Ah-choo! Yup, you guessed it, allergy season is here again. Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system. Immune cells release histamines, which can cause inflammation in the body, usually in the skin, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, or respiratory tract. This leads to secondary issues such as ear infections, skin infections, fungal (yeast) and bacterial infections, pyoderma, hot spots, anal gland issues, sneezing, runny eyes, breathing issues, or vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases hives or even anaphylactic shock can occur.
Signs of allergies can include:
- Asthma problems
- Runny eyes or nose and sneezing
- Itching and scratching
- Licking and chewing, especially of feet, flanks, or tail areas
- Redness of skin
- Ear infections-odor, discharge, or redness in ears
- Skin infections which may present as open sores, pimples, red bumps, dry skin, scabs, and crusts
Pets can be allergic to a number of things, which usually fall into the categories of fleas, environment, and food. Examples of environmental allergens can include pollens, dust mites, and molds, and examples of food allergens can include meat, grains, and dairy ingredients.
There are many things we can do to help you and your pet manage their allergies including:
- Treat for fleas-even if not seen, they may be contributing to the problem
- A food elimination trial-feeding a special diet with no flavored medications or treats for 8 weeks
- Antihistamine trial
- Bathing regimen with medicated or otherwise recommended allergy shampoo
- Steroids or other immunosuppressive medications
- Allergy testing and desensitization
- Treating secondary skin or ear infections which may be contributing to the itching
Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your pet’s allergies and come up with a treatment plan specifically for your situation.