Allergies in Pets: Symptoms of Pet Allergies & How to Treat Them
Whether you have a cat or a dog (or both!), chances are that you’ve seen them scratch themselves excessively before. While most people think nothing of seeing their pet in an itchy state, did you know this can actually be a sign that your pet may be suffering an allergic reaction? Our team at Germantown Vet has seen allergic reactions in both dogs and cats!
Like humans, pets can have allergies. If your pet’s immune system decides that an allergen is a threat to your pet’s health, an allergic reaction will occur, and your pet could experience negative effects when inhaling, ingesting, or coming in contact with a certain substance.
If your pet is having an allergic reaction, contact Germantown Vet immediately so we can diagnose the issue and provide treatment! Call us at 240-252-7467 or schedule your appointment online now.
Signs That Your Pet Could Have Allergies
There are four main types of allergies that we tend to see in pets. These are atopic, contact, food, and flea allergies. Of these types of allergies, the two most common are atopic and flea allergies.
Atopic Allergy Symptoms in Pets
If your pet is having an atopic allergic reaction, they’re reacting to an environmental allergen like pollen or dust mites.
If your cat is experiencing atopic allergies, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Coughing or wheezing
- Itchy, red skin, either in one area or on the whole body
- Red eyes
- Ear infections
- Itchy, swollen paws
If your dog is experiencing atopic allergies, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Itchy, red skin
- Constant scratching
- Ear infections
- Increased licking/chewing of skin/paws
- Red ears (often with discharge)
- Runny eyes
Flea Allergies in Pets
Another type of allergy your pet could experience is a flea allergy. As the name implies, this is an allergic reaction to flea bites.
A flea’s saliva will produce an uncomfortable, itchy reaction in your pet. We’ve seen cats that are so irritated by this allergen that they chew on their skin so much they remove chunks of their hair! Dogs tend to scratch themselves raw, resulting in large, red patches on their skin. Both types of pets can also scratch open the sores caused by flea bites, which can cause a bacterial infection. You’ll usually see these symptoms near the base of your pet’s tail, but they could also have red sores or scabs around their neck and head.
The best way to avoid flea allergies is by making sure your pet has been treated for fleas. However, some pets can even be allergic to flea control treatments!
If your pet needs to be treated for fleas, or exhibits symptoms of flea allergies or flea control treatment allergies, call Germantown Vet at 240-252-7467 right away!
Food Allergies in Pets
Occasionally, we encounter pets with food allergies, which can result in digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting, or flatulence for your furry friend. Food allergies can also cause itchy skin and ear infections in your pet, so it’s best to be on the lookout for all of these symptoms when determining which allergen is causing a reaction!
We’ve found that pets can be allergic to a variety of types of foods, including chicken, beef, soy, wheat, pork, or corn. Our team at Germantown Vet will work with you to figure out which food in your pet’s diet is causing the allergic reaction, and we’ll help you eliminate that food from their regimen to keep them healthy and happy moving forward.
Contact Allergies in Pets
Your pet may also experience contact allergies, which means they will have an allergic reaction to substances they come in direct contact with. This could include anything from carpet fibers to cleaning solutions to shampoos to plastics on items throughout your home. This type of allergy makes pets excessively itchy, and could even cause skin infections. Your pet may get itchy blisters or sores on their stomach, paws, or mouth areas. In serious cases, they could even experience hair loss.
Severe Allergic Reactions in Pets
Depending on the severity of their allergy, pets can experience more serious reactions to allergens they inhale, ingest, or contact. These more severe symptoms can include things like hives, facial swelling, or even anaphylactic shock. It’s rarer for pets to experience these symptoms as compared to those listed above, but if they do, they’ll typically occur within 30 minutes of exposure to the allergen and will require immediate veterinary attention.
If your pet is having an allergic reaction, contact Germantown Vet immediately for assistance at 240-252-7467 or visit our office right away.
Common Things Your Pet Could Be Allergic To
Like humans, pets can be allergic to a huge variety of substances, and their allergies can range in severity. However, there are several things we see frequently that pets often experience allergic reactions to.
We commonly see pets that are allergic to:
- Dust mites
- Cleaning products
- Cigarette smoke
- Carpet Fibers
How to Treat Pet Allergies
Remember that although pets’ allergies can be managed, much like human allergies, they can rarely be cured. Treatment options will help alleviate the negative effects of allergies on your pet and will keep them from becoming as uncomfortable.
The first thing you should do if you think that your pet may be experiencing an allergic reaction is to contact our team at Germantown Vet to diagnose the issue and come up with a treatment plan. We may be able to figure out what your pet is allergic to based on the symptoms he or she is exhibiting, or we may need to recommend further testing.
Treatment options can include:
- Allergy vaccines/injections
- Shampoos, rinses, and conditioners
Depending on the allergy in question, a member of our veterinary team may suggest an alternate solution. It’s important to contact us as soon as possible if you think your pet may have allergies—allergies lead to itching, which causes your pet to scratch, which can result in an infection.
To learn more about allergy treatments for your pet, call Germantown Vet at 240-252-7467 now or contact us online.
Schedule an Appointment to Treat Your Pet’s Allergies Today
When symptoms of pet allergies present themselves, don’t wait! Contact us to schedule an appointment for a diagnosis and treatment plan in the Germantown, MD area.
Germantown Veterinary Clinic was the first veterinary clinic that opened its doors in Germantown back in 1983, and today, we’re proud to be the largest, best equipped, and most well-staffed animal hospital in Montgomery County. When you visit our state-of-the-art facility, your dog will receive exemplary care from our esteemed team of veterinarians and technicians.
Contact us online or by phone at 240-252-7467 to schedule your pet’s allergy appointment!