The Case of the Itchy Pet

Most people have dealt with allergies or know someone who has. We think of itchy eyes, runny noses and coughing. But did you know that your pet can have allergies as well? Finding out what your pet is allergic to can require a bit of detective work as well.

The symptoms of allergies in pets can vary quite a bit as well as the things they can be allergic to. Symptoms can be as varied as:

Sneezing

Coughing

Itching

Diarrhea

Chewing on skin or feet

Runny eyes

Red or crusty skin

Hair loss

Ear problems

Pets can be allergic to many of the same things as people, including:

Grass, trees, pollen

Mold

Fleas

Other animals

Different types of food ingredients

Prescription Drugs

Since there are such a variety of symptoms and things that pets can be allergic to, diagnosing exactly what your pet is reacting to can take time. Usually the most common allergies for your pet’s symptoms will be ruled out first. Often medication will be given to treat your pet’s symptoms and to see how he responds. Suspected food allergies may require that you feed your pet only one specific diet for an extended period of time to see if they improve.  If your pet is not responding to treatment your veterinarian may recommend allergy testing be done to find out what specific allergens your pet is reacting to. After the specific allergens are identified, your pet will need to be treated long term to desensitize his system to the allergens. While not a quick fix, allergy testing often has better results in the long run.

While diagnosing and treating allergies is not an easy process, your pet will greatly appreciate your efforts to keep her from feeling miserable. An itch free pet is a happy pet.

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