Yes, pets can have allergies too. Like us, some pets are overly sensitive to certain allergens. Their immune systems may also overreact when they come into contact with dust mites or fleas or unknowingly inhale tree pollen or mold spores. This (over)reaction results in severe pruritus (itching of the skin). Furthermore, this condition can set off a chain reaction of other problems, like skin damage, hair loss, and bacterial infection.
Symptoms of Allergies in Pets
If you are not able to catch your pet in the act of scratching, here are some other symptoms you can check for:
- Areas of skin that look red and raw
- Bald spots under the legs, between the toes, and on the sides and belly
- Runny eyes and nose
- Face appears swollen
- Patches of dry, flaky skin
- Giving off a bad odor
Why Scratching is Harmful
Scratching at their skin to relieve itching is a common (and understandable) response for pets, but it can also do serious damage to their protective skin barrier. In addition, licking at those same areas softens the skin and makes it even more susceptible to damage. Consequently, this leaves your pet more vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections of the skin, which can also make their itching worse.
Breaking the Cycle
To break the cycle of itching, scratching, and infection, we need to see your pet for an exam, diagnostics, and treatment as soon as possible. Allergies will not go away on their own, and may in fact become worse with time.
To properly diagnose your pet’s condition, we need to examine them fully, get as much information about your pet’s lifestyle as we can, and perform whichever tests we consider appropriate. This could include blood testing, skin scraping, biopsy, fecal testing, and more.
Because there are many different types of allergies, there are also many different types of allergy treatments available. From hypoallergenic diets to oral medication, we have something for every pet.
Contact us today if your pet is showing signs of allergy symptoms, and we’ll help you out!