What are the Different Types of Pet Allergies and What Can I Do About Them
Coronado Pet Hospital of Rio Rancho, New Mexico has extensive experience dealing with pet allergies and the successful treatment of them. The experts at Coronado Pet Hospital have compiled a basic list to help you better understand your pet’s allergies and what can be done to treat them.
Is your pet exhibiting signs of an allergic reaction? These signs can include unusual redness in the eyes, runny nose and sneezing, ear scratching and head shaking, excessive licking and chewing on the body, or extreme coughing and gagging. The first step is to determine what type of allergy your pet is actually suffering from.
Your favorite furry family member isn’t going to be able to know if their allergy is coming from spring hay fever, a new collar or a change in their food brand ingredients. That doesn’t mean that they will suffer any less for not knowing. Their irritation and discomfort is real and unless properly treated can get worse and lead to long term complications and unnecessary health risks.
What can cause pet allergies?
There are four primary causes of allergic reactions in dogs and cats, these include:
1.Food Allergies – Just like humans, different foods and food types can affect cats and dogs. If you suspect that your pet has allergies or they are exhibiting symptoms, the best course of action would be to visit your veterinarian and have them diagnose your pet’s symptoms. Food allergies can be hard to isolate, and the process takes time, so it is often advisable to rule out the other possible allergy causes first.
2.Flea Allergy Dermatitis – The majority of pets find fleas uncomfortable and irritating. Additionally, some pets also experience an allergic reaction to the flea’s saliva, which is left behind during the biting process, and will develop a more advanced and serious skin irritation.
3.Contact Allergies – Contact allergies are caused by a pet coming in contact with an irritant, often something like a detergent, cleaning agent residue or certain coatings on fabrics, collars, clothing etc.
4.Atopic Allergies – These are allergies due to environmental factors both outside and in the home. These can also be allergies to seasonal occurrences, like blooming flowers, trees, or grass, or they can be year-round, with allergies to dust, mold, or mildew.
What are the different ways to treat pet allergies?
- Visit Your Vet
Keep in mind, there are many conditions that can appear clinically similar to allergies, so having your veterinarian do a proper examination is an important first step. They will also be able to better determine whether the allergy is seasonal, food or flea-based in nature. Diagnostics, including a skin examination, blood testing, and other methods can be employed to properly identify the condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment options.
- Overall General Health and Diet
Most allergic reactions are essentially an immune system response, so it’s important to keep your pet’s immune system functioning at the highest level possible. Talk to your veterinarian about formulating a diet that will be better for keeping a healthy immune system in your pet and work towards reducing inflammation.
- Topical Medications, Treatments and Baths
General bathing or localized cleaning can help wash away environmental allergens, bacteria and other irritants. Try using a pet-specific shampoo formulated for inflamed or sensitive skin. Talk to your veterinarian. They may be able to recommend and prescribe a topical treatment or leave-on skin conditioners that can help manage your pet’s skin irritation and/or infection.
- Cleaning and Maintenance of Your Pet’s Area
Try keeping the spots in your place where your pet spends the majority of their time as free from allergens as possible. Clean and vacuum the floors and especially their bedding on a regular basis using a hepatic filter vacuum cleaner. Also cleaning contact surfaces with non-toxic house cleaning agents.
- Regular Eye and Ear Cleaning and Rinses
If your pet is suffering from eye and ear allergies, it is important to clean and remove any environmental allergens to help alleviate discomfort and irritation. Often times, a typical eye drop or eye rinse designed for humans will work fine on your pet’s eyes. Applying a few drops of eye irrigating solution is sometimes one of the easiest and direct ways of removing allergens from your pet’s eyes. In some cases, a more specific, specialized treatment may be advisable. Talk to your vet about various options when it comes to treating your pets’ eyes and ears. If your pet loves to swim, it’s a good idea to wipe excess water from their ears post- activity to help ensure that moisture doesn’t linger.
Do you live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and have a pet suffering from seasonal, food or contact allergies? Let the veterinary experts of Coronado Pet Hospital help you. Call us today and set up your pet’s allergy consultation appointment.