bites
- Wool and carpet fibers
- Certain foods
- Other animals
Pets may experience the onset of allergies between the ages of six months and three years, and certain breeds are more prone to allergies than others. It is a known fact that Boxers, Retrievers, Shih-Tzus, Terriers and other common breeds frequently suffer from allergies.
Since your pets cannot tell you they are allergic to a certain trigger or allergen, there are some common symptoms you need to be aware of in order to help your pet.
- Skin disease – Skin disease is the most common symptom an allergic pet exhibits. When affected by a certain allergen, pets’ skin can become red, itchy and scaly. This skin irritation can be widespread or confined to concentrated areas like the face, belly, feet, groin and hindquarters.
- Hot spots – Hot spots are bald areas on a pet’s body where he or she has excessively itched and/or chewed at the skin in the affected area.
- Food allergies – Symptoms from food allergies can include chronic ear infections or inflammation as well as intense licking and chewing of the feet.
- Cat Allergies – Cats that suffer from allergies tend to excessively groom themselves, which causes hot spots and hair loss. More intense symptoms can include: respiratory conditions, feline acne, vomiting, diarrhea and gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining).
If you think your pet may be suffering from allergies, do not hesitate to give us a call. We may need to identify the cause via allergy tests and diagnostics. Rest assured that the staff at Woodland Springs Veterinary Hospital will not administer any treatment without a comprehensive physical examination or the proper diagnosis.