Allergies can affect animals just like they do humans, and can be just as miserable for them to suffer from too. Allergies occur when the body views a normally harmless substance as a hostile invader. To protect itself, it releases chemicals called histamines which create the symptoms that we associate with having an allergic reaction.
Here’s what you need to know about the types of allergies that can affect your pet and how to recognize your pet is suffering so that you can seek veterinary help.
Animals are generally allergic to the same sorts of substances that humans are. These can be broken down into several categories.
Food allergies occur when your pet develops a sensitivity to a specific food or food group. Some of the most common foods that animals can become allergic to include:
Animals who have food allergies usually suffer from vomiting and diarrhea after eating the food that they are sensitive to. They may also experience other symptoms including itchy skin, rashes, or fur loss.
Your vet in Waco, TX at Waco Animal Emergency Clinic may recommend that you keep a food diary to try and determine exactly which foods your pet is allergic to, as this will help to avoid the trigger and keep symptoms at bay in the future.
Skin allergies are often caused by exposure to fleas or ticks, as well as plants or chemicals that come into contact with your pet’s skin. Some of the symptoms that they can cause include:
You can minimize your pet’s risk of developing skin allergies by making sure that their parasite preventatives are up to date at all times. It’s also a good idea to be aware of which plants and flowers can cause problems for pets (there are more than you probably expect) so that you can ensure you don’t have them in your home. Additionally, you should always keep chemicals like cleaning products, antifreeze and pesticides well away from your pet at all times anyway, as they can be toxic if ingested.
Seasonal allergies can affect our animals too. These are usually things like pollen, dust mites, and mold spores, which are more likely at some times of the year than others. Seasonal allergies tend to produce symptoms that are not dissimilar to having a cold, with the most common including:
Some animals will also lick/chew their feet or experience itchiness and spend time scratching at their fur. If your pet has season allergies, antihistamines are usually the best course of action, along with doing everything you can to try and help your pet avoid the allergy trigger - for example, by keeping them inside when you are mowing the lawn.
You know your pet better than anyone else, so if they are experiencing any unusual symptoms, it’s always best to get them to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you would like more information about pet allergies, or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Waco Animal Emergency Clinic in Waco, Texas by calling (254) 752-6100.