Spring Brings Allergies
If your dog or cat has reddened or inflamed skin and is constantly scratching and itching, this may be caused by an allergy.
Affected dogs are itchy especially around the head, feet, legs and belly causing them to lick, scratch, chew, or rub themselves on the ground or furniture. The trauma from doing this can allow skin infections to develop, commonly Bacterial or Fungal infections. An allergy, once formed, is usually present and annoying for the rest of your pet’s life.
Pets that are allergic to inhaled substances such as pollens, moulds, or house dust mites in the environment may develop a disease called Atopic Dermatitis, which is the most complex
allergic disease around.
Some pets may be allergic to certain foods, pet food ingredients or food preservatives. This may be improved by changing your pet’s diet to a premium food, although some pets require a lengthy hypoallergenic food trial prescribed by the Vet.
Pets that are allergic to certain plants or grasses have a contact allergy and often develop an itchy rash, hives, a red tummy, or red legs after playing outside, going for walks, or when away on holiday or camping. You may notice this happens to your pet at certain times of the year, known as a ‘seasonal’ allergy.
Diagnosis of an allergy involves ruling out common causes of skin inflammation first such as fleas (some dogs and cats are allergic to flea bites), mites, infection and dietary reactions. Most pets will have antibiotics or antihistamine tablets prescribed to treat their symptoms, and some respond well to medicated shampoos and conditioners, topical treatments, cortisone therapy or prescription foods. Some severe cases need long-term medications or are referred to the Veterinary Dermatologists.
If you suspect your pet has allergies, we can help. Talk to us